Rob Ninkovich talks Vince Wilfork, Patrick Chung and rest of Patriots offseason moves
|04.08.14 at 4:20 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Rob Ninkovich talked about the additions of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner on Tuesday morning, but also addressed a handful of other topics, including the return of Vince Wilfork, the loss of coach Pepper Johnson and some of the other offseason moves made to this point by the Patriots:
On the return of Vince Wilfork: I’m happy I’ll be able to look inside and see him next to me. I’m happy that he’s still my teammate, and we’ll be able to go out there and win some football games.
On the offseason return of Julian Edelman — who Ninkovich referred to as “my guy” — as well as some of the other moves: We’ve got some great receivers coming back, and with Tom (Brady), we can pretty much do anything. Offensively, we’re looking good. Defensively, just adding a couple pieces, and what we have so far, those guys are tremendous talents. As a defensive end, I’m happy to have two great talents that can shut down two receivers at the same time. That’s awesome. And we have a great safety. So again, defensively, we’ve improved, but we’ve got to put in the work. That starts now. That starts in the offseason, because you have the talent, but you’ve got to put in the work together to get to that ultimate goal. ‘¦ We’re in this thing to win. Everything that we do is directed toward winning football games. The way things work around here is to give our team the best chance of winning, and with those guys, it gives us a better chance.
On the return of Pat Chung: Pat, obviously, went somewhere else and it didn’t work out. Coming back, he’s a good football player. He’s a good, competitive, talented football player who obviously is going to go out there and play hard. He has experience here, he knows what to expect, and it’s good to have him back.
On the offseason workouts to this point: Me and (Jerod) Mayo are in there. He’s a pretty explosive guy, so I try to keep up with (him). He’s looking good right now. I’ve been training with him for a long time, and it’s always good to have somebody to push you and make you better.
On losing Pepper Johnson: Pep obviously, he was a tremendous coach in terms of having that game-time experience. But again, the coaching staff that we have here, they’re pretty good. Having Bill involved with the defense all the time, that’s helpful. Any time I have a question or there’s something going on, I’ll go right to Bill and ask him, ‘Hey we’re doing this, we’re doing that, give me the stuff that I need to know.’ I was with Pep for awhile, and wish him all the best in the future. But that’s part of the business. You always have to adjust to changes. There’s always people leaving — coaches leaving, coaches coming. And that’s the way of type game. You deal with it and the new coach that comes in, you get them up to speed on what we’re doing, and get ready to roll.
On motivation needed to get back to AFC title game: I’m very motivated. I need to get back to that game and we have to win it this time. Nobody thinks about the time and effort put in to get to a championship game, and the workouts, the offseason, minicamp, training camps, 16 games you have to get through just to get to the playoffs, and then, getting to that AFC Championship Game, it’s a long road. It’s a lot of work, and to get back there I have to do it all over again. I’m up for the challenge. I want to get back there.