Rob Ninkovich: Patriots Have Brushed Off Brendon Ayanbadejo’s Comments Regarding Their “Gimmick Offense”January 16, 2013 – 5:40 am by Steven Cuce
Elite players always find ways to come up huge in big games. You can put Rob Ninkovich in that category. The Patriots linebacker came up with an important interception off Matt Schaub midway through the third quarter of a 41-28 win over the Texans.
Before the Pats could even celebrate their victory in the AFC Divisional playoff, Ravens linebacker/special teams player Brendon Ayanbadejo started taking shots at New England in a series of tweets that questioned the validity of the New England’s’ hurry-up offense. Despite Ayanbadejo’s apology on Monday, New England doesn’t want any part of this story. Ninkovich gives his thoughts on Ayanbadejo’s comments and the Pats’ rematch with the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game in the following interview.
Rob Ninkovich joined ESPN Chicago with The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show to discuss his superb play in the postseason for the New England Patriots, Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo’s comments regarding the Pats having a “gimmick offense,” his definition of a “gimmick offense,” playing against Joe Flacco this Sunday and not being concerned with Ray Lewis’ retirement.
What is it about the postseason and your play rising in January? Would you agree?
“I mean, I definitely go out there every Sunday and give it my best effort every week, but in the playoffs it’s win or go home. You’re trying to do everything you can to make a play and keep your team to continue in the playoffs and it’s whatever it takes. If that’s extra film study, extra preparation for the guys you are going against, and I am happy to make that play for our team on Sunday. It helped us out and I am just happy I was able to do that. Every week I am trying to make big plays like that to help my team out.”
When a guy like Brendon Ayanbadejo comes out and says the Patriots have a “gimmick offense” and he’s tweeting to the world that the Ravens are ready, does that mean anything to you guys?
“You just kind of brush it off because those guys can say whatever they want and we are going to play a game next week, and this week is going to have to be a great week for us to prepare and get ourselves right for next weekend.”
Do you think what you guys do is a “gimmick offense?”
“[Laughs] I mean, no comment. I think the numbers speak for themselves.”
What do you think of Joe Flacco as a quarterback?
“I think he is a good quarterback. He can definitely make a lot of throws that you need to make at that position. He’s a big guy. He can stand in the pocket. I think the biggest thing on the defense is you gotta get pressure up on him and not let any quarterback get comfortable. That’s when they can get comfortable in the pocket. The key to affecting any quarterback is getting them off the spot and not letting him step into his throws.”
If you guys win on Sunday, that is Ray Lewis’ last game. Is Ray Lewis the best linebacker of all-time?
“I think he is up there. He has definitely played for a very long time at a very high level and you gotta respect a guy who is able to do that for such a long time, but again, over the next week you are not really thinking about Ray Lewis or anything that has to do with outside of just going in there and trying to win that game.”