Bucs' Aqib Talib says accuser was looking for 'an extra couple dollars'
Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib, in his first recent interview, said stress over his now-dismissed aggravated assault charge in Texas was “killing” him, but he is grateful for the “clean slate” given by coach Greg Schiano.
Talib, in Atlanta participating in agent Todd France’s annual football camp, told Atlanta’s 790 The Zone that accuser Shannon Billings was unfairly targeting Talib in the incident, which occurred in March 2011.
“It was killing me, man,” Talib said. “It was a bad situation where a guy had to say a couple lies to try to put an extra couple dollars in his pocket. But it was killing me, man. It was just a bad situation and I’m just glad it’s behind me.”
Talib said his attitude now is “I’m just (looking) forward from now on.”
Prosecutors in Dallas dropped the charge last week, at least in part because of concerns about Billings’ credibility. Talib was accused of firing a handgun at Billings in a domestic dispute and faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Billings, the former boyfriend of Talib’s sister, is currently in jail on unrelated charges.
Talib suggested the incident has taught him to make better decisions.
“Just got to get to the right place at the right time and stuff like that won’t happen to you,” he said.
As for the Bucs and their hopes for this season, Talib lamented the young club’s inability to prepare in 2011 because of the NFL lockout, but said a lack of preparation won’t be an issue this year.
“The biggest difference is, I think, the attendance,” he said. “We had probably like 97, 98 percent attendance since April 4, since we started our offseason program. So that’s the biggest thing.”
And while in the building, players have been exposed to a level of structure and discipline that wasn’t in place last season under Raheem Morris, Talib said.
“It got a little loose last year where people got a little too loose around the building,” Talib said. “So, Schiano definitely came in and brought that order back to the building.”