Aqib Talib excited about the Rams’ confidence level

Cornerback Aqib Talib played for three different franchises that reached varying levels of success over his first 10 NFL seasons and those experiences have left him with some thoughts about what a team needs in order to have a winning season.

Talib is now on his fourth team after being traded to the Rams this offseason and he believes head coach Sean McVay has set the foundation for that kind of year in Los Angeles.

What can we expect? The Bucs open the season with the Saints, Eagles and Steelers, and they face the Falcons after their Week 5 bye, so we should know very early on what to expect from this team. Last offseason was about the offense and this one was about the defense. If it doesn’t come together for Tampa Bay in 2018 and the Bucs finish last in the division for the seventh time in eight years, head coach Dirk Koetter probably won’t see a fourth year at the helm.

With the end of his contract looming, will the Falcons lock up Jarrett with an extension this year? The defensive tackle, who has continued to improve since his career game in Super Bowl LI, is keeping his hopes up.

As characterized by an article appearing on the Lions’ official website (and of course that means nothing at all . . . other than it appears on the sliver of the Internet owned and operated by the Detroit Lions), Abdullah is on the roster bubble as training camp approaches.

The top of the depth chart will consist of veteran LeGarrette Blount, rookie second-rounder Kerryon Johnson, and third-down-specialist-plus Theo Riddick. Abdullah will need to win the fourth roster spot (or leapfrog one of the other three) in order to remain.

That makes special teams a key for Abdullah, since any running back buried that deep will need to be able to do other things. And, as noted in the article, Abdullah spent time as the kick returner during offseason workouts.

Of course, that could be part of an effort to suggest to the rest of the league that Abdullah will make the cut from 90 to 53, and that if another team (like the Cardinals or the Bills, who may at some point have a need) is interested, they’ll need to make a trade, not file a waivers claim. (Abdullah is under contract through 2018, at a salary this year of $876,000.)

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