The following transcript is a Q&A with Bucs general manager Mark Dominik regarding cornerback Aqib Talib's arrest and misdemeanor charges (simple battery and resisting arrest) he faces following an alleged incident with a cab driver in the Tampa Bay area on Wednesday night.
Talib was at practice on Thursday afternoon, but he did not participate and left the field early. Dominik fielded a few questions during the practice. The questions and answers are provided below.
Dominik's opening statement "It's unfortunate what happened last night," said Dominik. "I've been in contact with the league office today. This falls under the personal conduct policy. Certainly whatever decision is made the Commissioner's decision supersedes any decision the club would make at this time. I am working with the Commissioner's office. We're going to continue to work together through this in order to come to a resolution."
Have you thought about suspending him from the team's end? "No, not really because I really do want to work with the Commissioner. I think he's set a good example for what we're looking for in National Football League. We'll let that course run out the way it's supposed to and work with them just like every other club does when things like this happen."
The Bucs talked to Aqib after the helmet-swinging accident in may. You guys talked to him about the rookie symposium incident. You talked to him before you drafted him about the problems he had at Kansas. What's it going to take to get through to Aqib? "That's what we're trying to do – help him. It might not seem like it, but that's what we're doing. We're going to continue work with him, and if he needs counseling we'll get him counseling. We're going to continue to work and try to catch his attention. I think you have to do that, and that's what we'll do."
Has Aqib addressed the team? "Not officially that I'm aware of. I know Coach Morris called the team up before practice started, but I don't think he's addressed the team, or at least not that I've heard."
Will Talib play on Saturday? "He's allowed to play in the preseason games, yes."
But is Talib actually going to play on Saturday? "I would assume he will play this Saturday, yes."
Are the Bucs going to provide compensation to the cab driver involved in the incident? "That's a legal matter that hasn't even been discussed. It's not a matter for us, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was an Aqib Talib incident."
If he needs anger management counseling or whatever type of counseling he might need, can he still play football while receiving that counseling, or would he have to walk away and get himself right before he could come back on the field? "I think it's a little too cart-before-the-horse for us. We're trying to gather all the facts and look at the allegations and find out how they're going to play out. We're working with the NFL and league office to come to a resolution in terms of what we're going to do.'
Is Aqib a guy that has trouble controlling his emotions, in your opinion? "Aqib is a very outgoing, outspoken young man. Certainly, he needs to mature a lot more. That's all I'll say."
Aqib's picture is posted on the side of your stadium. Do you expect more out of him as a leader of your football team? "Yes, I do. I think we all do. It's unfortunate. These last two incidents we've talked about have overshadowed 78 other guys on this football team. They put themselves in front of the team, which is not what we're looking for in Tampa. It's too bad because what I think our players have done in the community with the fans and having training camp here has been positive. It's disappointing this kind of overshadows this."
Is the league running the investigation, or are you happy to contribute to the investigation involving Aqib and this incident? "We provide them information and they run their own independent investigation just as we run our own investigation."