In a recent interview with WQYK-AM 1010, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Chris Hovan openly discussed his feelings concerning troubled defensive back Aqib Talib.
In late March, Dallas police charged Aqib with assault with a deadly weapon concerning a shooting incident at his sister's house. Since then, commentators and fans alike have spent a good deal of time theorizing the Bucs next moves, whether they will cut Aqib, attempt to trade him, or simply deal with him in-house.
Hovan expects the Bucs will hang onto him, asserting head coach Raheem Morris exercises favoritism with Aqib, who played under him when he was a defensive backs coach. According to Chris Hovan:
[Agib Talib] has been given too much leeway from Raheem Morris because, I guess, Coach Morris [the Bucs former secondary coach] has favoritism towards him because he played defensive back. Again, they are giving this young man way too much leeway. Any other individual would have been cut way before this. But Aqib has so much talent — his talent goes through the ceiling...
So he went to the Pro Bowl so maybe that is his excuse. "Oh, he went to the Pro Bowl, we’ll let him be."
Aqib Talib's history of trouble and violence is nothing new, too. Hovan pointed out how Talib previously assaulted a teammate with his helmet, and Mike Florio mentioned how Talib's troubles in the NFL began early -- in the 2008 Rookie Symposium, in fact, where: "he got into a fight. With a teammate."
In many ways, Talib represents the tricky double-standards of the NFL and professional sports. No coach, general manger, or team owner in recent memory has ever been asked to step down over a personnel issue such as this. In general, these positions -- the decision-makers -- are relatively immune to the fallout from their players' poor off-field behavior.
Sure, these team leaders must defend themselves from the press and face a possible execution in the court of public opinion, but winning teams fill stadiums and winning coaches and GMs retain their jobs. Talented players, regardless how insane they may seem or be, will always have longer leashes and extra chances.
Like J.P. Peterson said in his interview with Hovan: "Let’s be honest: If he were Torrie Cox, he’d be gone by now."