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September 6, 2011 @ 2:03 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/2 Votes

Talib Looks Forward to "Megatron" Battle

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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Buccaneers' cornerback Aqib Talib spoke to the media Monday afternoon regarding his return to game action for the first time since the 2010 and being on injured reserve. Talib's first matchup back won't be easy, as he will find himself covering one of the NFL's top receivers in Detroit's Calvin Johnson

Aqib Talib had a rough offseason to say the least. From his incident in Texas earlier this year, to the uncertainty of whether he would be suspended, and then suffering minor injuries during training camp, no one on the Buccaneers roster is probably any more happy to get back to just concentrating on football.

“Since my injury last year I couldn’t wait to get back on the field,” Talib said. “I didn’t get a chance to play against Detroit last year. They are a pretty good team though. Definitely a pretty good receiver [in Calvin Johnson and] I cannot wait to go up against him.”

While judging a team’s preseason record isn’t usually an accurate gauge of a team’s talent, the Detroit Lions 4-0 record has caught the attention of Tampa Bay’s star defensive back.

“[Stafford] is looking good,” Talib said. “They're doing numbers in this preseason, and they're clicking on all cylinders and their offense and defense look real good right now. They came on at the end of last year and kind of carried to the preseason so we are expecting a pretty good team to come in September 11th.

“Turn on ESPN, NFL Network [and] a lot of people got a lot of good things to say about Detroit. We see it on tape. We are not knocking them or nothing we know they are a pretty good team. We have to bring our A game if we want to do something.”

The Detroit Lions recent draft history hasn’t been pretty in recent years with the likes of Charles Rogers, Mike Williams, Stocker McDougle, Joey Harrington and several other first-round busts. But since Matt Millen’s reign mercifully ended for Detroit fans in 2008, things have looked up. Millen did hit on wide receiver Calvin Johnson in 2007 but the Lions finished the season 0-16.


In 2009 the Lions drafted Matthew Stafford as their franchise quarterback. The former Bulldog quarterback has been injured in both of his NFL seasons but Johnson continued to elevate his game even without having a lot of help from the quarterback position. Talib missed facing “Megatron” last season due to injury but looks forward to the matchup in Week 1.

“Oh yes, that is my plan,” Talib said. “That is my plan, definitely. As it gets farther on in the week [coach] Rah [Morris] will definitely let me know, but hopefully he gives me the assignment. I am looking forward to it.”

“He is one of the top guys in the league. [Calvin] Johnson, boy, [and] you got Roddy [White], Reggie [Wayne]. You cannot leave anybody out, but you know he is definitely right up there with everybody.”

“[But Calvin Johnson can] do it all, man. Slants deep, fades, jump ball - that boy can do it all.”

Talib hasn’t had any on-field playing time since last season when a hip injury landed him on injured reserve. Like most professional athletes the former Kansas star said he was ready to play, but the team held him out of any preseason action.

“I actually wanted to go in [against] Washington a little bit,” Talib said. “[Coach] Rah just told me [to] chill out until September 11. But I kind of wanted to go in just to go get that first tackle. A couple forces being released and stuff like that. I will get my work done.

“You can’t really get in football shape unless you played football, but during my rehab I have been doing a little extra conditioning and stuff.”

“I've just got to get them back. The best way to get better is repetition. Just look forward to getting out there. Like I said, ever since that injury last year I just couldn’t wait to get back on the field [and] in front of the fans. Get it cracking again. I just got to get them back. The best way to get better is repetition. Just look forward to getting out there.”

Talib’s frustration of not being able to play was a difficult thing for the former first-rounder to handle after going on injured reserve.

“Not just [watching] Calvin Johnson,” Talib said. “It's tough to watch anybody. I watched Mike Williams [and] had to watch Drew Brees. Just watching anybody [was difficult]. It's always tough to just have to watch a team go out and play.”

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 15:30
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    ALL WE NEED IS TJACK BACK AND WE WILL BE FINE. GET RID OF JONES AND REPLACE WITH GRIMM. GRIM AND JACK IN THE BACK! BARBER AND TALIB AND BIGGERS/LEWIS/MACK AT NICKEL!
  • avatar


    Lets see if I have this right? Talib hasn't played in nine months and all of a sudden he is going to be able to stop anyone that he is covering? Okay, I am going to accept this for now because I have no choice. Go Bucs! Lets win this game!
  • avatar

    You have to believe in yourself otherwise why go on the field if you believe you can't stop anyone.
  • avatar

    I do wish that aqib wouldve got more offseason work. This is sort of a make or break year for talib. Not just with the off the field issues but also with being in contention which I think he can be to be a top 5 cb in the league this year or to just be a guy looking out of the top 10. Talib is ur best defender despite what the naysayers say about him and he can check any receiver physically in the game. He just gotta watch those deep routes because the only people that were killing talib last year was mike williams (steelers) and for some reason derrick mason was really killing him that game we played against the ravens. But other than that talib shut mostly everyone down. Do your thing talib we missed you the last game against the lions. Well c who wins round 2 tho.
  • avatar


    I wish they would have at least let him in on one series during the preseason. In my mind it's a coin flip right now because I haven't seen him running around this year. Grimm said he was ready to go also but that wasn't the same Grimm that we saw last year in the early preseason. If I knew Talib had shaken the cob webs off I would say 99% he can check Johnson. And I base this off his performance over Fitzgerald last year. He owned that guy last year. Maybe now that the newest guy on the team isn't necessarily the highest paid it will leave room for the natural mentorship to return. This would help guys like Talib tremendously.
  • avatar


    Pinkstob- Couldnt say it better myself my man. I'm not big of a commentor but your views are similar to mine. This year performance could put Talib in the elite CB class if he plays good ball. I am a huge #25 fan, always have been. And he is the best D player we have and most importantly has the most swag on the team. And to me that is important. Every D needs that player to man up and get into a players face and talk a little trash to back your team. EX) I was at the Car game were that player laid that dirty hit on Clifton smith on the punt return. And Talib was the first person getting held back. To me I want him on my team. YES he does need to control his offseason issues though. He also is a clown and if you watch warm ups all the team love him. I am so hyped for this year for him. Has a lot to prove.
  • avatar


    I must admit, the Lions have looked very good this preseason. But right now it doesn't mean a thing. I know this, we better put some heat on Stafford. He's the real deal if he can stay upright. We have a better chance with #25 in the game.
  • avatar


    I could agree more with the two comments below!
  • avatar


    Talib had better prove that he is worth the grief he has caused.
  • avatar


    So help me, I've been waiting for this matchup since the schedule was released. I haven't been looking forward to a one-on-one matchup like this since Tyson and Holyfield. I think this game and the game against Andre Johnson later this year will shape the direction of the rest of Aqib's career. Go Bucs!!
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