There is probably no tougher player on the New England Patriots team than offensive lineman Logan Mankins. The 10-year veteran is entering another training camp and is feeling good. On Wednesday, the 2005 top draft choice of the Patriots addressed the media and discussed his health, how long he plans to play the game and having a new offensive line coach.
Over the course of his career, Mankins has become an anchor on the offensive line. He has become a leader on and off the field and it would be hard to imagine the group that protects Tom Brady without him. At 32 years old, Mankins is approaching that time in his career when the questions will start to surface about how much he has to give to the game of football and how much pain and grit his body can endure. As of course, the Pro Bowler says he feels great health wise.
When asked how much longer he thinks he has, he answered, “That’s a good question. It depends on health, I think, and if they want to keep me around here still. I just want to play until I think I don’t feel good. If I can’t do it, I don’t think I’ll keep going once I don’t think I’m playing the way I want to.”
Mankins, however, knows it is a business and has seen plenty veterans of the Patriots let go in some capacity if they were no longer able to contribute to the system. The offensive lineman finds himself in a good position because of his leadership and ability to teach the younger players. He is also able to provide some guidance with the team having a new offensive line coach with the retirement of longtime line coach Dante Scarnecchia and the hiring of Dave DeGuglieimo. Mankins said the transition has been good so far.
“It’s been great. Googe is a good guy, a hard-working guy, he’s very loud and he gets his point across well. He’s funny. Once the pads come on, we’ll really see how he wants things done and the way he coaches. We haven’t experienced him in a game situation yet. We’re still getting to know him, he’s still getting to know us, and that’s what all these practices are for.”
The change and the influx of young players on the offensive line are reasons Mankins is looking forwards to training camp. He says this is the time of year “you’ve got to earn your job,” and he appears exciting to begin the grind and enter into a new season where expectations are once again high.