Dating back to last season, most notably their Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants, the Patriots have been known for their inability to stop the big play down field. Opposing quarterbacks have had little to no trouble executing on long passing plays and beating the New England secondary. The Patriots are going to attempt to fix that problem with a recent trade for Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib.
In addition to Talib, New England will also receive a seventh-round draft pick in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Talib will have to wait a game before his Patriots debut as he is still serving a suspension for performance-enhancing substances. There is no hiding his past on and off the field issues, but the Patriots are in a situation where a risk of his talent is something they are willing to gamble on.
When your secondary is as inconsistent as New England’s there is an urgency to jump at a chance to grab a former overall number 20 pick in the draft. He is not your prototypical corner, standing at 6-1 and 205 pounds, but that may be exactly what this Patriots defense needs. Although he may be a larger than normal corner, Talib is still known for his excellent coverage and ball skills. His 18 career interceptions are a good example of what he can do when on the field.
The question now will be is Talib a Patriots-type player? Will he fit into the Bill Belichick system of play? We all know the examples of success with players like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss (for the most part), so there is no reason the 5th-year corner can’t adapt to the business of being a New England Patriot with success.