Aqib Talib doesn't beat around the bush. He doesn't spout the company line or flounder in cliches. The truth is, the Denver Broncos — who not so long ago were 10-2 and in control of the AFC's No. 1 seed — have yet to clinch a playoff berth, by virtue of their back-to-back losses.
With two games left on the regular season schedule, every game is now a playoff game. The Broncos are feeling the pressure.
While some players and coaches are unwilling to level with you and acknowledge it, Aqib Talib comes straight out and addresses the elephant in the room.
“It's football," Talib said Wednesday. "If you're not feeling pressure, then you're not active. You're not participating. I mean there is pressure all the time. You come Week 1, the first week of the season, if you're an undrafted free agent and you've got a family to take care of, there is pressure all around in this sport. Week-in, week-out, it's pressure. We're used to playing with that pressure. It's go time. The closer you get to the end of the year, the closer you get to the tournament, the deeper you get in the tournament, it's more pressure. That's common sense.”
“He's throwing the deep ball real well.," Talib said. "He's throwing those fades real well. I haven't watched too much of him yet, but so far from what I've seen, he's completing a lot of deep balls. He's hitting a lot of deep balls on the money.”
At 6-foot-1, Talib has the length and power to match up well with the NFL's big-bodied receivers, like A.J. Green. Talib will likely spend much of this coming Monday night matched up on Green one-on-one. He knows it's a formidable matchup.
“He's one of the top receivers in the league—size, speed, talent—one of the best," Talib said. "Whatever challenge one of the best presents, that's what he presents.”
Talib is coming hot off the news that he made his third career Pro Bowl. For his part, he thinks more of his defensive brethren should have been voted to the NFL All-Star game, even though all four of the Broncos selections came from that side of the ball.
“Yeah, we feel like we had some legit guys—interior of our D-line, interior of our linebackers and the interior of our secondary," Talib said. "None of those guys got to go, but I'm sure some guys probably go as alternates and stuff like that. It is what it is, but we feel like we should have had more go on D of course.”
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Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.