Talib mum on Goodell conversation in return to Bucs practice

TAMPA, Fla. -- Cornerback Aqib Talib rejoined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday after missing one day of practice to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the player's role in an offseason shooting in Texas.

Talib, a fourth-year pro who's arguably the Bucs' best defensive player, is facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon following a March incident in which police in the Dallas suburb of Garland say they believe the 25-year-old player and his mother shot at a man.

It's not the first time Talib has gone before Goodell, who a year ago suspended the cornerback without pay for the 2010 regular-season opener for violating the league's personal-conduct policy. Talib also was fined one additional game stemming from an altercation with a cab driver in August 2009.

Talib practiced Wednesday, but he declined to discussed specifics about his trip to New York on Tuesday.

"I met with the commissioner, but I'm going to keep all the details between me and the commissioner if ya'll can respect that," Talib said, repeating variations of his answer to several other questions about his visit with Goodell.

The man whom police say the player and his mother shot at wasn't injured. The Bucs haven't said if they anticipate another suspension.

Talib led the Bucs with six interceptions last season despite being disciplined for the opener and also sitting out the final four weeks after suffering a hip injury that also has kept him out of the first two preseason games this year. He hopes to play in Saturday's game against the Miami Dolphins.

"I'm almost there. I'm trying to get healthy enough to play," Talib said. "That's my goal. I'm looking forward to it."

Bucs coach Raheem Morris said this week that the team will be prepared to start the season with or without Talib in the lineup.

"For me, it's next man up. ... There's a reason you practice (and develop depth)," the coach said.

While Talib shrugged off questions about whether or not he expects action from Goodell, he did answer one about how he has managed to remain focused on his job in training camp while also dealing with his situation off the field.

"It's life. I'm sure you've got obstacles in your life that you've got to overcome," he said. "My life is no different than either one of ya'll. It's obstacles, work. ... You've got to know how to handle it."

Morris said Talib participated in most of the drills during practice and getting closer to being ready for game action.

"He was a little rusty obviously, not really opening it up yet, not really going to the wall, but I'd like to think he's getting closer," the coach said.

Morris also said he isn't concerned about Talib's ability to keep his mind on football.

"Aqib is a very focused guy. When he's at work, he's at work. And that's the bottom line," the coach said. "I've watched him grow so much in our building over the last couple of years, it's ridiculous. ... He's such a uniquely talented guy in keeping everybody in the defensive back room locked in."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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