FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- You'll be hard pressed to find many players who favor the offseason or training camp over the regular season and playoffs, but Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib may just be one of them.
The 27-year old addressed reporters following the team's second OTA of the offseason on Tuesday, opening his remarks with a unique take.
"I feel good," he said. "Best part of the year right here."
Pressed for an explanation on why he felt that way, Talib offered, "This is what you work for. You put in all the work, see what you get out of it during the season."
Talib and his teammates have been hard at work during the offseason conditioning program, the first that he has taken part in since being acquired via trade last season from Tampa Bay. He stressed the importance of conditioning and fundamentals as it relates to the on-field work.
"Right now we're just getting in good shape," he said. "Getting the basics of the defense and offense down. We're working right now."
The Patriots were able to retain Talib this offseason with a one-year contract that could pay him up to $5 million. He was briefly an unrestricted free agent, but noted on Tuesday that his preference throughout the process was to remain in New England.
"I just let it played how it played," he said of free agency. "I wanted to be back, I'm happy I'm here [and] I'm ready to get to work."
"This is a great organization, great team, great teammates," Talib noted when asked why New England was his team of choice.
Given that his contract only lasts for one season, there's a school of thought that 2013 is another "prove-it" year for Talib in advance of 2014 free agency. That's not something that's on his mind right now, though.
"It's time to get in shape, that's all I'm worried about right now, getting in good shape man, best shape I can be in," he said.
As proof of his dedication to conditioning, Talib was dressed in multiple layers despite the heat and humidity in the Foxborough area on Tuesday.
"Double shirts, out here trying to get as hot as possible, get a good sweat," he said of his attire. "Get in some good shape."
Talib stated that he felt the secondary improved down the stretch last season, but added that the group isn't letting itself grow content or feel like enough work has been done entering the upcoming season.
"We don't let ourselves feel like that," he said. "We start it all over, we start it from scratch. Got to pick it up from square one and get it started right now."