Ninkovich not nervous about competition from first-rounders


Every day, one of us has the task of compiling one item about each of the NFL’s 32 teams.  It’s the morning (usually) one-liners, a staple of this site since its inception.  And despite the ongoing proliferation of knock-offs, none has yet been dumb enough to try to replicate an undertaking that sometimes takes way too long to complete.

It’s gets a little harder to find one item for every team every day in late May, and it’ll get even harder in June and early July.  And sometimes we need to poach one of the one-liners for broader treatment.

That’s what I’m doing right now, via the item from Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe regarding linebacker Rob Ninkovich’s reaction to the arrival of a pair of first-round picks who could encroach on Ninkovich’s minutes:  Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower.

It really doesn’t hurt me at all,” Ninkovich said.  “I’ve been through a lot in my NFL career, so it really doesn’t affect me as far as guys coming in.  I look at it as a plus that the team is going to be better.  If you have any type of injury or something, you have guys coming in and we’re all good, we’re all fresh and all talented.  So it helps the team out.  I’m excited.”

He should be excited.  As long as he still has a roster spot once the new guys get acclimated.

15 responses to “Ninkovich not nervous about competition from first-rounders

  1. He’ll have a roster spot. Ninkovich may not have great talent, but he’s a solid player (even kind of an overachiever) with some versatility to his game and good football IQ. That versatility and intelligence is what has made him a solid player under Belichick.

  2. EPIC beard!
    I love Nink, have ever since he came over for the 09 season.

    He’s no superstar but he’s a solid (on and off the field), very coachable young veteran and every team needs those.

  3. Really? You really think Belichick would start not one but two rookie linebackers? Come on, man!

  4. Jones is nothing special in any case. He is this year’s recipient of draft analyst Mock Wayoff’s “Massive Miss” overhype. There is a vacancy on the list now that Knowshon Moreno is slipping out of the league after three seasons.

  5. Why shouldn’t Rob Nincovich be happy?

    Nincovitch knows that Belichick plays the best player regardless if that player is a high draft choice or a street free agent. Belichick substitutes freely based on game situations and the subpackage Belichick thinks is the right chess move which plays to Nincovitch’s strengths. Belichick also likes competition during preseason and the regular season.

    Nincovitch, despite being an undersized journeyman that was signed midseason in 2009, beat out Jermaine Cunninghan, the 2010 second-round draft pick from the University of Florida.
    Looking at the outside linebacker role for the Patriots in 2012, I am betting Nincovitch “still has a roster spot once the new guys get acclimated”.

  6. EJ says:
    May 27, 2012 3:39 PM
    He’s definitely got a cool name, (Nink-o-vitch) Ninkovich.

    Best analysis I’ve heard in years. PFT should hire you as a full-time writer. You could do a whole series articles about other guys with cool names in New England, guys like (Bray-dee) Brady, (Well-ker) Welker, (Voll-mer) Vollmer (Kop-en) Koppen, (Wot-ters) Waters, and Spikes (I got nothing there, that’s actually a legitimately cool name) . When you’re done you could do one on yourself, because you defintely have a cool name, (Ee-jay) EJ.

    OK, sorry bro, that may have been overkill, but write a stupid comment, get a sarcastic response, that’s the way the world works.

  7. Nink makes plays. He really came on last year and reminded me of the kind of plays Bruschi and Vrabel used to make……big plays…..timely plays….. Unless that’s an aberration, I think he’ll be sticking around. Very few young linebackers have ever come in and played for Belichick right off the bat.

    More will be revealed…..

  8. Nink will have roster spot. He’s a lunch pail kind of guy, works hard, smart, knows the system, knows what he’s supposed to do, knows his role…. and executes it. Kind of the anti-Chad Nocho Brainzo. I think he will see reduced playing time simply because the new guys, Hightower in particular, will be on the field and cut into his playing time. But, Nink will be there and he’ll be a positive, productive player. That’s who he is.

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