There are a lot of questions regarding Aqib Talib since the Patriots traded for him, just not many answers.
That should change now that the cornerback's suspension was lifted Monday by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
After giving reporters little on his conference call last week, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia finally surrendered his initial impressions this Tuesday.
"I had the opportunity to meet with him yesterday and just get caught up a little bit. That was all good," Patricia said. "Obviously were evaluating as the week goes, but were excited to get going with this week and get ready for Indianapolis. Well certainly see how that goes. But as far as getting a chance to get to know him, it was great. Professional, the guys been in the league, so no problems there."
Part of the hubbub surrounding Talib involves the fact New England made a move at all. The NFL's trade deadline is notoriously quiet. For the Patriots to go after a veteran cornerback -- and a wildcard because of off-field issues -- signals acquiescence to the serious needs of the secondary.
Last year the pass defense gave up the second-most yards in the league at 293.9 per game. Apparently, rising to No. 29 (285.3 average yards allowed) after another half a year isn't good enough after all.
It's hard to imagine Talib won't help.
But it won't be because the job is easy. Patricia was asked if cornerback is an easier position for a traded player to slide into. As to why, the reporter pointed to the independent work, the isolated match ups that are covered there.
Patricia sees it differently.
"I wouldnt really say hes an individual working on his own because as a defensive unit youre going to work together as an entire group because all the pieces work together in a scheme," he explained. "Its different for every position. If youre in the middle between two guys at linebacker and youre trying to communicate to both ends, its going to be a different dynamic than if youre to a particular side where youre communicating to one or two players inside of you right or left. Its obviously all a little bit different.
"I dont really think you can say that any position in the NFL is easy to step into. Obviously all the positions have fundamental skills and techniques along with different scheme responsibilities. They all have quite a bit of work that goes into playing them."
After a long wait, Talib hit the books this week. He'll see how it all translates on the field at Wednesday's practice.
As for how fast he learns, where he lines up, and how well he fits in with the Patriots . . . Those questions could be answered Sunday.