Starting left guard Logan Mankins has been a mainstay of the Patriots’ offensive line since he joined the league in 2005. Pro Player Insiders recently got a chance to catch up with the seventh-year player during Super Bowl week in Indianapolis, when Mankins spoke about being back in Indy, Tom Brady’s legacy and more.
Q: Given the Patriots-Colts rivalry, was there ever a time in your career when you hated coming to Indianapolis?
A: Oh yeah, I hate coming [there] to play the Colts. I like it a lot better when they come and play us. They’re a good team. That’s probably why we hate them. They were good for a long time. They had a down year this year, but I’m sure they’ll get it back.
Q: What’s the best part about being an offensive lineman?
A: Blocking. That’s all we do is block, so that has to be the best.
Q: What’s the worst part about being an offensive lineman?
A: There’s no bad part for us. We’ve got it pretty good. I think it’s a great job to have and I wouldn’t want to play one of those other positions. They have to run too much.
Q: Have you always been an offensive lineman?
A: No, I didn’t play offensive line until I got to college. I was a tight end and linebacker in high school.
Q: Are you surprised that you were able to sign a long-term deal for fair value with the Patriots?
A: I thought there was always a chance that something would happen. I just stuck to what I thought was right and it ended up working out for the best. I’m very happy to be with New England still and I think they’re still happy to have me or I wouldn’t be here. It’s worked out for both of us and it’s going very well.
Q: What was it like for you to get an up-close look at Tom Brady’s return from his serious knee injury a couple seasons ago?
A: That was pretty impressive. I went through it before, so I know how hard it is. It takes a lot of hard work. There [are] good days going through it and bad days. He’s done a great job and he looks like the old Tom Brady still.
Q: Did you ever doubt that he could come back from that type of injury and return to play at the highest level?
A: No, I had pretty good confidence in Tom. I know his work ethic and how much it means to him to play football, so I knew he’d make it back.
Q: Do you think he is the best quarterback in the league today?
A: Oh yeah, by far. Well, not by too far. I think those other guys are pretty good. Not to take anything from them, but Tom Brady does a great job. I’ve never played with them. I only know Tom, but he’s pretty darn good.
Q: Is he motivated by individual rankings of the best NFL quarterbacks?
A: He might be. I don’t know personally, but I don’t think he needs to be motivated by that. Tom, he just wants to do the best job he can to the best of his ability and that’s what drives him to be the best. If people say he’s the best, he’s still going to work really hard. If they say he’s losing it, he’s going to work just as hard as he was before. I don’t think that stuff affects Tom.