clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Aqib Talib named Defensive Back of the Year by NFL Alumni

Despite missing part of the year because of a suspension and an injury, Talib was seen as the best defensive back in the NFL by NFL Alumni. The third-year pro had his best season of his young career, and was an important part of the Bucs defense. His stellar played freed up Raheem Morris to be more creative with his defense and take more risks. Despite being beaten for long touchdowns a couple of times early in the season, he had a very good year. What impressed me most about his play this year was his physicality. He was a willing and vicious tackler, taking out ball carriers' legs with regularity and with that aspect he turned into a complete cornerback. 

Despite serving a one-game suspension to start the year for an incident where he allegedly hit a cab driver, several offseason reports claimed that Talib had turned it around and grown up, taking his craft more seriously. Reportedly he emerged as a leader for the defense, and he certainly showed his emotions on the field. He repotedly even got in a verbal confrontation with a referee after the loss to the Ravens, but the league never publicly determined that inappropriate behavior had taken place. 

However, despite his stellar play this year I can't agree with the selection by the NFL Alumni. While Talib was good, it's hard to see someone who missed 5 games as the Defensive Back of the Year. Besides that, Tramon Williams had a better as a veritable shutdown corner, and he didn't miss a game. He will also be playing in the Super Bowl tomorrow. 

This is the first post-season award that any Buccaneer has won, as Raheem Morris came in second to Bill Belichick in Coach of the Year voting, Mike Williams came in second to Sam Bradford in Offensive Rookie of the Year votes and lost to Ndamukong Suh for the Pepsi Rookie of the Year vote. However, the fact that Bucs are even considered for these awards shows that their season has not gone unnoticed.