Just call him Captain ‘Qib.
Aqib Talib is nothing if not real. On the outside, his selection as one of the Denver Broncos’ co-captains may have raised some eyebrows. On the inside, where voting on team captains took place, Talib was a clear choice.
“I think maybe my off-the-field stuff kind of prevented me from being a captain a lot of the times,’’ Talib told the assembled media Thursday. “I think I’ve always been captain material. I’ve always been a good guy at practice, I’ve always been a great teammate and I’ve always been a leader.”
Talib has always stuck up for his teammates publicly. Sure, he’s been known to run a little hot during the fight for team victory. He will challenge a teammate, on the field, if he thinks he’s not doing what’s best for the team.
He also scrapped with Harry Douglas, one play after the Tennessee receiver took a cheap shot, away-from-the-play, cut block on teammate Chris Harris’ Jr.’s knees last year.
More importantly, Talib is arguably the Broncos’ second-best player – after Von Miller – yet plays hard in practice every day.
“It’s my first time being voted a captain in the NFL and it means a lot to me,’’ said Talib, whose four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and 9 career pick sixes has put him in the conversation as a potential future Hall of Famer. “Your teammates are voting for you so it’s good to see that they look at me as a leader. It’ s good to see that I’ve been doing my job during OTAs and training camp. I’m honored.”
It’s also not every team that names its kicker as the special teams’ captain. The honor usually goes to one of the core special teamers – someone who plays on kickoff coverage, kickoff return, punt coverage, punt return -- like Wesley Woodyard or David Bruton in past Broncos’ seasons.
The Broncos’ special teams captain this year, though, is placekicker Brandon McManus, who going on three seasons has become one of the team’s best scoring weapons.
“This is, believe it or not, the first time I’ve been a captain I think in any sport,’’ McManus said. “This was an honor for me to be here even though the team did vote a kicker out of the football room to be a captain. It was a huge honor for me.
“I wasn’t only a kicker. I used to play quarterback and safety. Not just football but any other sport that I played I never had the opportunity to. I’m pretty sure I’m well liked in the locker room and the past two years I’ve done well for the team so they thought highly of me. Obviously, the preseason (10 of 10 in field goals with seven coming from 40 yards or longer; plus 11 of 11 in extra points) helped to give me maybe the last edge or push to get over. It was a goal of mine to be a captain this year on special teams.”
Talib (Achilles) and running back Jamaal Charles (knee) were given what head coach Vance Joseph termed a veteran’s day off from practice Thursday. …
Defensive lineman Zach Kerr is not expected to play Monday night after he missed practice again with a knee injury. …
During the 1997 preseason, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn was a Broncos’ backup running back to Terrell Davis while Joseph was trying to make the team during the preseason. During that time, Joseph and Lynn lived in Aurora home where their backyards bumped into each other. They face each other Monday night in the head coaching debut for both.