|Aqib Talib: ‘I wanted to be back, I’m back’||05.21.13 at 3:48 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When the Patriots season ended with a loss to the Ravens in the AFC championship last January, there was some doubt the day after whether Aqib Talib would be back in a Patriots uniform.
Talib told reporters the Monday after the AFC title game loss that he would let the business side run its course.
After signing a one-year deal for $5 million – a bargain to the Patriots –on March 16, Talib has decided that his business will be in Foxboro. On Tuesday, Talib took part in his second day of OTAs with the team and spoke publicly about his deal for the first time.
“I just let it play how it played,” Talib said Tuesday when asked why he decided to come back to the Patriots. “I just let it play how it played. I wanted to be back, I’m back. I’m happy to be here, ready to get to work.”
Talib’s deal included a $3 million signing bonus and a base salary of $1.575 million, which is fully guaranteed.
“It’s a great organization, great team, great teammates,” he said. “It’s just a time right now, what’s this month, May? It’s time to get in shape. That’s all we’re worried about right now, that’s all I’m worried about. Getting in good shape, best shape I can be in. Double-shirts, out here trying to get as hot as possible, get a good sweat and get in good shape.”
Getting in good shape is something of a theme this week as Kyle Love was let go last week and Love said it was because the Patriots felt he was out of shape. In January, Talib injured his thigh in the first quarter and was unable to return as the Ravens found their offensive groove without him on the field and advanced to the Super Bowl.
“Right now we’re just working on getting in good shape, getting the basics of the defense and the offense down,” Talib said. “We’re working right now.
“We get in good shape and you get the basics of the defense down. Before you start game-planning for anybody, you’ve got to have the basics of your defense down, and that’s what we’re getting down right now.”
This figures to be a huge year for Talib as he looks again for that big contract. He’ll have the advantage this year of starting from scratch with the Patriots. The 27-year-old cover corner got some work in on Tuesday covering Danny Amendola during OTA drills in shorts.
“It’s always good to have the whole off-season, the whole training camp with the same group, build that camaraderie,” Talib said. “Learn how each other speaks on the field, our terminology. That’s always good.
“It’s another opportunity to get better.”
|Kyle Love has harsh words for Patriots after release||at 1:44 pm ET|
Defensive lineman Kyle Love, was was released by the Patriots last week after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, had some parting shots for New England after his first workout Monday with his new team, the Jaguars.
Via to the Florida Times Union, Love said his diabetes was discovered after a routine blood test. “My mom and dad both have it, so I was bound to get it,” he said.
Love, 26, insisted he did not lose much weight or show up to offseason workouts in poor condition.
“It’s not like I lost 30 pounds,” he said, adding: “I was never out of shape — I participated every day, so I don’t know where that came from.”
Love, who signed a contract extension with the Patriots last summer, was not happy about being released on a non-football injury designation.
“That’s how they run their business up there; veteran guys who have been there for years and put in a lot of work get treated like rookies,” Love said.
Love, who had 65 tackles in 41 games over three years with the Patriots after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Mississippi State in 2010, said he has more energy “since I cut out the sweets and a lot of the carbs” and is ready to move past his experience in New England.
“My wife asked me how I felt after the whole thing went down, and it was bittersweet,” he said. “You’re sad, but then you’re happy at the same time. I’m just trying to move on and not really worry about what happened.”
|Kyle Love picked up by Jaguars||05.16.13 at 5:15 pm ET|
One day after he was waived by the Patriots, Kyle Love was claimed by the Jaguars.
Love, who was reportedly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes shortly before he was cut loose by New England started 11 games at defensive tackle for the Patriots last year. Love, 26, is a 6-foot-1, 315-pounder out of Mississippi State who has spent three seasons in the NFL, all with the Patriots. His best season came in 2011 when he had 33 tackles and three sacks.
Love is the second defensive lineman this week to move from the Patriots to the Jaguars — earlier in the week, Brandon Deaderick was cut loose by New England before landing with Jacksonville.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Resetting depth chart for Patriots at defensive tackle||05.15.13 at 5:21 pm ET|
The news that defensive tackle Kyle Love was released certainly shakes up one of the most intriguing spots on the roster for the Patriots, one we examined here as part of a piece on looming position battles: Who will see the most snaps opposite Vince Wilfork at defensive tackle?
