Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Talib getting used to attention
By Field Yates
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After playing four-plus seasons in the modest-sized media market of Tampa Bay, new Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib couldn't help but notice the large scrum of reporters in front of his locker on Tuesday morning.
"This is different," he said with a laugh.
It didn't take long for Talib to immerse himself into the Patriots' defense, playing 67 of 78 defensive snaps (including penalties) in the team's Week 11 win over the Colts, and it won't be long before he and his teammates take the field again, as they'll play Thursday night in the Meadowlands against the Jets.
He said that the short turnaround can actually be an advantage for a player who is working his way back into playing shape.
"Yeah I think it'll be good," he said. "It's a quick turnaround. [You've] got to get up here early and get your body right."
Beyond preparing physically, Talib added that it's imperative he's sharp mentally for Thursday.
'"It's 50-50, it's both," Talib noted. "It's hard work on both sides, so you've got to get right in both areas."
He called getting to know the opponent the biggest challenge of a short week.
"Getting on that tape. Getting a good feel for your opponent," he said. "We're about three or four days short [of a regular week] or whatever, so that's the biggest challenge right there."
The fifth-year cornerback mentioned that he's taken time to review his Patriots debut, and noticed areas that he can improve upon. For now, however, his focus will be pushed forward to the Jets.
"We kind of just got started on them, just put the game plan in, but we'll get a lot more into it today," he said.
Beyond preparation for the Jets, this short practice week will provide an opportunity for Talib to continue to work alongside his new secondary mates.
"The more you play, the more you mesh as a secondary," Talib continued. "The more time you get together, the more it helps."
Thursday will mark Talib's first taste of the Patriots-Jets rivalry, which he said he'll become more familiar and involved with down the road. And while he's not yet familiar with the divisional rivalry, he is with playing in primetime, which he said he's excited about doing again this Thursday.
"Yeah definitely," he said. "You always get a little bit more excited when you know you're going to be on that good prime time."
Regardless of the primetime start and soreness from his first game on the field in several weeks, Talib said that whenever game time rolls around, he's ready and excited.
"We could be playing in front of nobody," he said. "When another team lines up across from you, you'll be over that soreness."