Cornerback Aqib Talib met the media on Thursday for the first time since the Patriots traded a fourth-round pick to the Buccaneers to acquire him just before the trade deadline.
Talib said all the expected things about being excited to join the team and that he hopes to pick up the defense quickly in order to help the team win games. And, as you’d expect, Talib was asked about the off-field issues that have dogged him throughout his career, including the four-game suspension that came to an end this week. Talib said his hasn’t come up in his conversations with Patriots coach Bill Belichick and that there’s been no discussion of clean slates or zero tolerance policies.
“We kinda just talked straight football. He didn’t bring up the past and I didn’t bring up the past,” Talib said, via Michael Vega of the Boston Globe. “He didn’t bring up the future. I didn’t bring up the future. He just kind of told me to take it one day at a time.”
There’s not much reason for Belichick or anyone else to make things explicit for Talib. His contract is up at the end of the season and his chances of getting another one will go up in smoke if Talib doesn’t keep things clean the rest of the way. If he didn’t know these things already and didn’t realize that his best approach is to play as well as possible without messing up off the field then there isn’t much of anything Belichick or anyone else can say that will make it clear.