Aqib Talib was the running, jumping, intercepting, pass-batting proof Sunday night of what happens when a team takes a chance on a troublesome player and it works out. New England is now likely weighing whether it should lock up the NFL’s interceptions leader for more than his current one-year deal — quite the advancement from when Talib was brought in on a gamble last year from the Buccaneers during a suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug use policy.
It’s something the Patriots have done many times before: take a player who seemed to only attract trouble and turn him into a productive, team-oriented cog in their winning machine. New England did it so well for so long that it’s almost a given that any player with a checkered past who shows up in Foxboro will immediately become a stand-up citizen — almost a given, of course, excluding the Aaron Hernandez situation.
With the offseason troubles surrounding Hernandez and the murder of Odin Lloyd causing just about as much trouble for the Patriots as all the good turnarounds combined, New England has been left reexamining how it brings in borderline players.
But don’t tell that to Cris Collinsworth. The NBC analyst showed an incredible case of selective memory Sunday night as Talib put up a solid game against the Falcons. Collinsworth pulled out the usual script lauding Bill Belichick and the way the Patriots can reform even the hardest cases — forgetting just one player as he did it.
“All Bill Belichick does is brings them in here, and there hasn’t been one ounce of a problem,” Collinsworth said of Patriots players with troubled pasts. “There’s something about when they come in and play for Patriots, whatever their issues may have been before, they disappear. They play great football for them, and Aqib Talib is on that list.”
Granted, Talib has been great story for the Patriots, as he’s rejuvenated both his career and a New England secondary that was woeful for many seasons. But, just like every time an analyst has to condense a situation for the play-by-play, that’s only part of the story for the Patriots.
Check out Collinsworth’s remarks in the video below.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@pinkpowertie