Despite all the media drama over Aqib Talib’s “shove” of Jordan Norwood after the punt returner coughed up a second ball Sunday night, both players have one thing to tell fans - it’s all good.
“Jordan and Aqib are fine. I can tell you that. That’s not an issue,” coach Gary Kubiak said yesterday in his Monday presser.
22 players have fielded more than 25 punts this season. Of those, Norwood has 3rd-worst fumble rate; only Greene (JAX), Hester (BAL) worse.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) November 28, 2016
While fielding punts may be an issue, both Talib and Norwood confirmed there is nothing to worry about regarding their respect for each other as teammates, saying they spoke Monday morning and everything was good between them.
“Me and Aqib sat down one-on-one and talked a little bit and made sure we were on the same page,” Norwood said Monday.
Talib added that he apologized to Norwood.
“We were just playing football. We talked about it and we’re all good,” Talib said, adding that fans need “to be in pads and helmets to understand what is going on” at the time. “I apologized to [Jordan]. We’re all good.”
But more than “being all good” is that both players understood exactly where the other was coming from.
Norwood admitted he should not have muffed the punt – his second on the night.
“I should have caught the punt. I wasn’t really worried about what Talib was doing. I’m trying to make plays to help the football team win games, just like Talib is and just like everybody else is,” Norwood said.
And rest assured, Talib is not blaming Norwood for the loss. If anything, that’s on him and the rest of the defense.
“We feel like it’s on us. If you give us an eight-point lead, I would bet my game check that no one would score on us, so I would have been in debt right now,” Talib said laughing. “I’m going to bet it every time, so we put that on us. This is the first time the ‘D’ hasn’t closed out the game in a long time. It’s a lesson learned. We had a lot of mistakes, a lot of penalties and a lot of busts in coverage. We can get better from that tape.”
Kubiak noted that he wants his players to keep emotions in check, but he understands where the situation came from and appreciates his guys competing and keeping each other accountable for their play.
“I want our guys to compete. They have to handle those situations better,” Kubiak said. “I tell our guys, ‘We battle together, we don’t battle each other.’ They understand that, but we’re out there competing.”
Kudos to the coach and players for handling the situation in the locker room the right way – one-on-one first and also as a team. And kudos to Broncos PR for trotting Norwood and Talib before the press to squash any media exaggeration (because that never happens).
If anything, we know Norwood will be working harder this week as will the defense/special teams to not make mistakes like those again.
“We’re cool. It’s football. We’re brothers. We argue and we fight,” Talib added. “We go to [battle] together and on Sunday we’re going to [battle] together again.”