It certainly appeared that Love had the inside track on the job after the Patriots decided to cut loose Brandon Deaderick earlier this week. But with the news of New England’s decision to move on from both Love and Deaderick, it looks like newcomers Tommy Kelly and Armond Armstead will be in line for a significant role in 2013.
As we wrote earlier on Wednesday, Armstead is a CFL export who brings some pass-rushing skills to the table (he had six sacks last season with Toronto) while Kelly is a veteran defensive lineman who also has shown an ability to get after the passer (he had a combined 14.5 sacks in 2011 and 2010).
Other possibilities at the spot include Marcus Forston, who is heading into his second season on the roster, as well as rookies Cory “Pork Chop” Grissom, Dewayne Cherrington and Joe Vellano.
|Patriots release DT Kyle Love||at 5:08 pm ET|
The Patriots have released defensive tackle Kyle Love with a non-football injury designation. Love’s agent Richard Kopelman of KLASS Sports told ESPN that Love has recently been diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes.
Love, 26, is a 6-foot-1, 315-pounder out of Mississippi State who has spent three seasons in the NFL, all with the Patriots. His best season came in 2011 when he had 33 tackles and three sacks.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Aqib Talib questionable to return after leaving with thigh injury||01.20.13 at 7:28 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Patriots starting right cornerback Aqib Talib left late in the first quarter with a right thigh injury and is questionable to return, according to the Patriots.
Talib injured himself on a pass breakup of a Joe Flacco pass intended for Anquan Boldin on third-and-12 from the Ravens 25 with just over five minutes left in the opening quarter. Immediately after the breakup, he came up favoring the right leg and headed to the sideline on his own power.
Talib was seen by team doctor Tom Gill before heading down to the Patriots locker room for further examination. Talib was replaced by Kyle Arrington on the next series at cornerback.
The other notable injury was defensive lineman Kyle Love, who left with a knee injury on the Ravens’ first drive and was also ruled questionable to return.
For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots.
|Justin Francis: ‘I like getting after the quarterback’||11.29.12 at 2:02 pm ET|
FOXBORO — In the wake of the four-game suspension for Patriots defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, the first name mentioned as a possible replacement was veteran Trevor Scott. And for good reason. The 28-year-old Scott has NFL experience and was brought in to provide the just the kind of depth the Patriots need right now.
But do not overlook Justin Francis.
He is yet another product of the Greg Schiano Rutgers program on the roster. The 23-year-old possesses the type of explosive speed (4.9 in the 40) – if undersized (6-foot-4, 270 lbs.) – the Patriots were looking for when they signed him as an undrafted free agent in the spring. The Patriots projected Francis as a depth guy on the outside and he has made big strides in his rookie year.
He has moved ahead of third-round pick Jake Bequette on the depth chart, as Bequette has played in just two games this season while Francis has appeared in five, including five of the last six games for the Patriots.
What makes him such an attractive option to the Patriots as a potential replacement to the pass-rushing Cunningham?
“I like getting after the quarterback,” Francis said. “Wherever coach wants me to play, I’m going play. If it’s quarterback, it’s quarterback. If it’s cornerback, it’s cornerback but I don’t think I’ll be playing any of those positions. Whatever coach wants me to play, and however I can get to the quarterback is all that matters to me.”
Francis was activated for the Denver game on Oct. 7 but did not play. He made his NFL debut the next week and played in four straight games for the Patriots, as the team looked to give Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love and Chandler Jones rest.
“It’s somewhat of a climbing [process], been working pretty hard this whole time and trying to take it a day at a time and follow after the guys I have to follow after. I’m just trying to do the best thing for me and the team.”
“Every day is an opportunity to get better and anything can happen. The way I take it is you have to be prepared, prepared for whatever happens. By being prepared, you’re going to help the team. That’s all I’m doing right now, listening to Vince, listening to coach and listen to my position coach and listen to all the older guys who are guiding me along the way.”
Francis is most appreciative of the family atmosphere he’s been brought into and is thriving in.
“It’s been good,” Francis said. “We’ve grown a pretty good bond. We’ve spent time outside the stadium and a helluva lot of time in here. The bond is growing and we’re getting tighter as a unit. That’s all you can really hope for and appreciate.”
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