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Rob Ninkovich on D&K: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski missing start of offseason workout program not huge deal

Ryan Hannable
April 18, 2018 - 9:22 pm

Rob Ninkovich knows a thing or two about playing for Bill Belichick and the Patriots, so appearing on Dale & Keefe Wednesday he was able to give good perspective on Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski missing the start of the Patriots offseason workout program.

Ninkovich seemed to indicate it's not as big of a deal as it would be if the pair were to miss OTAs.

“I think it would be a bigger story if they weren’t there for the offseason OTA part," he said. "For the workouts — Rob is going to be the most freakishly in-shape guy in the NFL even if he didn’t work out. The guy is a freak of nature. He’s working out. I texted him yesterday. He said his high kicks are insane. He can take a can off my head, guaranteed.”

“The OTAs yeah, because it is more of learning what you have on your team," Ninkovich added. "On defense, when you are working with the first team it is more of a communication thing, you are trying to get down the fundamentals of the defense. That is a bigger thing. Most guys, if they don’t do the offseason program, they are definitely there for the OTA portion of it just so you can get the inside backer, outside backer, safeties, corners -- they are all talking.”

The former Patriots outside linebacker said missing part of the offseason program wouldn't be held against a player, as long as he came ready to play for training camp.

“Not as long as you are out there performing," he said. "Honestly, if you go out there in training camp and you look like you haven’t been working out and you look like you haven’t been running, you’re not going to make the team and get cut anyway. There’s an understanding in all of football and every player knows this, if you’re not working hard, there’s somebody else that is going to out work you and they are going to take your spot.”

Ninkovich said he although he was a veteran and didn't really need the workout portion, he attended because of his workout bonus. (For the record, Gronkowski has a $250,000 workout bonus.)

“Me personally, no, because I had a offseason workout bonus," he said when asked if he skipped the beginning of the offseason program. "You don’t want to give that up. I would go do that. I worked out, I would work out every day. To be a professional you have to work out every day. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you are going to be working out, so why not make your workout bonus? I think the guys that have those, they are definitely going to be there. The guys that don’t, they don’t go. I know Chris Long, I don’t think he’s in Philly right now. I know him, he’s a great friend.

"For some people, they are a little bit older, 33, 34, you have kids, you have a wife, you live in a different state, you don’t have a permanent residence somewhere, it is kind of a hassle to go back and work out when you are already working out every day on your own."

Dale & Keefe - Rob Ninkovich jumps in the 3rd chair with Dale & Keefe; Ninko's reaction to the Butler benching and how we would react; Brady and Gronk noting being with the Patriots this week is no big deal.

Hour 2:  Former Patriot Rob Ninkovich joins Dale & Keefe for the first of two hours. Ninko is just in time to discuss the newest scuttlebutt regarding Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots. He also discusses Danny Amendola’s interview with Mike Reiss, and tells a story of a time he said something in an interview that Bill didn’t like very much.

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