Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, and he had positive things to say about the Patriots' acquisition of controversial cornerback Aqib Talib a day earlier.
"I think every trade you make is risk-reward, and you have to evaluate that," Lombardi said. "Clearly, with Talib you've got some issues that have to be handled off the field, and his rap sheet is long and it becomes effective. But I think you have to ask the question: Does it affect him on the field? And I'm not endorsing anything he's done off the field, by no means, but I think you have to ask the fundamental question: Does he like football, is football important to him? And if you can get to that answer correctly -- and I'm not sure anybody has. … The risk is there, but I think the reward far outweighs that."
Looking at where Talib fits in on this Patriots team, Lombardi said the former Buccaneer should make an immediate impact once he completes his suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
"When he finally shows up in Foxboro, he will be by far -- and I say this by far -- the best defensive back on the Patriots team," Lombardi said. "He also has great size. He plays the style of football that Belichick wants: He's very physical at the line of scrimmage, he can jam people, he's tough, he can tackle, he can play big receivers. … You can match this player up on the best receiver for any of those [top AFC] teams and feel like he can take them out of the game and win that matchup. So, I think that certainly is why his talent level is needed in New England."
Lombardi, who worked alongside Bill Belichick with the Browns in the early 1990s, said the coach won't shy away from addressing any issues with Talib when they meet for the first time.
"One of Belichick's great strengths is he doesn't mind confrontation. … He enjoys confrontation," Lombardi said. "I think Bill will lay it out very clearly to him. He'll put it right on the table to him. He'll tell him what he expects without any reservation. And he'll tell him what he wants the kid to do moving forward. And I think if the kid accepts it and listens to it, then obviously it will be a good situation.
"I've read the quotes that the kid made after he was suspended, and I've seen his work ethic this year on the field. Last year he was a disaster with [then Bucs coach] Raheem Morris. This year he looked like he played like football was important to him. What player are they getting? You'd like to think you're getting a guy who wants to prove to everybody he can cover."
Talib isn't expected to have many issues adapting to the Patriots defense.
"I don't think it will be very difficult at all for him," Lombardi said. "He played on either side. … He can play right or left corner. He plays outside corner and he plays jam corner. That fits perfectly into what they do in New England. He's going to get up there with [Alfonzo] Dennard and [as] outside corners now, you've got two guys that will be physical at the line of scrimmage, disrupt the passing game and perhaps be able to take out one of the better receivers, whether it's Denver, Houston or whomever they have to play. So, I think it will be a fairly easy scheme for him to adjust to."
Added Lombardi: "He can flat-out cover."
Head Coach Bill Belichick on Patriots Monday
Former Patriot Heath Evans, now with the NFL Network, joins Dale, Holley and Thornton every Monday for a thorough analysis of the Patriots and the NFL. This week we break down the shutout of Houston, and look ahead to the Bills.
We check in with safety Patrick Chung for a brief visit on Patriots Monday and discuss the win over Houston, and the upcoming game against the Bills.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Dale, Michael and Jerry speak with Sox slugger David Ortiz in his final regular season week of his career. We touch on the 2016 Sox heading into the playoffs, retirement, memories and Jose Fernandez.
Joe and Tim talked to the Sox catcher, who caught 23 strikeouts from Sox pitchers in the extra-inning win in Tampa Bay.
Joe and Tim talk with the Red Sox DH, Big Papi, who provided the only offense for the Sox with a 2-run home run that gave the Red Sox a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
The 6am hour upload from Monday with Mike Mutnansky in with Kirk and Gerry, with first thoughts from the guys on several of the big weekend stories in sports
Who is more important, Brady or Belichick? Tim Hasselbeck is pissed at Kirk and Gerry and Dan Le Batard cried.
Mut, Gerry and Kirk discussed a column ripping Ortiz and Kirk is pissed at Curtis.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian invite Anthony L. Fisher of "The Week" on the show to explain his article where he discusses why David Ortiz is a jerk and a fraud.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian are slightly taken aback by Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback article where Paul Brown, not Bill Belichick is named the greatest Coach of all time.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian discuss the Jimmy G vs. Brady conundrum, and then delve into the atrocious AFC.
We sit down with the head coach of the Patriots Bill Belichick to break down the win over Houston, and look ahead to the Buffalo Bills this Sunday.
Kirk Minihane sits down with the Boston Globes Sports Media Columnist, Chad Finn. Kirk and Chad talk about the long and storied feud between WEEI and the Boston Globe and the ongoing ratings war between WEEI and the Hub.
Kirk and Gerry talk about how the show is going since the departure of John Dennis, how the fill-in hosts have been doing so far, and what they are looking for in a third host.
Kirk Minihane loves TV and movies, he sits down with TV critic and author of the new book "TV (The Book)" Alan Sepinwall to discuss the best TV shows of all-time and which show should be number 1. Kirk and Alan disagree on which show is the best of all-time and they both have compelling arguments. Kirk and Alan talk about "Cheers" being one of the most underrated and forgotten TV shows of all-time.
Thomas and Conor give a breakdown of the BC-Wagner game this weekend and look forward to next week's Buffalo game.
Christian Fauria and Dr Gill talk about Andrew Benintendi's knee sprain and what that will mean going down the stretch, David Ortiz's ability to keep himself healthy at age 40, and how Pablo Sandoval can return from his season off.
After another big win for the Pats on Thursday night, New England rejoices so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson get their thoughts in on the game, the Pats future at Quarterback and the difference between the Patriots organization and everyone else. Then the conversation turns to Fantasy Football featuring the slew of injured Runningbacks and who you need to get and start in their place, including Jerrick McKinnon, Charles Simms and Theo Riddick. The boys wrap it up with a look at solid Starts & Sits from RB to WR to TE. Something for every Fantasy Footballer and Football fan. Make sure you join Jim and Pete on Sunday at 8:00am for the WEEI Fantasy Football Hour.
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