Arrington on Talib: It's like he's been here all season

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Arrington on Talib: It's like he's been here all season

FOXBORO -- Anticipation has been building in New England since the Patriots traded for Aqib Talib. Though it's hard yet to say how much the veteran cornerback can help patch up the team's porous secondary, his presence should indeed be positive.
A clearer picture will form after this weekend's matchup with Indianapolis. Talib's teammates did well to continue cranking up expectations on Friday, though.
"He has a few things you just can't see," said cornerback Kyle Arrington. "He's 6-1, 6-2, whatever he is; fluid; and he's just a good player. Can't speak highly enough about him."
For the record, Talib is listed at 6-1. He is one of only two defensive backs on New England's 53-man roster who's taller than 6-0 (safety Tavon Wilson is the other). With NFL receivers seemingly getting bigger by the year, a cornerback's height can't be discounted.
But Arrington sounded more impressed by Talib's intangibles.
"Can't talk highly enough about his work ethic, as well. He's one of the first ones here and the last to leave. You reporters talk about all the time he's definitely buying into the 'Patriot Way,'" Arrington said, smiling as he wrapped air quotes around the famous phrase.
It's early to make judgments; Friday marked only the third practice for Talib. But despite knowing there isn't one Patriot in the locker room who would utter a bad word about another, it's worth noting what, exactly, they're saying.
Arrington went as far as to note it feels like Talib has been in New England all season.
Safety Steve Gregory was just as enthusiastic.
"Aqib's a great player," he stated. "He's in the process of really trying to pick up the system, and get out there and get a feel for what we're doing, and it's fun to have him around. He's a great athlete, he covers well, and it's great to have him around."
Gregory said Talib's veteran status has catalyzed the transition. By now, playing in his fifth season, the corner has a strong grasp of terminologies and schemes, which puts him ahead on the learning curve.
"He's doing a really great job so far," Gregory concluded. "He's a smart football player and he seems to be picking it up really fast, so that's a good thing."
Finding out just how good? That starts with Indianapolis on Sunday.

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

CBS interviewed Patriots coach Bill Belichick and 1960 Heisman winner Joe Bellino from Navy as part of its Army-Navy Game coverage Saturday.

Belichick's father, Steve, was an assistant coach at Navy when Bellino played there, and little Bill, then 7, took it all in. So much so, that 57 years later, Belichick can still diagram the 27 F Trap play that his dad used to drew up in the 1959 season for Bellino.

More from NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk here.

 

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while doing some early Christmas shopping ahead of the late rush. 

*Mike Zeisberger sits down with a quartet of NHL governors and discusses a number of hot topics including the Vegas franchise and scoring around the league. 

*Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has been removed from the NHL Board of Governor’s Executive Committee amid rumors that the Canes might be a prime candidate for relocation. 

*Pierre McGuire weighs in on Connor McDavid’s war of words on the ice and Carey Price losing his mind in the crease against the New Jersey Devils. To that end, Wayne Gretzky liked seeing McDavid get a little combative at such a young age. 

*The New York Islanders signed Cal Clutterbuck to a five year contract extension, and some are skeptical it will turn out well for the Isles.

*David Pastrnak is a premier scoring threat in the league, and Scott Cullen has some details behind that. I will say this: his stock falling in the draft had less to do with his size or heaviness, and more to do with him being concussed for a long stretch of time during the year leading up to the draft. 

*The Florida Panthers are really struggling to stay positive with a 1-5-0 record since the ownership group and management decided to fire Gerard Gallant. 

*For something completely different: Baywatch stars then and now.