After 11 NFL seasons, including the last eight with the New England Patriots, Rob Ninkovich announced his retirement Sunday. The 33-year-old won two Super Bowls with New England and will greatly miss playing for Bill Belichick.
“I think the daily interaction that we have, it really is fun going into each week and getting a game plan, working on the game plan, and you can really see (it) each week come together, we win, and the season, the way it progresses – I’ll just miss those times with coach,” Ninkovich said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “We have a really good relationship, a really honest relationship. He’ll tell me if I’m not doing something the right way, and I know I can go up to him and talk about anything. So having a relationship like that with a coach, it’s awesome.”
That relationship went beyond football. Belichick, as it turns out, isn’t nearly as surly as he sometimes comes across in press conferences. In fact, he’s a bit of a jokester.
“We wouldn’t laugh at him. We’d laugh at something he said,” Ninkovich said. “Coach, he doesn’t express himself (to the media) as much as he does to us. He’s funny. He’s a comedian, basically. Then things that he says, his wit – it’s fun, and I’ll miss that, too. I’ll miss sitting back there with Dev (Devin McCourty). I’ve been next to him for eight years. We had a blast.”