The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are heading into the 2012 season with a complete overhaul of the coaching staff with much of the roster changed as well. Veteran CB Aqib Talib is looking forward to the new environment surrounding the new team and is currently being mentored by Buccaneers great, Derrick Brooks.
Talib was facing a possible prison sentence this offseason while facing felony gun charges which stemmed from an incident in Texas last offseason during the NFL lockout. Shortly before he was scheduled to go to trial, charges against Talib were dropped by the Dallas County State Attorney’s office. Despite the fact that charges have been dropped, there has been no official word from the league office regarding a possible suspension. Given the fact that the incident occurred during the NFL lockout, it remains the be seen if the league office will suspend Talib.
Talib has stated that he has re-focused his attention to playing football and embraces the new atmosphere surrounding the Buccaneers under rookie head coach Greg Schiano. Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times, Talib said, “What I wasn’t used to is the looseness (under Raheem Morris). This is right back to what I’m used to.”
Talib was drafted in the first-round by the Buccaneers in 2008. Coming out of Kansas, there were character issues surrounding Talib. The run-in with the law last offseason was not his first. Talib received a one-game suspension from the league after punching a taxicab driver in 2009.
Talib has more to play for this season than just focusing on football. He is playing in the final year of his rookie contract and will be a free agent next season. His future with the Buccaneers hangs in the balance with 2012 serving as an audition under Greg Schiano.
Schiano does not consider any of the issues surrounding Talib in his past to weigh on the decision the team might make on whether or not to keep him after this season. The coach told reporters that he believes Talib will be starting with a clean slate this season and he needs to produce on the field.