Aqib Talib was never afraid to speak his mind over the course of his NFL career. Although he’s been out of the league for a year now, the former All-Pro cornerback and Super Bowl champion remains as vocal as ever.
This past season, Talib had the chance to work as a color commentator for Fox Sports. It wasn’t just a great experience for him, it was a nice change of pace for fans listening at home.
While it’s unclear if Talib will return to Fox’s broadcast booth in 2021, fans will be able to hear him talk about football on his new podcast, which is part of The Volume network, Colin Cowherd’s newly-found company.
With the Super Bowl just around the corner, Aqib Talib sat down with The Spun to share his thoughts on the marquee matchup featuring Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, the Jared Goff trade, playing for Bill Belichick, and so much more.
The Spun: Before we get into NFL talk I want to ask you about your recent move, joining Volume Sports Network with your podcast ‘Catchin Fades’ with Aqib Talib’. Why was now the time to make that move?
Aqib Talib: Honestly, Colin reached out to me. He gave me a rundown of the podcast network he was creating, and I respect the heck out of Colin, so I just wanted to be a part of it. I know it’s going to be dope and I know the weight behind it. It’s something I definitely wanted to be a part of. It wasn’t interfering with my current podcast that I already have going on, so it was a perfect fit.
— AqibTalib21 (@AqibTalib21) February 1, 2021
The Spun: We got the Super Bowl this Sunday. You played with Tom Brady for a couple of seasons. What makes him so special?
AT: I think he just wants to be the greatest, man. When you want to be the greatest you’re never satisfied. He always finds something to spark him and make him the underdog. I think that chip on his shoulder never goes away. It’s the same s**t that [Michael] Jordan had. You watch Jordan and you’re like ‘He already has five chips,’ but he’s over there like ‘Okay, one more. I got to do it again.’ They’re just addicted to being great. That starts with your habits, coming to work every day and never getting tired of the grind.
The Spun: There are a lot of debates going on about Bill Belichick and Brady. Who deserves more credit for New England’s dynasty?
AT: I mean if we talking about their nine Super Bowl appearances together, I honestly think it could’ve been done without both of them. It’s a quarterback-driven league – You have to have a quarterback who’s almost a coach on the field to have that kind of run. At the same time, eight chips, that’s a bunch of different teams with a bunch of different egos. That’s teams with Randy Moss on them, [Rob] Gronkowski on them, [Wes] Welker there, [Julian] Edelman here. There’s a bunch of different guys who come through that building.
In order to keep that building running a certain way, the leader of that building has to be a great leader. I was in that building, and when I was there Bill was that leader. It wasn’t like Tom was in there being the vocal leader – it was always Bill. So, in order to keep the ship sailing the same way, I think Bill was super important on the vibe of building. That’s what I call the ‘Patriot Way,’ s**t, the vibe of the building. What Tom was doing was the ‘Patriot Way,’ too. No matter who I am or what accolades got, I’m always treating myself like this s**t can be gone tomorrow. And that’s how Bill treated everyone in the building and how everyone acted in the building. I definitely think they went hand in hand.
"The Patriot way is the Patriot way man
It don't matter who you is.. We expect you to know your job, not play around in this media, & be on time…
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 3, 2021
The Spun: Some players around the league say it’s hard to play for Belichick. Your take on that would be?
AT: He was one of the smartest coaches I ever played for. Just dealing with him as far as football is concerned, he was super smart. He knew how to take away whatever you did best. He came up with different ways to guard guys. We [the Patriots were probably the first to put their No. 1 cornerback on the second receiver and put his No. 2 cornerback on the No. 1 receiver with a safety over the top. It doesn’t sound like too much, but Bill was the first one to do it.
As far as running that building, he was a great leader. He knew when to say something to the big-name guys, he knew when to say stuff to the free agent-type guys. He made everyone feel like they’re in the same playing field. If a rookie free agent is balling like a motherf***er in practice, he probably is going to be playing in the game. Everyone knew they had a shot – it wasn’t like other places where I went and no matter how good this guy was they’re not going to put him in the game because of politics. It was never like that in New England. The best people were going to play, for sure. The players respect it.
