Without Ninkovich on Day 1, Patriots young DEs down a coach on the field

FOXBORO — The Patriots were without the de-facto leader of the defensive-end group when training camp practice opened on Thursday, and his absence was felt in particular by the younger players he shared the field with throughout the spring.  Fellow defensive end Kony Ealy was absent for practice as well, meaning that rookies like Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise may have seen more time than they otherwise would have had all veterans been available.  But it wasn't just Ninkovich's leftover snaps that made his void so noticeable, Rivers explained after the session.  "Rob, he helps me out. He's a teacher," River said. "He's a helper. He loves to help and serve younger guys . . . "Rob always, as soon

Source: Yahoo.com