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Monday, November 12, 2012
Patriots get roster exemption for Talib

By Field Yates & Mike Reiss

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick confirmed on Monday afternoon that the team has received a roster exemption for recently acquired cornerback Aqib Talib.

The exemption, which means that Talib does not count toward the team's active roster but does allow him to participate in team activities, expires on Nov. 19, according to a league source.

Belichick was asked about Talib during a conference call and said that he has had the chance to speak with him and that the team will begin working with him right away to get him caught up to speed.

"We'll spend time with him, try to get him caught up in terms of terminology, scheme, that type of thing," Belichick said. "We'll see how all that comes together as we do our preparations this week."

When asked if he felt more comfortable about the deal after speaking to Talib today, Belichick offered the following.

"I don't know. The deal has already been made," he said. "Right now we're looking forward to working with him and trying to get him ready to play."

Talib was acquired from the Buccaneers on Nov. 1 along with a seventh-round pick in 2013 in exchange for the Patriots' 2013 fourth-round pick.

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo came out of the 2008 draft, the same class as Talib, and recalled the two crossing paths on a few predraft visits with clubs. It wasn’t enough time for Mayo to get to know Talib personally, but he’s taken notice of his approach as a pro.

“I just know he’s a competitor and he loves the game. I know he goes out and plays hard every day,” Mayo said. “I’m very excited. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see him on Wednesday [when players return for practice] and hopefully he’s ready to come in and work.”

Defensive back Devin McCourty also touched on welcoming Talib.

“We look forward to it. Wednesday we’ll get to get out there and practice and he’ll be a part of the team,” McCourty said. “It will be a big week for us, a big game versus the Colts, so just to get another guy out there that you know is a good player, it will be exciting.

"He's a solid player, a very good player, so I'm sure he'll be able to help us in a lot of different ways."