Talib hopes to make most of opportunity with Patriots

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Talib hopes to make most of opportunity with Patriots

FOXBORO -- Aqib Talib smiled wide as he approached his new locker at Gillette Stadium. There was a hoard of media members crowded around, anticipating his arrival.

"I was waiting for it," Talib said of the attention he received. "I knew what was coming. I got the heads up."

The crowd on Sunday at Gillette Stadium will be bigger, and all eyes will be glued to the new Patriots cornerback to see if he will be able to contribute immediately to the team's pass defense, which ranks as the fourth-worst in the league in pass yards allowed per game (285.3).

For his part, Talib wouldn't say what his role will be against the Colts, only that he's ready for anything.

"Just coming in to learn quick as possible," he said. "Work hard and see what I can do to help the team. I'm just coming in and doing what's asked to be done. If that's help right away, I'll help right away. If that's help down the road, I'll help down the road. I'm just coming in, doing what's asked to be done."

One area in which it appears as though he's already up to speed: He has Patriots Speak down pat. Not bad for a player who was only able to have contact with the team starting on Monday after serving a four-game suspension for using performance enhancers.

He was traded from the Buccaneers to the Patriots just before the trade deadline two weeks ago in exchange for a New England fourth-round pick.

Talib said that when he met with coach Bill Belichick, the two did not discuss the 26-year-old's checkered past.

"We kinda just talked straight football," Talib said. "He didn't bring up the past, I didn't bring up the past. He didn't bring up the future, I didn't bring up the future. We're kinda just taking it one day at a time."

His new Patriots teammates have embraced him. Quarterback Tom Brady made a point to introduce himself and offer whatever help he could.

Brady said he's liked what he's seen from Talib in the two practices they've had together.

"Yeah, hes been competing hard out there," Brady said. "Its good work for us. Hes been fun to have out there. Ive had a few conversations with him. Well see. Hopefully he can help."

His defensive teammates hope so, too. And though Talib is still in the process of getting caught up with a new scheme, they think he's capable of chipping in soon.

"I think he'll do a real good job for us," Vince Wilfork said. "Hopefully he will. He's a hell of a player so. We brought him in for a reason and that's to help this ball club. Hopefully he can do that. We got a bunch of good guys in here that want to win and have a passion for this game. Hopefully that shows Sunday and we continue to win because that's what it's about at the end of the day."

"He's come in an he's tried to learn all the schemes," Jerod Mayo said, "and he's studied a lot of film and he's learning the Colts. And that's all you can ask for."

Talib has played a lot of man coverage in his five year career, but he says he's comfortable in zone packages as well. Again, he said whatever the team asks of him, he'll do.

"For a corner, you can almost play for any team," he said. "It's football. You gonna play one of eight coverages. I've done it all before. I'm just doing what's being called out there."

Now the Patriots just need to see if he can be an improvement over some of the other players they've tried in the secondary this season.

Talib's hopeful to make the most of his chance.

"It's a great opportunity with a great organization," he said. "Just to come in and do what I can to help win some ball games."

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz 'made one pitch that hurt' Red Sox

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz 'made one pitch that hurt' Red Sox

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

QUOTES:

"He pitched as we had anticipated at the time of the trade.'' - John Farrell on Drew Pomeranz.

"I had a good curveball and I was locating my fastball a lot better. I was in a lot better counts all night, but I made one pitch that hurt us.'' - Pomeranz on his outing.

"He was able to limit the damage against a very good offensive team. He pitched well enough to win. I just wish we could have put more runs on the board for him.'' - Jackie Bradley Jr. on Pomeranz.

 

NOTES:

* Until Monday night, the Red Sox had won their last six series openers.

* Drew Pomeranz has allowed four or fewer hits in 12 of his 18 starts this season.

* Eleven of Travis Shaw's last 15 hits have been for extra bases.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. had his 25th multi-hit game.

* Sandy Leon is hitting .500 (11-for-22) with runners in scoring position.

* The Red Sox are 21-21 in games decided by two or fewer runs.

* Dustin Pedroia (walk, single) has reached base in 28 straight games.

* Xander Bogaerts has 133 hits through 97 games. Since 1940, only Wade Boggs (134 in 1983; 135 in 1987) and Adrian Gonzalez (135 in 2011) had more.

STARS:

1) Justin Verlander

Verlander has enjoyed a bounce-back season of sorts this year, and the Red Sox got to see it up close Monday night as Verlander limited them a single run over six innings.

2) Jose Iglesias

The former Red Sox shortstop haunted his old team with a two-run homer in the sixth to put the Tigers ahead to stay.

3) Drew Pomeranz

The lefty absorbed the loss, but pitched well enough to win, giving up two runs in six innings while striking out seven.