Today marks the first day that newly acquired cornerback Aqib Talib suited up and got out on the field to practice with his new teammates. According to Bill Belichick, who finally decided to acknowledge that Talib was in fact alive and playing for this team, the defensive back has been into Gillette early each of the past three days trying to get himself up to speed and ready to make an immediate contribution on Sunday when Andrew Luck and the surprisingly surging Colts come to Foxboro. Talib is wearing Brandon Merriweather's old number, 31, and here's hoping that he does more with it than Merriweather did.
I'm going to keep myself cautiously optimistic here and try my very best to reserve judgement on Talib for at least a few weeks. I'm sure that there is going to be a BIG part of me that, should he get beat deep a few times on Sunday or become Luck's primary target as he struggles to stay with his man, will want to start throwing things and immediately condemn the coaching staff for yet another cornerback failure. But the reality of the matter is that it's going to take Talib some time to fully integrate himself into the system, and there are bound to be a few growing pains along the way. Plus, as much as I'd like to think otherwise, our defensive woes aren't magically over from here on out. I'm going to try my damndest to hope for the best, expect
the worst what I've been seeing week in and week out, and hope that by the time the playoffs come around, Belichick and the coaching staff has the defense playing it's best possible football.
On the plus side, if Talib doesn't work out, it's not like any of us will really be able to notice. He'll just be another number in the secondary that none of us recognize.