as for how he feels about playing for the pats
and "what has he done to deserve a contrtact"
from a few interviews
As soon as you walk in the building you notice it,âÂÂ said Talib. âÂÂItâÂÂs all about team here. Everybody is a professional. I have never experienced anything like this. I see the owner, Mr. (Robert) Kraft every day. ThatâÂÂs amazing, man. Coach Belichick treats everybody like a man, with respect. HeâÂÂs a cool guy.âÂÂ
âÂÂI am a Patriot,âÂÂ said Talib. âÂÂIt feels like I was meant to be here ... The coaches here are so good, too. ItâÂÂs all about football. ItâÂÂs one day at a time. ItâÂÂs the perfect place to play football. I donâÂÂt know what else to say.âÂÂ
âÂÂI had heard about the Patriots and the way they do things, all that stuff,âÂÂ said Talib. âÂÂYou know what? ItâÂÂs true. This is heaven. This is football heaven.âÂÂ
âÂÂI donâÂÂt want to talk about the future,âÂÂ said Talib. âÂÂIâÂÂm only focused on today. And when I come here tomorrow, IâÂÂll be focused on tomorrow ... But if you ask me if this is where I want to be? Of course, I do. Every player should play here.âÂÂ
and to "what has he done:
Talib was not here the first 12 weeks when the Patriots pass defense looked more Bad New Bears reruns than paradise. ]
The Patriots led the NFL in allowing 42 completions over 20 yards, more than any theyâÂÂve allowed an entire season under Bill Belichick.
He was not there when the pass defense allowed identical long touchdown passes to Seattle (a 46-yarder to Sidney Rice, which beat the Patriots with 1:18 remaining, and to St. Louis, which scored (a 50-yarder to Chris Givens) on its first possession on the same exact play two weeks later.
While the Patriots won the game over the Rams, 45-7, he apparently had seen enough. Five days later, Belichick and the Patriots announced the deal for Talib.
Over the last five games, the Patriots have played better on defense, particularly against the pass. Through 11 games, the Patriots allowed 293 yard passing per game. With Talib in place and understanding the defense, over the last five games the team allowed only 221 yards per game, and that includes a misleading 343-yard day from JacksonvilleâÂÂs Chad Henne, who also threw three interceptions.
Over that same span, the Patriots run defense allowed only 93 yards per game, and that includes a 180-yard whopper against the 49ers, which would rank the Patriots fourth overall.
To call his addition a stabilizing force would be an understatement.
âÂÂI love him. Everybody here loves him,âÂÂ said Patriots safety Patrick Chung. âÂÂHe has fit in really well. He has a lot of confidence. He can cover. He can tackle. I couldnâÂÂt say enough good things about Aqib. HeâÂÂs the real deal.âÂÂ
Even coach Bill Belichick, a man of few words, sings TalibâÂÂs praises.
âÂÂThereâÂÂs no doubt that Aqib has helped our secondary,âÂÂ he said.
âÂÂHeâÂÂs a very smart and confident player who works hard. He has a good attitude and he fits in well. IâÂÂve enjoyed coaching him.âÂÂ
Did you know ... ? -- Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib played a few games at wide receiver during his final season (as a junior) at the University of Kansas, catching eight passes, including four for touchdowns. -- In his final season in 2007, U of Kansas coach Mark Mangino called Talib's acrobatic interception against Florida International, and the impending 102-yard return, the greatest play he had ever seen in his football career. -- His 2012 salary was $1.852 million, which ranked only 44th among cornerbacks.
The Patriots defense now is âÂÂ I cringe when I am about to say it âÂÂ pretty darn good. And the correlation with Talib is unavoidable.
Heck, he not only picked off an errant pass from Andrew Luck in his first game as a Patriot on Nov. 18, but he brought it back to âÂÂthe houseâÂÂ inducing the rout.
âÂÂI donâÂÂt think people realize how good of a football player Aqib is,âÂÂ said Patriots backup wide receiver and special teams wizard, Matthew Slater. âÂÂHeâÂÂs got size. HeâÂÂs got athleticism. He added a dimension to our defense that we didnâÂÂt have. HeâÂÂs not only brought a lot to our defense, but heâÂÂs brought a lot to our team.âÂÂ
It’s been fascinating to watch the New England secondary evolve over the course of the 2012 season. Much like the offensive line, there were struggles early on as they tried to find the right mix, but once they were able to find a good combo (namely, Talib and Dennard at corner and McCourty and Gregory at safety), the continuity and consistency helped improve the New England pass defense.
The addition of Talib has really been a boon. He hasn’t been a Pro Bowler by any means, but the trickle-down effect has been tremendous for the rest of the defensive backs, and, by extension, the defense as a whole. It’s allowed the New England defense to shuffle some players — particularly the move of McCourty from corner to safety, as well as kicking Arrington from outside back into the slot — and take some pressure off younger defensive backs. As a result, the Patriots have managed to maximize the strengths of the defensive backs they do have, and the numbers have reflected the change. Since late November, the following numbers have all decreased for the New England defense: points per game, average passing yards, average rushing yards and total average yards allowed per game. In addition, in that stretch, the Patriots have increased their takeaway ratio.