Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Joe Smith and Greg Auman

Talib likes the new defensive system

Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib said he is more comfortable coming into his second season, but admitted he also "feels like a rookie again" with the new defensive schemes that will be put into place under defensive coordinator Jim Bates.

But Talib, who tied for the team lead in interceptions last season after being the team's first round pick, is embracing the opportunity for a bigger role, and likes the idea they'll be playing more more man-to-man coverage.

"We're definitely going to play a lot more man, more bump and run, and stuff," Talib said. "So it'll be a lot more physical, with a lot less thinking and a lot more playing...The less thinking you've got to do, the more I like it."

Talib was one of several players present, but not participating in Wednesday's workout (including Stylez G. White). Talib said he rolled his ankle the other day, but will be back running tommorrow. There were several veterans, including tight end Kellen Winslow, Barrett Ruud and Maurice Stovall, who weren't present for the voluntary workouts, but the Bucs knew ahead of time they'd have to miss.

"They know they're missing something - trust me, they all know that," coach Raheem Morris said. "It's voluntary, it wouldn't be right on my part to call anybody out for missing a voluntary workout."

As for Talib, when he gets back up and running, it could be a big year for him. And as teammate Jermaine Phillips said, an important one.

"We always say you make your biggest strides from year one to year two," Phillips said. "This is a big year for (Talib). Is he gonna hit a sophomore slump, or is he going to come out an pick up where he left off and be the great cornerback we all know he can be?"

- JOE SMITH

joesmith@sptimes.com

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:32pm]

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