Mangino talks up Talib

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With the Patriots tepid on the topic of keeping cornerback Aqib Talib with a multi-year deal, his former college coach has offered a surprisingly strong assessment in response to the notion that Talib doesn’t work hard enough.

[H]e loves to play football,” Mark Mangino recently told Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.  “He enjoyed practice time.  He hustled, made plays, did all of his drill work full speed, played hard in the games, did what was asked of him in the weight room, got bigger and stronger when he was with us.  I find that a little hard to believe.

“Things can change, obviously, but I stopped into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp [last summer]. I visited with several members of the staff, front office people, strength coaches, trainers, assistant coaches. To the person, they told me what a great job Aqib was doing. ‘He is showing leadership. He is working his tail off in the [OTAs].  He’s been a leader.  He is really busting his butt, and he is really working hard.’

“That doesn’t always happen. I have been to training camps in the past where I’ve had a former player that I’ve coached, and the coaches have come up to me and say, ‘This player doesn’t work hard. He’s not into it.’  They’ll tell you the truth. When you go to these NFL places, they don’t mince any words.”

The Bucs may not have minced words, but they eventually traded Talib.  And it’s no surprise.  As coach Greg Schiano tries to build a roster of players of high character, Talib was one of several who simply didn’t fit.

That said, Talib possibly was working hard; it could be that his four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy regarding performance-enhancing substances prompted the trade.  And it could be that an Adderall-free Talib doesn’t work as hard as he does when taking the banned stimulant.

Still, it seems a little odd Mangino is singing Talib’s praises.  Throughout Talib’s various on-field and off-field struggles, Mangino has not been a particularly vocal defender.  Also, it was widely known during the weeks preceding the 2008 draft that Kansas coaches were not saying flattering things about Talib to scouts.

The question now for the Pats is whether they can strike a deal that will extend Talib’s stay beyond a handful of 2012 games.  If he leaves, they won’t have gotten much in return for the fourth-round pick they sent to Tampa.

But at least they got a seventh-round pick back in return.

13 responses to “Mangino talks up Talib

  1. Talib having Jumbo in his corner saying nice things doesn’t change the fact that millions of dollars can change someone’s work ethic.

  2. Breaking news!!! Mark Mangino to guest star on a brand new episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo! Rumor has it he is the estranged father of the so called reality star!

  3. It seems the Pats will never find a decent-sized corner that can cover the big guys (and who is not injury prone.) I am of the lousy attitude that if they don’t sign him they’ll get torched next year, and if they do sign him he’ll be injured. I guess that makes me a New Englander. 🙂

  4. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pats tag Talib if they don’t sign him to a multi year deal. He’ll have a full off season and training camp with the team and is on the cusp to becoming a shut down CB after 4 years in the league. Gives them another full season to sign him to a multi year deal if they decide to do so.

    I don’t see him walking.

  5. Dude’s face looks like he’s the love child of Andy Reid and Mike Holmgren.

    It is weird seeing him talk up Talib so much. I mean dude helped the Pats for sure but he WAS hurt quite a bit of his time when he was in NE. I guess I don’t have a huge opinion either way on whether they re sign him or not. As long as they get another starting caliber CB so DMac can stay at safety and Arrington can stay in the slot I’ll be happy.

  6. I am one of the rare New Englanders who will be OK with Talib walking. If you can get him for a reasonable deal, by all means do it. However, he’s arguably the most talented corner in a very weak free agent market. He’s gonna get paid with a capital P and I can’t agree with breaking the back for a guy who has never been a true shutdown corner (lets be real fellow Pats fans, our expectations for that position have been lowered the past few years) and who has legit character concerns. Not to mention that the two good months of play we saw were not only a contract year but basically a situation where the guy was playing to save his sinking career. Pats need to seriously address the cornerback position this offseason, but tying up big-time money in Talib is a mistake IMO (especially with Brady, Mankins and Wilfork already taking up such a huge portion of the cap). Keeping Welker is more important.

  7. There was never any real talk of Talib not working hard during the time he was in Tampa. As for the off the field stuff, you really really should read in detail about what happened in Texas and figure out how you’d respond to your sister being harassed by a convicted sex offender who is actively violating a restraining order. Personally I’m completely for him shooting at the guy, it’s only too bad he missed (or his mom missed wink wink).

    The Bucs traded Talib since Schiano is a hardass, a real mans man who is a tough guy and if you didn’t play for him at Rutgers, well get the hell out. The Bucs were playing extremely poorly on defense and they weren’t even .500. Shortly afterwards the Bucs decided that 2-yards and a cloud of dust wasn’t the right offense and they went on a winning streak. If the winning streak had happened earlier I really really doubt they would have traded Talib since all they had left at CB were some middle schoolers they picked up.

    Personally I’d love if the Bucs resigned him, CB is by far the biggest need on the team and Talib is the best FA available. It won’t happen, but it should.

  8. I don’t think I could play for an obese coach. Telling me to hustle, run faster, work harder.

    College coaches can get away with it, they are yelling at kids… NFL coaches on the other hand are trying to motivate grown men.

    I guess sexy Rexy has left Andy Reid as the only fatty in the game right now.

  9. They’ll tag Talib. Welker is the one more than likely to not be in Foxboro next season unless with a visiting team.

    The story of them reluctant to sign Talib due to not practicing hard is leaked by someone in NE to water down the offers to Talib…

    This is coming from a Pats fan, but this is how things work in Foxboro. It’s business sense, albeit very shrewed and cold, but it’s business.

    I don’t disagree with the sentiment that both Lloyd and Welker will be gone.

    Get that secondary built up with big, physical hard hitters to set the tone. Brady has been able to work with much less…however on the WR front I would like to see taller ones to fight for the ball. Too often the little guys would make the catch, pay for it and be somewhat neutralized for the remainder of a game. Too often I have seen this at the end of the past several seasons.

    not sure they would pay the price tag for a Bowe, but he is productive with far less QB’s than Brady. It would also safeguard against another possible injury to Gronk late in the season.

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