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Aqib Talib Conference Call Transcript

Posted Dec 11, 2013

New England Patriots CB Aqib Talib addresses the Miami media during his conference call on Wednesday, December 11, 2013.

Q: When you play a team like the Dolphins whose backs are against the wall and they have to win to stay alive in the playoff hunt, is there a danger in playing a team that is so desperate?

AT: It’s football, man. I mean, whether your back’s against the wall or you’re undefeated, you’re going to come out to win the game. So, we’re going to prepare to win the game as we normally do, no matter who we play. That’s how we are going to prepare for the week and that’s how we are going to come out and play.

Q: How do you view the way Ryan Tannehill has played this season? He had some success against you in the first half of the previous meeting, but you were able to shut him out in the second half of that game. Do you view him as a guy that is on the rise?

AT: We see him as a quarterback in this league that is getting better. He’s working, man, and you can definitely see the improvements with them winning four of the last six games or something like that. You can just see it. You saw it last year, you see it this year. So that’s how we view him, man; as a quarterback on the up, [on the] rise. He improves every week.

Q: What’s one thing Tannehill does well?

AT: I think he makes quick decisions. He gets the ball out of his hand, he makes quick decisions and he uses the weapons that they put around them.

Q: What kind of attention does Charles Clay get from a defense?

AT: It’s tricky because they have weapons on the outside. They have a speed guy like [Mike] Wallace on the outside. They have a great route runner and a speedy guy like [Brian] Hartline. Both of those guys [are on] the outside, and then you have him [Clay] on the inside. He tends to get less attention, but you see what happens when he gets less attention. He comes out and he’s their leading receiver. So, he definitely demands more attention.

Q: The Patriots have had an unbelievable amount of injuries on both sides of the ball, and then another injury this past week with Rob Gronkowski. How have you held it together?

AT: It’s just work. The preparation makes up for a lot of stuff. You lose those bodies man, it just makes you have to work harder in the classroom, more guys have to step in and learn their stuff at a fast rate. They have to just hop right in and learn it and count on the guys around them to help them out, and if they’re wrong, you’ve got to make them right.

Q: Have you ever played for a coach who is as detail oriented at getting you prepared for a game as Bill Belichick?

AT: Never, never. We go down – we are so detailed around here and it definitely pays off. I’ve never played for a coach like that.

Q: Brian Hartline doesn’t get the national media attention that someone like Mike Wallace does, but can you talk about his skill set and the plays that he makes?

AT: I think he plays at one speed. He runs his slants, his fades, his comebacks – he gives the same speed, and then he [does] everything off that same speed. There are a lot of guys when they run their comebacks, they run slow outside and then run the comeback, or you know when they’re running that fade because they’re running their fastest when they release. I think he [does] a great job of disguising his routes by playing at one speed.

Q: Mike Wallace’s main weapon is speed, but what makes him so dangerous?

AT: It’s definitely his speed. When you have a guy that can run like that, man, that opens up all the other routes for you because you have to respect that deep ball.

Q: What makes a team more dangerous, when they have one guy like Calvin Johnson who can just kill you anytime, or you have a team like the Dolphins who have three guys with the capability of going over 100 yards receiving?

AT: I think it balances out, because with a guy like, like you said, with a Megatron-type team you kind of focus on one guy, and a team like [Miami] you have to kind of pick your poison. Who’s going to get the one-on-one matchup? You’ve kind of got to pick, you can’t double everybody. So I think it kind of balances out as far as the difficult teams and preparing for those teams.