Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib's matchup with Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith certainly got physical on Monday night, but Talib said the confrontation never got personal.
"It's never personal, man." Talib told reporters after Patriots practice on Wednesday. "If I see Steve, it'll be like, 'Hey what's up?' Know what I'm saying?"
Talib drew a personal foul call in the first quarter for continuing to hang on to Smith's leg after a play was over. That boosted a Carolina scoring drive. Numerous times, the hand-fighting and nose-to-nose trash-talking continued well after the whistle.
"It's not like that guy on the Rams," Talib said, referencing St. Louis corner Janoris Jenkins, who reportedly got very personal with his comments to Smith when they met in October. "He's not going to punch me in the face after the game."
Talib came to the Patriots without the best reputation for his behavior in Tampa Bay. His performance Monday led to him being sat down for a play. It's likely he got a talking to about keeping his composure.