Aqib Talib Is Confident In His Return To Tampa Bay To Take On The Buccaneers As A Bronco

This week, Aqib Talib returns to take on the team who drafted him in 2008. The Pro Bowl cornerback shared his thoughts on the game this week.

Cornerback Aqib Talib was once known by fans as the cornerback for the New England Patriots before he joined Denver as a free agent in 2014. However, most won’t remember that he initially broke into the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when he was drafted by the team out of the University of Kansas in 2008.

With the Denver Broncos on tap to travel to Hurricane Alley this weekend, Talib was asked Wednesday if he had any special memories about his time in Tampa. 

“I have a bunch of great memories. I bought my first house out there — hated to sell it," Talib said. "I held on to it as long as I could. I have so many memories. I loved my time in Tampa. Definitely, you’ve fallen in love with the city. I remember being on that big ole billboard. I’d come down there and see myself on the big billboard. There are a lot of good memories going back to that place.” Fellow No Fly Zone member, safety T.J. Ward, also gave some insight on to some of the emotions that might be going through the Pro Bowl cornerback’s mind when the Broncos step on the field vs. the Bucs. 

“You really don’t know what type of reception you’re going to get," Ward said. "It’s always good to go back to where you started. Actually, my first NFL game is in Tampa my rookie year. That was my first NFL experience, first regular season game, so I have a lot of memories from that game. Its’ great to go back to where you started if you’re a good player and you treated the city right you should get love, but if you weren’t…. it’s going to be good for Talib.”

During his time with the Bucs, Talib would standout early and often, collecting 18 interceptions and starting 45 games in his five years with the team. The play-maker, who has a penchant for taking those picks back to the house, would take three back for scores during his time in Pewter and Red.

Good times and memories aside, it’ll be all business when the two teams take the field. Talib didn’t mince words when he was asked about his observations of the Tampa Bay offense, led by rising stars Jameis Winston and wideout Mike Evans.

"Confidence. I see a confident quarterback, he’s confident in his arm and he’s trying to make all of the throws," Talib said. "He’s trying to make every throw he can make. He’s confident in (WR) Mike (Evans) to come down with the ball so there’s a lot of confidence in the offense." As always, the former Jayhawk great spoke with self-assurance that he and his fellow defensive teammates will go out and shut down the young tandem of Winston and Evans.

"We’re going to play our game," Talib said. "Whether they throw it 60 times, we’re as excited this week as we were last week. Any time that we’re out there with our real game unfirms on with 70,00 watching us and millions on TV, we’re excited.”

Mike Evans is a big, talented up-and-comer in the league. As Talib usually takes on the opposing team's most physical wideout, look for him to be matched up on Evans for the majority of the game. 

If Talib is able to bottle up Evans, like he did to a similar receiver in A.J. Green last week, it’ll go towards making another happy memory in Tampa Bay, this time though, with a Broncos win.

Adam Uribes is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @auribes37.

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