Aqib Talib says that when it comes to facing his old team, it’s no big deal
|09.18.13 at 3:39 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When it comes to facing the Bucs, Aqib Talib isn’t getting too worked up.
The former Tampa Bay cornerback said after practice on Wednesday that when he faces his old team Sunday at Gillette Stadium, it won’t mean any more than any of the other 15 games on the schedule.
“No, it’s a game,” said Talib, who played with the Bucs for four-plus seasons. “Number three game. Week three game. The next game. the most important game.”
One of the things that will make this one a little easier for Talib is the fact that the two teams spent a few days practicing together over the summer before meeting in a preseason clash.
“We got a chance to see their weapons and they got a chance to see ours,” said Talib, who has a pair of picks through the first two games of the season. “I’m sure it helped them too, getting to practice against us. I mean, we got an early look at each other, so both teams kind of held a little back — we didn’t show each other everything. They didn’t show us everything. So we got a small look. Now, we have to go play the real game.”
Of course, Talib — who was dealt from Tampa Bay to the Patriots for a draft pick less than a year ago — does have some working knowledge of how the Bucs offense operates, as he’s faced many of their key players every day in practice, including quarterback Josh Freeman and wide receiver Vincent Jackson.
“He’s got a strong arm, man,” Talib said of Freeman. “They get that running game going, and off that play action, he can throw that ball and he knows where they need to throw it. He brings that strong arm and they bring that deep ball, they hit a lot of big plays. They led the league last year, so that’s exactly what he brings to the table.”
As for the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Jackson — who can line up in the slot or split wide — he presents a unique skill set, according to Talib.
“He runs routes like a smaller guy, and he runs deep balls like a 6-foot-4 guy. He has the best of both worlds as a wideout. Real hard to defend,” said Talib of Jackson, who were teammates for a portion of the 2012 season before Talib was dealt to the Patriots. “He brings that quickness to the table, so he can get in the slot and still get open. He definitely brings both sides to the table.”