Patriots Addressing Needs

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Posted November 16, 2012 by Ross Wyszomierski in Downtown Boston
Talib

Finally!  Pats fans have a reason to get excited about their defense (other than seeing them leave the field and Brady coming back on.)   Aqib Talib, the newest face of the New England Patriots had his first practice with the team on Wednesday.  The third-year corner was acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2013 fourth-round draft pick – the Pats received a 2013 seventh-round draft pick as well.

It was only a few years ago that Talib was the 20th pick in the 2008 draft.  The brilliant minds of the Pats’ organization landed a first-round caliber player for a middle-round draft pick.  In other words, we stole him from the Bucs.  He is expected to bring much needed help to the weakest part of the team.  The Pats have the 30th ranked pass defense in the league, giving up an average of 281 yards per game.  New England has also given up 28 passing plays of 20 yards or more this season.

Often compared to Swiss cheese, the holes in the Patriots secondary can at least partially be attributed to the amount of injuries they’ve had this season.  Safeties Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory have missed the last two games, while Kyle Arrington left last Sunday’s game with a head injury.  We might be seeing Talib sooner than we expected.

Talib is a 6 foot 1, 205 pound corner.  He adds size to a smaller secondary and has recorded 18 career interceptions in his three years in the league (not too shabby.) Aqib isn’t owed that much in the final year of his contract, so if he can’t catch on to Coach Belichick’s tricky playbook, we aren’t stuck with him on the roster.

Some critics might be quick to say Talib came with some baggage.  The reason that he was only able to make his first practice Wednesday with the team was because he was serving the final game of a four-game suspension from the league.  Talib was caught taking the prescription pill Adderall at the beginning of training camp. The pill is used to increase your attention or help college kids stay up and study for a test; it’s a fluke in my eyes. (It wasn’t like he was injecting himself with HGH.) Maybe he was studying his playbook?

Whichever way you want to look at it, the Patriots once again made a move in the middle of the season to quickly address the team’s weakest link without giving up much in return.  We know the offense has the power to carry this team to the playoffs, but the defense will need to step up if we’re going to be hoisting another Lombardi trophy.


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