ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (The Sports Xchange) – Aqib Talib isn’t thinking much about his return to the Tampa Bay area.
In four-plus seasons with the Buccaneers before he was traded to the New England Patriots on Nov. 1, 2012, Talib frequently flashed his talent but just as frequently found himself in trouble, from a fight with teammate Cory Boyd at the NFL Rookie Symposium in 2008 to two arrests, one for battery and one for assault.
The final straw was his suspension for a positive Adderall test, which kicked in weeks before the trade to the Patriots.
The reception for Talib at Raymond James Stadium might not be a warm one. But Talib wanted to focus on the good times. He had no bitterness Wednesday — nor should he, because his mistakes were largely his own.
“I loved my time in Tampa,” Talib said.
“I remember being on the big ol’ 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.”
Of course, to Buccaneers fans, he’s something else: one of a long line of players who didn’t reach their potential at Tampa Bay but did so elsewhere.
Talib and the Broncos will be feeling the heat on Sunday. It’s not newsworthy when Florida-based teams play four consecutive games in temperatures above 80 degrees. But for Denver, it’s something unusual — and Sunday’s game in Tampa will cap to one of their hottest opening quarters this season.
If the kickoff temperature is 90 degrees — as is forecast — it will mark the Broncos’ first game in 90-plus conditions since Week 2 of the 2010 season against the Seattle Seahawks.
Last Sunday, the heat took its toll on linebacker Brandon Marshall, who left late in the game after becoming fatigued. He looked none the worse for the wear on Wednesday, but the Broncos will still take caution to be ready for Tampa’s expected oppressive conditions.
“I know a lot of us practiced in hoodies today just to try to get used to that heat,” safety T.J. Ward said.