Rob Ninkovich on M&M: ‘We’ll be prepared and be ready to roll’ against Bills
|09.03.13 at 12:49 pm ET|
Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday morning to discuss Sunday’s game against the Bills that marks the beginning of the season.
For Ninkovich, facing a division rival makes the first game of the season that much more energizing and exciting.
“Buffalo is always a fun place to play,” Ninkovich said. “There’s a ton of energy there. You get the beer cans and the eggs and everything on the bus when you’re coming in, so it’s really a fun atmosphere to play at. The fans always seem to really like us there and enjoy our presence.
“That first game is always a very exciting game and everyone has a ton of energy and it will be exciting. I’m ready to get to Buffalo already. It’s Week 1, it’s a great game to be at. … We’ll be prepared and be ready to roll there.”
Buffalo may feature a new quarterback in undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel, but as Ninkovich noted, the Bills still feature a dangerous offensive core with weapons such as running back C.J. Spiller and wide receiver Stevie Johnson.
“They definitely have some weapons with Spiller, Johnson and [running back Fred] Jackson, so you definitely have to make sure that you have those guys contained. Every single one of those guys have big-play ability,” Ninkovich said. “You have to make sure that you have the edge [against Spiller] every single time, because you have to be aware of him being able to not only trying to get to the edge, but cutting back and running back across the field and test the other edge, so you just have to be super aware of him and where he’s at.
“The ball could be running away from you, but in a split second, it’s coming back to you, so you just have make sure that you have the ball contained and bring it back to all your buddies.”
On the release of defensive ends Justin Francis and Marcus Bernard: “It’s the one unfortunate part of the business that you have to deal with. You know, guys coming and going. There’s guys that make those decisions for a reason and you just take it for what it is and you move on and you roll with what you’ve got. Jake Bequette and Michael Buchanan are both great football players, so I’m happy to have those guys as teammates.”
On playing with a roster that includes 14 rookies, the most of any NFL team: “It’s definitely, definitely a young football team. Right now … you just have to really make sure that we prepare well and get those guys ready to go. It’s definitely a lot different from what it was five years ago when I first got here, I’m one of the only guys to still be around, so you just see the turnover there and these young guys just have to … get ready to play a long season here.”