By Kyra Hallett
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made several changes in the off season, including letting go veteran tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. and safety Tanard Jackson. Those two were released after the Bucs signed new head coach, Greg Schiano. It became very obvious very quickly that Schiano doesn’t mess around or put up with anything. Many speculated that Jackson’s release would lead to cornerback Aqib Talib’s release. Both Jackson and Talib had been suspended several times due to various reasons, but Talib stayed.
On October 13 Talib was suspended again.This time for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs and was suspended immediately for four games. Talib tested positive for Adderall and will be reinstated on November 5.
Talib admitted to his mistake.
“Around the beginning of training camp, I made a mistake by taking an Adderall pill without a prescription. This is especially regrettable because, for the past several months, with Coach Schiano’s help, I’ve worked very hard to improve myself — professionally and personally — as a player and a man. I am truly sorry to my teammates, coaches and Buccaneers fans, and I’m disappointed in myself. I will work diligently every day of this suspension to stay in top football shape and be ready to help this team in the second half of the season. I have chosen to be immediately accountable for the situation I put myself in, which is why I will not exercise my appeal rights and will begin serving the suspension immediately.”
In 2011, he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon when he fired a gun and pistol whipped his sister’s boyfriend during an incident outside his sister’s home in Texas. The charges were later dropped.
In 2010, Talib was charged with simple battery after he punched a cab driver. He reached a civil settlement with the cab driver but was suspended for opening day for violating the league’s conduct policy.
Schiano had this to say after learning about the suspension: “We are disappointed to learn that Aqib Talib will be suspended for four games, which will begin with our game (October 14) against Kansas City. I have spoken with Aqib, and he knows that he made a poor decision that let our team down. Certainly, other players will have the opportunity to step up while he serves this suspension.”
On Sunday, versus the Kansas City Chiefs, E.J. Biggers took his spot. Biggers was the one that took over for him in the past seasons. Talib was having a good season with 21 tackles and one interception.
Some have thought this last incident could be Talib’s last as a Buc, but Schiano plans to bring him back. “I can just tell our fans and all the people that care about this that we are going to do what’s best for the organization, so you’ve got to just trust us on this one,” said Schiano. “I say it all the time to the team, things change day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month. I can’t tell you exactly how things are going to be a month from now.”
Talib played his college ball at Kansas. He entered the NFL draft as a junior and was taken in the first round, 20th overall in the 2008 daft by the Bucs. He signed a five-year, rookie contract and this is his final year in the contract.
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Kyra Hallett is a freelance writer and a Multimedia Sports Journalist. She has experience covering Tampa Bay sports in many outlets including Examiner.com. Her dream job would be to work with the athletes and their fans. You can view some of her work at KyraHallett.com or here at Examiner.com.