Matt Patricia praises Aqib Talib despite Sunday's struggles

Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia isn't one to dish out compliments to any individual players very often, but that wasn't the case on Tuesday.

Patricia praised Aqib Talib for the excellent season he has had thus far.

This is coming two days after he played his worst game of the year when he was matched up against the hottest wide receiver in the NFL, Josh Gordon. Here's what Patricia had to say:

"Talib is a highly, highly competitive person and competitive guy. He wants to go out and put pressure on himself to perform and compete at the highest level against the highest talent and the highest opponent. You’ve got to really admire that and love that from the standpoint of a coach, but he does a great job of understanding this is a team game and he is certainly going to do whatever it is we ask him to do within the game plan."

You always love having a guy on your team who plays with the competitive, cocky edge in their game and for the Patriots, at least in the secondary, that guy is Aqib Talib.

On Sunday, he was beat on an easy slant route that ended up being a 71 yard touchdown and gave up 151 yards in total. That was a fluke game for him. Thank God he won't see Josh Gordon in the playoffs. Talib has received some criticism this year and I think most of it is ludicrous.

Here's some of the receivers he's covered 1 on 1 this year: Stevie Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Steve Smith, Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones, AJ Green, Andre Johnson, Josh Gordon. Yeah. And despite giving up 522 yards to Thomas, Smith, and Thomas, he's done a damn good job, allowing only 180 yards after the catch, and is targeted only once per 6.4 coverage snaps.

Talib deserves the praise-no doubt about it, but maybe save it for after a good game Coach Patricia. @joeloobs @PatriotsLife