Talib Expected To Shadow JacksonSeptember 20th, 2013
Where would the Bucs’ offense be without Vincent Jackson?
It seems the Patriots are going to try and find out.
Per film guru and Patriots beat writer Doug Kyed of NESN, look for helmet-wielding, cabbie-slugging, Adderrall-popping, coach-cussing, referee-charging, pistol-friendly, granny-hassling Aqib Talib to man up on Jackson all over the field Sunday.
Vincent Jackson vs. Aqib Talib: At this point, Talib should be very familiar with Jackson. He was the 6-foot-5, 230-pound receiver’s teammate for the first half of last season, they practiced against each other for a week this summer and they matched up with one another during a preseason game. All that familiarity will likely help Talib more than Jackson. Talib did a nice job against Jackson in the preseason, but the Buccaneers’ receiver had some impressive moments during training camp practice. Talib typically sticks to the left side of the field, but in special circumstances, the Patriots will have him shadow a team’s top receiver. This will likely be one of those situations. Jackson has 12 catches on 24 targets for 231 yards and zero touchdowns this season. Talib has allowed two catches on five targets for 47 yards with two interceptions, according to my own film study.
Joe suspects the Patriots will focus more on taking away Doug Martin and making Josh Freeman beat them. So there should be plenty of opportunities for Jackson.
As for the Talib-Jackson matchup, Joe won’t bet against Jackson, though Talib surely has plenty of familiarity with Freeman’s tendencies.
Joe asked Mike Williams this week whether Talib could talk enough trash on the field to get in the heads of Jackson or Williams. That’s not possible, Williams said.
Williams went on to tell Joe he’s still in regular contact with Talib, one of his early mentors, and that the Bucs have made enough adjustments to the offense where Talib shouldn’t be able to pick up Tampa Bay play calls.