Talib: Jones taken reins from White in Atlanta

Talib: Jones taken reins from White in Atlanta
September 26, 2013, 4:15 pm

FOXBORO -- Aqib Talib is the Patriots' top cover cornerback. His size and shutdown ability were evident last week against Vincent Jackson.

This week, he'll have another tough test with the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Julio Jones. Or at least, one would assume that would be the way the Patriots would match it up on Sunday night in Atlanta.

As of Thursday, Talib said he still didn't yet know what the game plan would be, regarding how they would try to stop Jones. At least, he said he didn't know.

Either way, Talib referred to Jones as Atlanta's top receiver, following Thursday's practice.

"When he first came into the league, it still was kind of the Roddy White show over there," said Talib. "Now, Julio kind of took the reins as the number one receiver.

"Don't get me wrong, Roddy White is still in there. He still does his part. But I mean, Julio is kind of their go-to guy right now."

Jones enters the game as the league leader in reception yards, with 373. Talib described his game as "explosive."

"He's a bigger guy, a taller guy, one of those big, tall, fast receivers," said Talib. "He's one of the total packages. So, we definitely got our hands full with Julio."

Safety Devin McCourty will also have to know where Jones is at all times on Sunday night. He described Jones' versatility as a rare attribute, considering his size.

"He's a great receiver," said McCourty. "It's not too often you see a guy with that size be able to run like he does. And they use him in every way possible. They find ways to get him the ball. He's not just a vertical threat. They can throw quick passes to him and he breaks tackles and makes plays that way. So, it's going to be a huge challenge for us as a secondary. We're going to have to compete with him on different throws down the field, and do a good job of tackling him."