Patriots safety Aqib Talib ‘excited to help’

The Patriots’ newest defensive player Aqib Talib will play his first game with the team this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

John Tlumacki / Globe Staff

The Patriots’ newest defensive player Aqib Talib will play his first game with the team this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

FOXBOROUGH -- Cornerback Aqib Talib, acquired Nov. 1 in a trade deadline deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a 2013 fourth-round draft pick, met with the local media for the first time Thursday at Gillette Stadium and expressed hope of putting his checkered past behind him.

“I just want to come in and learn as quick as possible and work hard and see what I can do to help the team,’’ Talib said, smiling broadly as he stood in front of his locker.


Talib, who was serving a four-game NFL suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, wasn’t eligible to join the team for practices or meetings until after his suspension was lifted Monday. He arrived Foxborough that day and met with coach Bill Belichick, and participated in Wednesday’s practice session in sweats and shells, wearing No. 31.

Asked if Belichick ever told him he was coming into a clean-slate situation, Talib replied, “We kinda just talked straight football. He didn’t bring up the past and I didn’t bring up the past. He didn’t bring up the future. I didn’t bring up the future.

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“He just kind of told me to take it one day at a time.’’

As for his initial impressions of Belichick, Talib said, “Getting the chance to know him, I mean, it let me have a new perspective on him. But he’s a great guy and a great coach and he’s about his business. He definitely knows how to win ballgames.’’

Brought aboard to help a leaky Patriots secondary, Talib was asked if he was excited for the opportunity, especially with impressive rookie quarterback Andrew Luck leading the 6-3 Colts to town for Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium.


“I’m just excited to help, man,’’ Talib said. “I’m excited to be a part of this organization. A great organization like this, I’m excited that Bill gave me this chance to come in here and help.’’

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