Patricia: Getting to know Talib is 'great'

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Patricia: Getting to know Talib is 'great'

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.

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker - now an "NFL Today" analyst for CBS - Bart Scott usually "can't wait" to make his disdain for Tom Brady and the Patriots known. 

He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.

“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.

“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”

More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.

"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while rooting for “Manchester By the Sea” to upset some favorites at the Oscars.

*Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews top the annual NHL coaches' poll produced by TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.

*The oral history of Fox’s glowing puck used for the NHL during their run with the league is an entertaining one.

*Mike Babcock gives pep talks to the reporters along with his own players while running the show in Toronto.

*The Vegas Golden Knights are moving forward with their timetable toward hiring a coach with some good candidates out there now, and some other ones potentially available soon. I’ve wondered if Claude Julien would be interested in that spot if he’s let go by the Bruins this season, but the one sure thing is that he wouldn’t be out of work long if he is relieved of his duties.

*Claude Giroux needs to start playing a little more fearlessly and without dwelling on mistakes, according to his general manager.

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t believe that fancy stats and analytics have had a major impact on the way the Wings do things.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the rundown on a Millenial’s dream of performers at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game: Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen.

*For something completely different: keeping an eye on the notion that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is going to run for President.