"Not knowing personality-wise or work ethic-wise what these guys were like -- knowing that they were great football players -- we’ve welcomed them with open arms and they’ve done a terrific job coming in and learning everything as far as how the ‘Patriot Way’ goes," Ninkovich told co-hosts Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan. "They’re two great football players, and as a defensive end, I’m definitely happy to have those guys out there covering."
One other point mentioned by Ninkovich was how he’s actually more than just a defensive end. His position and responsibilities within the defense vary on a snap-by-snap basis, and that is why he should be factored into the mix when analyzing the team’s linebacker position as well.
“A couple years ago I was a SAM [strongside linebacker], now I’m a defensive end, but I still do both,” he explained on the program. “Being multiple, being able to be in different fronts -- one play being a D-end, the next play being a SAM -- being able to change up the way that we can, it definitely helps our defense.”
The discussion came up when the 6-foot-2, 260-pound Ninkovich was asked what he might be working on this offseason to improve.
"I’m not a guy that’s going to be 6-8, or 6-6, 275 [pounds], 280. I get a lot of my work done with technique and outworking people. So that’s staying up on all my hand placements and all my explosive movements, and just really staying on top of people as far as outworking them," he said.