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Rob Ninkovich puts his support behind Tom Brady

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich, who has been with the team since 2009, was a guest on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Friday morning. Naturally, questions about Deflategate came up, as Ninkovich was asked how he responds to those who question the integrity of quarterback Tom Brady.

"I don't question it," Ninkovich said on the "Toucher and Rich" program, as he was promoting his celebrity Ping Pong tournament next week.

"Tom is a tremendous person and there is nothing more important to him than the game itself. I don't think Tom would ever do anything to jeopardize the integrity of the game. I stand by my quarterback and everyone else should too.

"When you're really good for a really long time, people want to come after you. We all support Tom, the whole Patriots organization supports Tom, and the Patriots fan base supports Tom. You can't control what everybody else says or does, you can kind of just control what you can do. For me, everybody else is focused on this season and do the best you can."

On a personal note, Ninkovich explained that he gave himself a month off after the season to recover.

"That was a good thing. You need that time [before] you get back into it," he said, noting that he slowly started to work out at that point and now he’s "fully back in."