New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich could pile up the sacks next season after the team made some key additions to its secondary.
Of course, winning is what’s first on Ninkovich’s mind, but if cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner can help him add some individual accomplishments, it can’t hurt.
“We have the best corner in the league coming in,” Ninkovich said Tuesday at Gillette Stadium about the addition of Revis. “That’s always a good thing for a defensive end like myself — give me a little more time. I’ll be happy to use that.
“You can do whatever you want with him. You can put him on the best receiver, tight end, whoever, and just say, ‘Go cover this guy,’ and he can do it. Whenever you have a guy who’s that talented, it’s always great, as far as defensive schemes and stuff like that.”
Ninkovich said that at this point in his career, and at his age, winning is still all that matters, however, and Revis will help the Patriots accomplish that overarching goal.
“The more great football players you have on your team, the better chance you have to win,” Ninkovich said. “Again, I’m happy he’s playing for us.”
Browner was another key addition to the Patriots’ defense. He isn’t the best cornerback in the league, like Revis, but he might be the biggest, which is what Ninkovich first noticed when he was introduced to his new teammate.
“That guy is bigger than me,” Ninkovich said about Browner. “When I first met him, I didn’t know he was a corner.”
Browner is listed at 6-foot-4, 221 pounds. In 2013, Aqib Talib, at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, was the biggest cornerback on the Patriots.
“He’s big, physical guy,” Ninkovich said about Browner. “He’s tall and long. He’s another guy who is a piece you can put on the field anywhere to go cover a guy and shut them down.”
The Patriots’ defense looked primed to have their best season in years in 2013 before the injury bug bit. The additions of Revis and Browner presumably will make them that much better. And for Ninkovich, their addition could mean more sacks. Ninkovich has never hit double-digit sacks in a single season, though he came close with eight apiece in 2012 and 2013.