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Ninkovich: Chargers are ‘going to be dangerous’

10.20.10 at 2:12 pm ET
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Rob Ninkovich discussed Antonio Gates, Philip Rivers and the improved Patriots defense in his session with the media at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.

What are your thoughts on Antonio Gates? What does he bring to the San Diego offense?

Well, you know, he’s their number one receiver, and he’s got the most catches on the team, so he’s obviously one of [Philip] Rivers’ biggest targets, so if he plays we need to make sure that we get a hand on him and mess up his routes as best we can and get him out of his comfort zone.

For him to be as big and athletic as he is, how difficult is it to game plan around someone like him?

I mean, it’s kind of like the Jets, you know, with Keller. They’re the guys that can get up the field, and they have some good, they’ve got some good speed. So you just have to you know, you have to prepare for that and,  you’ve got to be ready, you know, every play. Where is he on the line, what kind of keys is he giving away that he’s, you know, going to maybe get up the field or just run. You know, so you’ve just got to make sure that we do a good job on stopping him and knowing where he’s at on the field.

Are you excited to get back out there on the practice field after the way you guys played and handled yourselves on Sunday?

Yeah, definitely. I mean, it’s going to be fun. Every week I feel like our defense, you know, we’re still learning and getting better, so we’ve just got to keep continuing to improve.

Is there something about the Chargers that makes them play so much better at home than on the road?

Yeah, I mean, they’re a good team. You know, you can’t take that or anything from them. They have a great quarterback, they’ve got great receivers, they’ve got good running backs. So, you know, anytime you’re playing a team like that, you know, they’re going to be dangerous. So, home or away, they’re a good team, so we’ve got to make sure we go out there and do our job.

What are some of the challenges of facing a quarterback like Philip Rivers?

Well he’s got a great arm; he’s got a great deep ball. So, you know, we’ve got to make sure that he doesn’t use that to his advantage. But number one, we’ve got to try and take away his deep threats, so, you know, I think we’re going to try that this week; we’re going to try to stop that.

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