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Rob Ninkovich Press Conference Transcript

Posted Dec 29, 2013

Patriots Defensive End Rob Ninkovich addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, December 29, 2013.

Q: With all the injuries on the team, how important is this bye?

RN: It's huge, just to have that week there to recover. When you can get that, it definitely helps your team as far as getting as healthy as possible. I'm happy that we were able to get the win and give ourselves a little time here to recover.

Q: Are you guys where you want to be mentally and physically now going into the postseason?

RN: I think there is always room for improvement. I think with the Ravens game and how we played that game we've just got to build on that confidence and know that we can go out there and if we all play together and we all do our jobs, we're going to win these games. Again I think this week was a great win. Buffalo always plays us tough. You have to give them credit; they're always a tough team to play. I think we definitely need to continue to carry the momentum forward here and just take this bye week as an extra week to prepare and work on us and get better as a team and for us moving forward, that's what we have to do to win in the playoffs.

Q: If you're talking to a rookie about the difference between regular season and postseason football, I'd imagine ‘urgency' comes up, but what else would you tell them about the difference in playoff football?

RN: I mean, it's a one-game season. It's all or nothing, so you've got to go out there and you've got to play well. It usually comes down to a couple plays here or there because both teams are great teams; obviously they're in the playoffs for a reason. When you get in the playoffs, it becomes that much more important to do the little things right. I think that for a rookie, it would be similar to preseason and that first regular season game because everything just steps up a notch and becomes that much more intense. I think that, again, you've got to just come with that attitude and know that it's a one-game season and you have to win.

Q: What does it say about your defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, when you look at the end of the game and it's all these young guys? You guys being able to hold everything together as a unit, what does that say about Matt Patricia?

RN: Matt has done a great job this year. I think it comes down to how he is in OTAs, mini-camp, training camp, just so detail oriented. I think that he does a great job of giving us all the details, all the little things that really you have to have in this game. It comes down to guys stepping up when they have to step up and they've been doing it all year here. Again, I think Matt has done a great job and he's put us in the best position possible to win these games and at a point there it comes down to the players doing their jobs and making plays. Matt puts us in the position and then it's us going out there and making the plays.

Q: Where would you say the confidence level is now? You've been through so much this year.

RN: To be honest, I think this is one of the most mentally tough teams I've been on, through the close games that we've played. Because the games that you win by three, one, those are games that take a lot out of you and we just keep coming back every week. I think as far as toughness goes, this team is one of the best I've ever been on. I think that again, we just have to continue to build and hit the playoffs here in stride. Again, this game comes down to doing your job and all three phases playing well, so we've got to be firing on all cylinders here going into the playoffs.