First-place Patriots get back to work, await Talib

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 05, 2012
Even when they're not playing, the New England Patriots still manage to make headlines. Prior to the NFL trading deadline on Thursday, which came during their bye week, the Patriots (5-3) acquired Aqib Talib from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite the shutdown cornerback's troubled past. New England gave up a fourth-round pick in next year's draft for Talib, who has 18 interceptions since being selected by Tampa Bay with the 20th pick in 2008 out of Kansas. The Patriots also snared a 2013 seventh-round choice in the deal, as well. However, Talib will miss the upcoming game against Buffalo (3-5) on Sunday while serving the final game of a four-game suspension he received for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. He said at the time of the suspension that he took an Adderall pill without a prescription ''around the beginning of training camp.'' New England coach Bill Belichick wouldn't divulge much about the acquisition during his weekly conference call with reporters Monday, other than saying Talib will report to the Patriots ''when the league allows him to.'' ''Right now really, our focus is on the Bills and the players that will be preparing for the game with the team and the players that are here at this time,'' Belichick said. ''We'll take that as it comes. When he gets here, we'll deal with that then. I think he's a good player. I think he can help our football team. ''That's why we traded for him.'' Talib was suspended without pay for the regular-season opener in 2010 and fined one additional game check for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy. That penalty resulted from an altercation with a St. Petersburg cab driver during training camp in August 2009. He also had charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas dropped a week before he was due to be tried for allegedly firing a gun at his sister's boyfriend. Patriots coaches caught a glimpse of Talib's talents during their joint practice sessions with the Buccaneers prior to a preseason matchup in August. ''I think that everything that you know about a player is somewhat of a factor,'' Belichick said of the scouting process. ''Anything that you have is relevant.'' The hope is that Talib can help shore up a porous Patriots' pass defense that has allowed the sixth most yards in the league and is especially vulnerable to surrendering big plays. The struggling unit has allowed 17 passing touchdowns this season, tied with Kansas City for third worst in the NFL, and is yielding 8.0 yards per passing play, tied for fourth most. Cornerback Devin McCourty gave up several long completions before being moved to safety the past two games while starters Steve Gregory and Patrick Chung were sidelined. Another starting quarterback, Kyle Arrington, left the team's game in London against St. Louis last week game with a head injury. Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia didn't say whether McCourty's move to safety would be permanent. But consistency, they said, is important. ''He's a pretty flexible kid, both physically and mentally. I think he can handle the movement but I think the more consistent we can be as a unit then that builds their communication and better teamwork between the players that are involved,'' Belichick said. ''There are always going to be some moving parts. And unfortunately we've had, like every team does, guys go in and out for various reasons. So, it's not perfect. ''Ideally if you could keep everything exactly the same every week, that would be great.'' The Patriots have a recent history of adding players with checkered pasts. They acquired troubled running back Corey Dillon for a second-round pick in 2004 after he played his first seven seasons in Cincinnati. Dillon flourished during his three years in New England, rushing for 37 touchdowns and 3,180 yards, including a career-high 1,635 in his first season when the Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl. New England also shipped a fourth-round pick to Oakland in 2007 for mercurial wide receiver Randy Moss, who instantly gelled with quarterback Tom Brady during the record-setting 16-0 season later that year. Moss set the single-season standard for receiving touchdowns with 23, while Brady broke the single-season mark for passing touchdowns with 50 before the Patriots lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. Of course, there were moves that didn't pan out, too. Wide receiver Chad Johnson spent one season in New England last year and struggled to learn the playbook. After six Pro Bowl appearances with the Bengals, Johnson recorded career lows in catches (15) and yards (276) with just one touchdown before being released. New England last year also landed defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth from Washington for a fifth-round pick. The experiment lasted less than half a season, though, as the two-time Pro Bowl veteran played in just six games, notching three tackles. --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Osweiler: Film from last two years proves I should be starter

Daughter of Bucks owner burns Bill Simmons on Twitter

Tiger Woods tells golf world to try and kick this football he’s holding

Tyronn Lue: Gameplanning to defend Celtics harder than Warriors

How the Senators can upset the Penguins in Game 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Paxton Lynch cutting out early while other QBs stay late

Michael Jordan unique 1984 Converse shoes could fetch up to $100K at auction

Joe Girardi has interesting reason why no medical scans for Masahiro Tanaka

Ezekiel Elliott’s mom fires back after son criticized for being in car accident

Browns make Ryan Grigson senior personnel executive

Potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz looks positively jacked in recent photo

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker