Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneer Aqib Talib says accuser in shooting case was looking for payday

TAMPA — Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib says stress over his now-dismissed aggravated assault charge in Texas was "killing" him and he is grateful for the "clean slate" given to him by new coach Greg Schiano.

Talib, in Atlanta participating in agent Todd France's annual football camp, told an Atlanta radio station that accuser Shannon Billings was unfairly targeting him in the March 2011 shooting case in which he was charged.

"It was killing me, man," Talib, 26, 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 was accused of firing a handgun during a domestic dispute with Billings, a former boyfriend of Talib's sister. Prosecutors in Dallas dropped the charge last week at least in part because of concerns about Billings' credibility, Talib's attorney said.

Billings is currently in jail on unrelated charges.

With the situation resolved, Talib said he has the fresh start Schiano promised him after the coach was hired in January to replace fired Raheem Morris.

"Clean slate, clean start," Talib said. "I'm just (looking) forward from now on."

The Bucs' first-round pick out of Kansas in 2008 suggested the situation that got him in trouble 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.

Also, Talib lamented the young Bucs' inability to prepare properly for the 2011 season 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 (offseason activities) attendance," he said. "We had probably, like, 97, 98 percent attendance since April 4, since we started our offseason program.

"We didn't prepare last year. We didn't have a good offseason at all. We were locked out. It was a young team. We had to prepare on our own, and we didn't do a good job of preparing on our own. But this year, Coach Schiano came in, and the whole Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been preparing since April. I think we'll have a pretty good season."

Also during the past few months, players have been exposed to a level of structure and discipline that wasn't in place last season under 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."

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at View his blog at Follow him on Twitter at @BucsBeat.

Tampa Bay Buccaneer Aqib Talib says accuser in shooting case was looking for payday 06/29/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 30, 2012 3:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.