Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has begun the process of indoctrinating recently acquired cornerback Aqib Talib into his defense, and said on Tuesday that he is excited to work with the former first-round pick.
"I had an opportunity to meet with him yesterday and kind of just get caught up a little bit, that was good," he said on a conference call. "I think obviously we'll have the evaluations as the week goes, but we're just excited to get going with this week and get ready for Indianapolis and certainly see how that goes. As far as getting a chance to know him, it was great, professional. The guy's been in the league. No problems there."
Patricia said that the team will use this week as an evaluation period to find out how Talib can be used should he play this Sunday when the Patriots host the Colts (there's no reason to think that he won't).
"I think we're just going to have to wait and see and evaluate it as the week goes on," he said of expectations for Talib. "But obviously like all of our players that come in, we expect him to come in and work hard and try to get on board with what we're doing as soon as they can."
Talib was among a small group of players traded prior to the NFL's Nov. 1 deadline, as trades are far less prevalent in football compared to other major sports. Some have suggested, however, that cornerback is among the few positions in the NFL where a player can transition more easily from one team (and scheme) to another because cornerbacks often work in isolated situations.
Patricia didn't agreement with that assessment, stating that transitions for every position are difficult.
"I don't really think you can say any position in the NFL is easy to step into," he said. "I think obviously all the positions have fundamental skills and techniques along with different scheme responsibilities. I think they all have quite a bit of work that goes into playing them."
From an X's and O's standpoint, the Patriots often align their cornerbacks on one side for the entirety of a game. It seems possible that Talib could be inserted into a right or left cornerback role, although Patricia said the team doesn't always exclusively align their cornerbacks to one side or another.
"I think for us it definitely can depend on the week," Patricia continued. "Whatever it is we feel is going to be best for the game plan that week. We do try to be very multiple and all those things are taken into consideration when we do that. There are some instances when we do (assign cornerbacks to one side of the field) and when we don't, so we do have the ability to do both."
The Patriots were granted a roster exemption for Talib on Monday, and have until next Monday to activate him to the roster prior to the exemption expiring.