Former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib debuted on the practice field in New England this week, after completing his four-game league suspension.
Today, he met with media covering the Patriots for the first time. Talib, who was traded to the Patriots on Nov. 1, chose not to delve into his past off-field issues or discuss much about his time in Tampa Bay. Instead, he talked mostly about integrating into the Patriots organization.
"I did my best to stay in pretty good shape (during the suspension)," Talib said to Boston-area reporters. "(I'm) coming in early and leaving late and trying to learn the system. The guys have been great. They've embraced me and I love the team already."
Talib said he had no sense a trade was being discussed and was initially surprised.
"You're always surprised when you get traded," he said. "I mean, it's football and I've seen it happen before, so I was surprised when it happened to me, but kind of not surprised.
"I've seen it happen before. I've seen guys come and go and I've seen it happen in the business before so you can't really be surprised by nothing in this league."
As for his opportunity with the first-place Patriots, Talib said "It's a great opportunity with a great organization and I'm going to do what I can to come in and help win some ballgames."
On his meeting with coach Bill Belichick, Talib said the topic was singular.
"We just talked straight football," Talib said. "He didn't bring up the past. I didn't bring up the past. He didn't bring up the future. I didn't bring up the future. He just told me to take it one day at a time."
Asked about how he's been portrayed in the media, Talib didn't bite.
"What happened in the past is in the past," he said. "I'm just looking forward to making the most of this opportunity and win some ballgames."
Posted by Stephen Holder at 6:49:13 pm on November 15, 2012