Talib on offense? Don't bet on it
The more I learn about Aqib Talib, the more I like the guy.
I knew all about his abilities as a cornerback. Those are indisputable. But one thing that was not widely-known is his knack for making plays as a receiver. When you consider that half the eight passes he caught in 2007 went for touchdowns, you have to come away with the impression that he has some rare offensive skills.
But while you might think it's a no-brainer to try him on offense here in Tampa Bay, I think it's a little premature to expect it. For one, learning the Bucs' offense is a full-time job, and Talib will have his hands full just learning the intricacies of the Tampa 2 defense plus the variety of other coverages you should expect to see from the Bucs in 2008. There won't be much time to spend in the receivers meeting room between it all.
Another reason it seems like a long shot: we've heard this before. Jon Gruden said multiple times during training camp in 2007 that he would experiment with shifty cornerback Phillip Buchanon on offense. While Buchanon did get a chance to help on special teams, he never lined up at receiver, if my memory serves me correctly.
So, I'm not sure we'll get to see Talib play offense, though it sure would make a heck of a story if anything ever comes of this. Watching highlights of the guy as a receiver is almost breathtaking (you HAVE to scroll down to my previous post of Talib's YouTube clip at 9:26 a.m. It truly is must-see TV). Based on what little I've seen, the Bucs don't have a single player in their receiving corps with the pure athletic ability he displays. Not even close. Maybe there's a way Gruden can involve him in the occasional gimmick play or two.
Whatever the Bucs ultimately decide, it would seem almost a waste to not get something out of all that potential. Besides, I think we all agree that we wouldn't mind seeing some offensive fireworks around here -- for a change.