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Rob Ninkovich: Finding A Home With Patriots

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Rob Ninkovich of the New England Patriots chases down the ballcarrier against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Oct. 6, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images.
Rob Ninkovich of the New England Patriots chases down the ballcarrier against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Oct. 6, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images.

During 2006-2008, it seemed like Rob Ninkovich was playing a game of Red Rover between the New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins; every other year, he was being tossed between the teams. After being signed by the New England Patriots in August 2009, Ninkovich had a sense of stability and a pretty decent season; 15 games, 23 tackles.

Although 2010 is really the year when fans began to notice his potential on the field. Week four, while the Patriots were playing the Miami Dolphins at Miami, Ninkovich forced not only one but two interceptions… Absolutely beautiful! In total, 16 games were played and 62 tackles were accumulated.  

The 2011 season was even better for Ninkovich. Why? TOUCHDOWN! This 12-yard touchdown –he intercepted Mark Sanchez’s pass– is Ninkovich’s first and only touchdown in his 9 seasons playing in the NFL. Not only is that an exceptionally cool moment for a football player, but having it happen while playing the Jets is like the cherry on top of a delicious sundae. Also, by the end of the season, he had racked up 74 tackles.

During the 2012 season, there were 58 tackles, 8 sacks and a Super Bowl to play in. While they may not have won, it definitely provided insight into who was able to perform well under pressure and what adjustments needed to be made to the roster.

Early into the 2013 season, The New England Patriots extended Ninkovich’s contract for three years. He has proven to be an incredibly talented athlete and it will be interesting to see what he can contribute over the next couple of years.