The Spun: I have to bother you a bit. You still look in great shape and you’re only 34 years old. Would you ever consider coming back for one more season?
AT: Oh I’m retired-retired. I’m not even mentally ready to go through that grind – it’s a super mental grind. That’s why I hung my cleats up, I was burnt out. In order to be the type of player that I was you have to put some hours in. I don’t have the energy for that anymore. I’m done-done.
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) February 5, 2021
The Spun: You said on your podcast that Patrick Mahomes does things no other quarterback can do. Can he catch Brady as the greatest of all time?
AT: It can be done. If Tom [Brady] did it, it can be done again. But it’s a lot of work to do. We’re talking about a lot of ifs and chips [championships]. It can be done, but until he gets to like four or five Super Bowls, it isn’t something to talk about yet.
The Spun: Jared Goff was recently traded. You were teammates in Los Angeles and made a Super Bowl together. What’d you think about the move?
AT: Personally, I think they gave up on JG [Jared Goff] early. I look at it like: he didn’t go to the playoffs his first year, made the playoffs in his second year, made the Super Bowl in his third year, his fourth year he didn’t go to the playoffs, and his fifth year he was right back in the mix with the big-time NFC teams. I feel like that’s pointing fingers. You get rid of the quarterback, but you don’t change anything else? You’re pointing fingers at this guy and saying you think it’s his fault you didn’t get over the hump. I feel like they gave up too early. And then you go to a quarterback who has less playoff wins than Jared Goff with double the experience. I guess we’ll see – time will tell what kind of decision it is. I would’ve stuck with him [Goff]. He doesn’t have a bad résumé. He’s been in the NFL five years and has been to the playoffs in three of those years and the Super Bowl in one of them. Who knows, next season might have been their year. There were more problems than Jared Goff, in my opinion.
"I don't think I was there long enough to really know their relationship, shit I'm trying to build my own relationship… It looked cool to me it didn't look fucked up or nothing"@AqibTalib21 on the relationship between Goff & McVay while he was wit the #Rams #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/sQTLYwIXWT
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 3, 2021
The Spun: Who’s the best cornerback in the game right now?
AT: That’s a tough one, man. There are guys who do different stuff. Definitely, [Stephon] Gilmore is toward the top. You have Xavien Howard, who is among the top at shadowing guys and getting picks. You also got my little bro out there, Marcus Peters. He’s going to make plays every game for you. Can’t forget [Jalen] Ramsey either. If I had to pick one, I’d probably go with Jalen. I can do the most with Jalen – he can play zone, man, he can tackle, and he has that confident energy that spreads through the team.
The Spun: You were in the broadcast booth for a few games last season. Will we get to see you call more games for Fox Sports in 2021?
AT: I hope [so]. I know we were going back to the table in the offseason, but I don’t know what they got planned. I know I love to do it. Doing those two games almost made me fall in love with the process again. That’s what I retired for, but I fell in love with the process again because I just have to put on a suit and call the game. I enjoyed that it kept me around the game and gave me that game-day rush that I love. I hope we do see me back in the booth in the future.
The Spun: What’s your Super Bowl prediction?
AT: I think Mahomes takes that second ring. Not saying the Bucs don’t have a good team, but I just can’t bet against the Chiefs right now. That team, the plays they make on defense, the guys they got on offense, and the play-caller they got in ‘Big Red’ [Andy Reid]. I’m a huge Andy Reid fan and I think he’ll have a lot to do with Mahomes getting that second championship.
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) February 2, 2021
Talib had an incredible run in the NFL, finishing with 462 tackles, 125 pass deflections, 35 interceptions and 10 defensive touchdowns. And yet, the next chapter of his life might be even more successful.
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