Aqib Talib reported to training camp Friday sporting the enthusiasm of a player who can't wait to get started.
Tampa Bay's third-year cornerback is eager to hit the field Saturday morning for the opening practice in front of Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans anxious to forget last year's 3-13 disaster.
"We've got to start something that will go for 16 weeks strong,'' Talib said, "and it all starts out here today. If you're dead out here, you're going to be dead on Week 1. Attitude in training camp says a lot and it all starts in these 21 days.''
Tampa Bay's defense improved significantly in the final six weeks after head coach Raheem Morris assumed control from coordinator Jim Bates. With Morris returning the Bucs to their basic Cover 2 principles, defenders appeared to relax and play more confidently.
"I think there were a lot better decisions,'' Talib said of the change from Bates to Morris. "A lot less man press on the line - not 40 snaps of man press on the line. These receivers nowadays, you can't really do that. You're asking for it, to lose one battle and get a touchdown called against you. I'd say a lot better decisions on defense ... a lot better play-calling.''
Tampa Bay's secondary could benefit from an enhanced pass rush in 2010, especially if rookie defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price make an immediate impact.
"We definitely spent the money for it to be this year,'' Talib said. "It should be this year. We've got some guys up there who have a lot of sacks on their record.''
Talib was asked what he notices about Josh Freeman in Year 2.
"It's his confidence -- he's walking around here like he's the starting quarterback,'' said Talib. "That's where it all starts. You've got to know it's your team.''