Los Angeles Rams 90-Man Roster Preview: Cornerback Aqib Talib

Los Angeles Rams Aqib Talib
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Aqib Talib has been one of the most dynamic cornerbacks in the NFL. It’s why the Los Angeles Rams traded for Talib in last year’s offseason to pair with fellow trade acquisition Marcus Peters. Talib has battled some injuries and it’s likely the reason for his slight drop off in production. Talib is in the last year of his contract. The future seems very murky in regards to Talib and his defensive coordinator Wade Phillips following their contracts. However, it’s all about 2019 in these pieces and so let’s take a look at what we can expect for Talib this season.

2018 Season

Aqib Talib kicked off his career with the Los Angeles Rams with two solid performances and a 2-0 team record. Week three versus the Chargers in the battle for LA, Talib forced a fumble but unfortunately, he also was injured in that game. Talib’s ankle injury sustained in that game sidelined him until week 12 of the regular season. Although one couldn’t have expected Peters to unravel without Talib like the way he did.

Talib’s 2018 season had plenty of ups and downs but getting to the Super Bowl was a huge gamechanger for the year. Talib only played in eight games for the Rams in what was an extremely highly anticipated fit or story.

Roster Battle

There isn’t one to speak of for Aqib Talib. This is the final season on Talib’s contract and the Rams expect to play it out and let him start next to Marcus Peters. Could there be a battle if he returns to the team on another contract? Down the line yes, however, at this time there is no roster battle for the Pro Bowl talent Talib.

Three Plays On Film

Aqib Talib didn’t get to play a ton in 2019 but this was a big-time game-changing play. The Eagles are going down to pretty much end the game here on a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Talib sits on the route while knowing he has help in the end zone and he jumps the route. The speed he displays after this interception is just one of the many things that make Talib so special.

This isn’t a great throw by Dak Prescott but Aqib Talib takes this interception 103 yards after breaking a tackle. This is prime Aqib Talib and this is the type of player the Rams had in mind when they traded for him. The opportunity to score points with your defense is important, Talib is one of the best at doing that.

Talib’s length at 6-foot-3 helps him in many situations but for such a big cornerback, the man shouldn’t be able to move around the field like this. This right here is a great play as he jumps the route and lays out for the interception. If Talib gets his hands on the pass, it’s more than likely going to be an interception. He does not drop many passes.

Biggest Question?

Will the 33-year-old Talib take a step back in 2019?

That is the question because Talib has been battling injuries and he is 33. One might think Talib could start to feel the wear and tear soon. If he hasn’t already. However, he has looked very good in training camp and his presence made the defense better just by being there last year. I do expect Talib to fall off eventually if he sticks around but I don’t believe he is going to stick around. I ultimately think Talib will end up retiring after this season. He just feels like someone who would want to retire on top. This Rams team could very well be on top after the season concludes.

2019 Outlook and Role

As mentioned above, Talib is a player that was brought over to break the game. The Rams want Talib and Marcus Peters for that matter to generate turnovers. The Los Angeles Rams arguably have the best offense which is why they need to generate as many offensive opportunities as possible. Talib’s role will be the same as last year and if he stays healthy the Rams defense will indeed take the next step to reach top tier status.

Chances of Making Final Roster

Aqib Talib’s chances of making the 2019 roster are pretty good considering he’s a huge name and will play a huge role for the defense this season. The question is more likely, ‘Will Talib make the 2020 roster?” that is a loaded question that we won’t be able to answer until the season plays out.

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