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Rob Ninkovich on M&M: Tom Brady fall last week ‘a scary situation’

08.19.13 at 12:53 pm ET

Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich joined Mut & Merloni on Monday, and he admitted he was a lot like everybody else when New England held its collective breathe during Tom Brady‘€™s injury scare last week.

There were a couple nerve-wracking moments after Brady hit the ground, Ninkovich said.

‘€œThat’€™s a scary situation, but that’€™s one thing you have to deal with in football. Things unexpectedly happen,’€ Ninkovich said. ‘€œHappily, he was fine and everything turned out OK with us. ‘€¦ He’€™s the best quarterback in the league, so you want to keep in upright and OK.’€

While Brady proved the knee was not an issue in the team’€™s second preseason game, a 25-21 win over the Buccaneers, Ninkovich and his defensive cohorts did what they could to show they’€™re closer and closer to regular-season ready, too.

When the hosts noted the four first-half sacks, Ninkovich said it was a good sign, especially considering Tampa Bay is the Pats‘€™ Week 3 opponent.

‘€œWhen you can come out as a defense and start fast like we did, it really helps you kind of set the tempo for the rest of the game,’€ Ninkovich said. ‘€œAny time as a defense you can come out in a third-and-1 situation and get a sack on the first series, sack on the second series, sack on the third series, it’€™s a good start. Right now, preseason we’€™re still working to tighten everything up.’€

Two of the youngsters playing with Ninkovich, defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Dont’€™a Hightower, are starting their second season as pros after successful rookie campaigns. Ninkovich ‘€” entering his eighth NFL season and fifth with the Patriots ‘€” said the difference between the two seasons can be huge.

‘€œRookie year is pretty tough,’€ Ninkovich said. ‘€˜’€These guys go from the end of their college career to off train somewhere ‘€” Arizona or some place ‘€” then they go to the combine and have all these meetings with these different teams and are traveling around. Then you get to the team and have mini-camps and rookie camp, you go to training camp and you really don’€™t know what to expect.

‘€œNow that they’€™ve had their first year under their belt in the NFL and have done this, they’€™ve made plays, now they have their confidence — been there, done that. Now they had a nice offseason to get their minds right and then start getting strong and getting back into football. The second year, they know what to expect. Sixteen-game season, plus playoffs, is a lot different from college.’€

To listen to the interview, visit the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit

Read More: chandler jones, Dont'a Hightower, Rob Ninkovich, Tom Brady



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