BOSTON (CBS) – Aqib Talib made his presence felt in his Patriots debut on Sunday, but the five-year corner admits he is a long way from being at the top of his game.
Talib was picked on by Andrew Luck and the Colts early on, and the battle went Indy’s way. But with one overthrow by Luck, Talib won over Patriots fans with a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown that put the Patriots on top 21-14. They never looked back, en route to a 59-24 blowout win.
“That was a lot of fun,” Talib said of his New England debut. “We executed on all three phases of the game. We won the game and had a lot of fun out there.”
While Talib made a great run back on his interception return, cutting from the left side of the field and making a few would-be-tacklers miss, he thanked the entire defense for setting up “a wall” for him to get into the end zone.
Joining a team mid-season is never easy, and the expectations are high that Talib can be a “savior” for a struggling New England secondary. There is still a lot of work to be done, but he was pleased with the communication among his new teammates.
“We put a big emphasis on that this week in practice; communication and playing fast,” he said. “We could have done better today; we gave up some stuff, but I felt it was alright. We can get a lot better though.”
Talib was the targeted defender on both of Luck’s touchdown passes, and admitted his mistakes on each play. He said he was undercut at the goal line on T.Y. Hilton’s 14-yard score in the first quarter, and was watching Luck on a 48-yard strike to Hilton.
“I had my eyes in the wrong spot,” said Talib. “They were on the quarterback, and I watched him throw a touchdown.”
But the newest Patriots corner vows to get better. He admitted he was a little rusty after not playing the last four weeks following a suspension by the NFL, and plans on getting back to his true form as he practices and plays more with his new team.
“You go sit down for five or six weeks, you’re not going to be your ordinary self,” he said. “As I put the pads on, practice, play in more games, I’ll be alright.”
Talib said too “locked in” to hear the cheers from Patriots fans following his pick-six, but the warm reception he received when introduced gave him a good feeling.
A free agent after this season, he is hoping he gets more than half-a-season with his new team.
“I would love for it to be home,” he said of New England.