BOSTON (CBS) – New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung is excited to have the newly acquired Aqib Talib on board.
The new Patriots corner just has to find a new number, because Chung isn’t budging from his #25.
“I like my number too much, we’ll leave it at that,” Chung told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton on Sunday night’s Sports Final.
The Patriots acquired Talib from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at last week’s NFL trade deadline, a move they hope gives them a new number-one corner for the rest of the season. He’s had some issues both on and off the field, and is currently serving a suspension that will sideline him for another week, which is why Tampa sent the former first round pick to New England for just a fourth rounder.
But Chung doesn’t think any of the extra baggage that comes with Talib will be an issue during his time in New England.
“I could care less about that,” Chung said. “Bill brought him in to play ball and he’s going to play ball. Period.”
“He’s a baller. He plays ball and wants to win, so he’s going to fit in,” Chung said of his new teammate. “He’s physical, he’s big, he can catch, he’s fast, he is confident; he’s a good player.”
Chung On Talib:
Talib will join a Patriots secondary that has had issues this season getting burned on big plays. Opposing teams are averaging 281.1 yards per game through the air, ranking the Patriots 28th in the NFL. The Pats also allow an average of eight yards per passing play, ranking 29th in the league.
Midseason Grades: Pats’ D Good Enough For Super Bowl Run?
Fans point out the fact the Patriots secondary have had issues playing the ball, often getting flagged for pass interference for simply not turning around on plays.
But Chung says it isn’t as simple as that.
“Circumstances and situations determine how you play the ball in the air. That’s all I can say,” he said. “Fans can say whatever they want to say; there is a certain way you have to do things to protect yourself almost, and to protect the big play. They’re going to make big plays, we’re going to make big plays, but in situations and circumstances, if something happens and you get beat, you have to play it a certain way.”
“I’m going to defend my teammates and say we’re playing well,” said Chung. “Things happen, situations happen; people are going to say whatever they want to say, but we’re good.”
Chung On Pass Defense:
As for Chung himself, who has missed the last two weeks with a shoulder injury, he says he is working hard as he tries to return to the playing field. He hopes to be back when the Patriots host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, a team that will be looking for a bit of revenge after the Patriots beat them 52-28 in Buffalo in Week 4.
“They’re a good team,” Chung said of Buffalo. “Some games you have a good game, some games you have a bad game. They’re going to be ready to play. They know us, we know them so it’s going to be a game. We can’t treat that as an easy game to win; we have to treat it as a game we have to win.”
The Patriots are looking to finish their season strong following a 5-3 start. Last season, the Patriots went 8-0 in the second half of the season, but Chung and his teammates won’t rest their laurels on past performances.
“We have to worry game-by-game. If we think about ‘we’ve done it before’ guys get complacent and they make mistakes and we lose games,” he said. “You have to take it one by one, and win each game one by one.”
Tune in to Sports Final every Sunday night at 11:35pm on WBZ-TV!