NFL

Bucs' Talib avoids suspension

Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib won't be suspended for any of the 2011 season for his arrest in connection with an offseason shooting in Texas.

Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said before Saturday night's preseason game against the Miami Dolphins that the NFL office informed him by telephone earlier in the day. Talib sat out the exhibition with a hamstring injury that also sidelined him the first two weeks of the preseason.

The fourth-year pro is facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Police in the Dallas suburb of Garland say they believe the 25-year-old player and his mother shot at a man in March.

Talib met with Commissioner Roger Goodell in New York on Tuesday. The player's trial is set for March 2012, and the NFL could revisit the matter pending the outcome of the case.

"We discussed Aqib's situation and they informed us he will not be suspended for the 2011 football season," Dominik said. "Certainly we and the National Football League will continue to track the case, and we will proceed accordingly however that pans out."

Talib was suspended without pay for the 2010 regular-season opener and also fined one additional game check for violating the league's personal conduct policy. That discipline stemmed from an altercation with a St. Petersburg cab driver during training camp in August 2009.

Despite missing last year's opener and four other games after a hip injury ended his season, Talib led the Bucs with six interceptions.

Dominik was asked if he was "relieved" that one of the team's best players will not begin this season on suspension.

"I'm not relieved because... I don't want to have to deal with these kinds of things," Dominik said. "I think Aqib and our football team knows that that's not the type of team we want to be and build here. We want to be a team that our community is really proud of."

Security changes to take effect at Candlestick — NFL security chief Jeff Miller is confident Candlestick Park will be a safe, secure venue for fans this season.

Miller spent Saturday afternoon meeting with police officers, 49ers security officials and fans a week after two men were shot in a parking lot outside the stadium following San Francisco's 17-3 win over the Bay Area rival Oakland Raiders. There were also numerous fights inside the stadium, including one man getting beaten unconscious in a bathroom.

Miller called the violence "unsettling," and something the NFL is taking seriously and plans to "change." He also said those who were involved in the violent incidents weren't true fans of either the 49ers or Raiders but rather people who chose to make the stadium their crime scene.

Meanwhile, fans held spirited tailgating parties on what so far was a tame day at Candlestick Park, where the 49ers were hosting Houston.

Fans were being watched much more carefully this week, with police officers on foot patrolling throughout the parking lots outside Candlestick and also inside the stadium. Others monitored the scene on motorcycles.

Security personnel working the event were asking tailgaters to leave the parking lots after kickoff under new security measures introduced by the team in the wake of what happened.

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