Tampa Bay Bucs center Jeff Faine backtracked from comments in February that player-only workouts would be difficult to organize and more last week that he felt being in the weight room was a better use of his time. In a letter to the St. Petersburg Times, Faine wrote: "I don't typically respond to blogs but I found it necessary to respond to a recent post when my dedication to my team and the quality of my character as a captain was questioned. The Buccaneers fans deserve to hear the truth directly from me. There is nothing more I'd rather be doing than going through the offseason program and preparing for the upcoming season with my teammates on our journey to compete for a championship.
"Back in February when I was asked about the feasibility of organizing player workouts, I wasn't questioning Josh Freeman's ability as a leader, I was more saying how difficult it will be for any individual to logistically get the entire team together for an offseason program comparable to one organized by the Buccaneers. If I wasn't clear on that matter, I apologize.
"I can assure you that my dedication to my team, the Buccaneers organization and the Tampa community has never wavered. I take pride in sharing not only football experience, but life skills and business knowledge that my teammates can use after their football careers end. This quality is why I have been voted a captain the past three years. It would be tough to find a player in this league that wears that captain's patch with more pride."
--Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib was indicted on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a grand jury in Texas on Friday.
His attorney, Jay Reisinger, confirmed the indictment in an email to the Tampa Tribune.
"It is important to note that the indictment is merely a formal accusation and that Mr. Talib has not been convicted of any crime with respect to this matter," Reisinger wrote. "The grand jury was not privy to a number of important facts. We are very confident that once we have the opportunity to present all of the facts, this matter will be resolved in Mr. Talib's favor. Aqib looks forward to putting this matter behind him and returning to the game of football."
Talib, 25, is accused of firing shots at his sister's boyfriend on March 21. Talib turned himself in to police in Garland, Texas nine days later and was released on $25,000 bail. The police report says Talib pointed a gun at Billings and swung it at him. The gun slipped out of his hands and hit a fence.
His mother, Okolo Talib, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm from the same incident. According to the police report, she tried to fight Billings, who had picked up the inoperable gun.
The incident allegedly began when Billings got into a physical argument with Saran Talib, and took the phone and broke it when she tried to call 911.
Aqib Talib faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. His future with the Bucs remains uncertain.
"I think right now, as that matter is back under sealed oath with the league office rules and everything, we will just handle that matter when it's deemed necessary," general manager Mark Dominik said in a statement.
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