Former Patriot Aqib Talib Identifies Why Players Respect Bill Belichick

Everyone knew they had a shot


February 7, 2021

The New England Patriots didn’t make the playoffs, but with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, Bill Belichick remains as relevant as ever.

Naturally, a lot of the storylines circulated around Brady and Belichick leading up to Sunday’s big game, and the hypothetical of what one would be without the other.

So when former All-Pro cornerback and Super Bowl champion Aqib Talib was asked about his experiences with the Patriots, he expressed that the future Hall of Fame coach and quarterback’s legacies are just too intertwined.

Talib offered a lengthy answer when asked about playing for Belichick, too. Here’s what he had to say:

He was one of the smartest coaches I ever played for. Just dealing with him as far as football is concerned, he was super smart. He knew how to take away whatever you did best. He came up with different ways to guard guys. We (the Patriots) were probably the first to put their No. 1 cornerback on the second receiver and put his No. 2 cornerback on the No. 1 receiver with a safety over the top. It doesn?t sound like too much, but Bill was the first one to do it. 

As far as running that building, he was a great leader. He knew when to say something to the big-name guys, he knew when to say stuff to the free agent-type guys. He made everyone feel like they?re in the same playing field. If a rookie free agent is balling like a (expletive) in practice, he probably is going to be playing in the game. Everyone knew they had a shot ? it wasn?t like other places where I went and no matter how good this guy was they?re not going to put him in the game because of politics. It was never like that in New England. The best people were going to play, for sure. The players respect it. 

We’ll see how the Patriots fare next season.

Thumbnail photo via Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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