Saints News

Saints vs. Patriots: Rob Ninkovich is one Saints Let Get Away


Jan 13, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive lineman Rob Ninkovich (50) pressures Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) during the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Texans 41-28. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday when the New Orleans Saints take on the New England Patriots, Drew Brees and the offense will encounter a steallar defender by the name of Rob Ninkovich.

Believe it or not, Ninkovich could be playing for Rob Ryan’s defense on Sunday.

Instead, Sean Payton and Co. let Ninkovich get away.

Ninkovich simply did not fit in the Saints defense when they drafted him in the fifth round in 2006 and cut him both in 2007 and 2009.

Payton is well aware of the mistake, as he told Mike Triplett of ESPN:

"“So it tells you how much I know,” Payton said.“One of the things that keeps you up at night during training camp is making the proper decisions and not allowing a good player to leave the building,” Payton expanded. “We have been fortunate now in year eight [since Payton arrived in 2006] that we are not talking about a litany of players. But he is a good example of someone that we drafted and yet I don’t know if we had a real good vision of what we wanted to do with him. And then it only gets worse because he’s back in the building a few years later and we have a second go at it, and we don’t capitalize on that.“First off, he’s an extremely motivated player, hardworking, smart. He has all of those qualities that we look for. And those are the types of things that keep you up at night as a coach is having a good football player like that right under your wing twice and not being able to take advantage of it.”"

The Saint shave a great defense as of now without Ninkovich, but his addition to the unit would have been huge this season. While Ninkovich wreaks havoc Sunday, try not to think too much about what could have been.

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