Ninkovich on Revis: 'There's always going to be change'


Ninkovich on Revis: 'There's always going to be change'

Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich was one of a few Patriots representatives in attendance for Team IMPACT's "Game Day Gala" at the Marriott - Copley Place on Thursday night. The event helped raise money for the organization, which pairs children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses with college athletic teams. 

Ninkovich was joined by Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, special teams ace Matthew Slater as well as president of the Kraft Group International Dan Kraft, who is a co-chair and one of the founding members of Team IMPACT. 

Here are some of the highlights from Ninkovich's conversation with reporters: 

On what it's like to go through the offseason as a defending champion: "I've always been really close, but it's awesome to have been able to do that. Now it's time to hit the reset button because everyone's going to be looking at us and trying to come after us.

"You always have to be prepared. The history of the Patriots, we've always been a very good football team, and a lot of other teams like to measure themselves accordingly. Again, I think that every year is a new year. With me going into my 10th I'm learning that. You just gotta kind of start all over. You forget about everything that happened last year. It was awesome. It was great to win a Super Bowl, and it took me a long time to do it. Now it's just focusing in on '15, a new year, and I'm excited."

On how the Patriots defense will feel different after losing Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Vince Wilfork to free agency: "There's always turnover. That's just the way that this game works. Every team is gonna have something -- a new wrinkle, a new person, a new scheme. It happens everywhere so you work hard in the offseason, you put in your time, that's where you have success . . . 

"There's always gonna be turnaround. There's always going to be change. And when you have the best coach in the NFL, he's able to help everybody. And it starts when we get back in the offseason, OTAs, minicamp, training camp. That's where everything starts. To have a successful season, you gotta lay the bricks first." 

On the contract boost he received this offseason that reportedly took his 2015 salary from $2.45 million to $5 million: "I've been here a long time and I wanted to be here. This is a place where everything has happened for me so it was a great thing on both ends that we were able to just talk about things. I really don't want to get into the details of it, but I'm going to go out there and play like I've always played, and if you do that, then everything else takes care of itself. I'll go out there and keep doing my job and making plays. That's what you're supposed to do."

On new Patriots edge defender Jabaal Sheard: "He's a younger guy -- 25 I think. Sky is the limit for him. He's a young guy. He's had production in the league. He's a good football player. I'm happy that he's gonna be with us." 

On going into his tenth season: "Tenth year. Thirty-one [years old]. Is thirty-one old? I'm good. I feel great. I had a great season again. I'm gonna have another good offseason. I'm always trying to get better. I gotta break that eight [sacks] number. The last three years I've been at eight, so I need to get to 8 or more. I've been thinking about that for the last two years.

"It's been a blast. I just gotta continue to enjoy it because when you start saying 10, 11, 12 [years], then there's not much after that. I'm just happy to have the opportunity that I've had here."

On his involvement with Team IMPACT: "Team Impact, the things that they do for the community and the children, it's awesome to be a part of that. Not only for the kids that they're helping, the teams that are a part of it to lift the spirits of everyone involved. Happy to be here. Happy to support everything that it's about and it's a great, great thing . . .

"The [college] athletes are tremendous. The things that they're able to do, helping the kids out, whatever it is. I think that it helps both sides. That's the best thing about what this is. It's everyone helping each other, really."

QUICK SLANTS THE PODCAST: Jerod Mayo breaks down the best way for Patriots to attack Jaguars defense


QUICK SLANTS THE PODCAST: Jerod Mayo breaks down the best way for Patriots to attack Jaguars defense

Jerod Mayo talks with Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry about the Patriots AFC Championship matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

(2:00) Jerod Mayo gives his X’s and O’s breakdown of the Jaguars defensive schemes and traits.

(5:00) Jerod gives his opinion on how the Patriots offense should attack the Jaguars defense.

(8:30) Could Gronkowski be the key to the Patriots offense? What would be the best way to use him?

(15:00) Does the Jaguars defense have a weakness against vertical routes?

(17:00) Jerod Mayo explains why James White could be a key once again for the Patriots. 

(21:00) Will Jaguars change their defensive scheme after allowing 42 to the Steeler?

(23:00) Will much will the Jaguars having the ‘nothing to lose’ mindset impact the game?

Jaguars have Ramsey's back


Jaguars have Ramsey's back

Enough has been made of Jalen Ramsey’s bold proclamation that the Jaguars are going to win the Super Bowl despite the fact that they’re aren’t even on that stage yet.

I know it’s not how the Patriots do business but other teams do. Does it generally work? Well, no one can match the Pats sustainability but that doesn’t mean that style can’t be effective in shorter windows.

Look at the Seahawks or Ravens. Even the Giants could be boisterous. That leads me back to the Jags, who have Ramsey’s back.

“We’re so close that I think it’s OK to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this,’’’ said defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

“The man has confidence in his team,” added Abry Jones, also a defensive tackle. “What’s he going to say? He knows what we’re going up there to do. It’s not like he’s saying anything that’s not true.”

“He does things very passionately,” Calais Campbell told the Rich Eisen show. “You feed off that. When you see a guy who loves the game as much as he does, you can’t help but fall into the same mentality.”

That is what makes Ramsey different from say Mike Mitchell, the Steelers safety who ran his mouth weeks ago about beating the Patriots in the AFC title game and then stood outside the Jags locker room and yapped about what a long day the visitors were in forSunday. How’s that working out for Mitchell now? He’s at home while Ramsey is about to play in his biggest game as a pro.

“He’s going to talk, but he’s going to show up,” Yannick Ngakoue said. “I just don’t like people talking all week. You talk reckless, man, and you lose. It is what it is.”

That is not an indicator to the Jags that Ramsey is looking ahead.

“He’s just happy,” noted Ngakoue. “He understands we have a giant in front of us and he’s got to pay all of his attention to this team. We don’t even know who’s going to play in the Super Bowl…We understand we have to do what we have to do or we’ll be watching the Super Bowl at home like everybody else.”

Of course, Ngakoue, the gifted edge rusher on that fearsome front 4, had some pointed words to the Steelers after that 45-42 win Sunday saying “real people don’t say nothing. Real people are quiet but then throw the first punch…they thought they were bullies today. We were the bullies. See you next year.”

That’s not Ramsey’s modus operandi however. He got under A.J. Green’s skin so much that the normally peaceful Bengals wideout threw punches at the Jags corner during the game and reportedly wanted more after the game. Then - and now - Jacksonville seems okay with it so long as the All-Pro corner continues to deliver the goods.

“Everybody has their own persona,” said Leonard Fournette. “Whatever motivates them. We aren’t worried about two weeks ahead of us. We aren’t worried about the Super Bowl. It’s the next game. It’s Sunday in New England.”