Aqib Talib: Patriots Tenure Really Taught Me ‘How To Be A Professional’

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Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib

Photo via Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib before the game against the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Aqib Talib had his fair share of conduct issues in the past, but the Denver Broncos cornerback credits the Patriot Way for helping him turn himself around.

From the very start of his career, Talib was viewed as having character issues. There were rumors he tested positive for marijuana in college before being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round in 2008, he had his second arrest of his career before the 2011 season and he tested positive for Adderall and was suspended four games in 2012.

But when he was traded to the New England Patriots during his suspension, all of that changed. And Talib said that’s because of the way the franchise operates.

“One thing I have to say about that establishment over there: They’re very professional,” Talib told ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini recently. “You go there for one season and your professionalism will go up a plus-2. If you’re at seven, you’ll be a nine.

“That definitely helped my professionalism as far as preparation for the game, how to handle the media, my behavior on the field — everything. I really learned how to be a professional over there. I went there a seven and came out a nine. I’m working on being a 10.”

Since signing a six-year, $57 million contract with the Broncos before the 2014 season, Talib has become a veteran leader. He hasn’t been in any serious trouble, either, save for a one-game suspension for a cheap eye poke to Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Dwayne Allen this season. Now, he’s focused on a victory in Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

“You can’t have a complete career, in my opinion, without that Super Bowl ring,” Talib said. “It would definitely be a major stamp on my career.”

Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images

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