FOXBORO — Logan Mankins  has never been one to mince words, and so when a reporter asked him Thursday morning if Spygate taunts from opposing players — like the one from Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo earlier this week that came via Twitter  — ever get annoying, Mankins was quick to respond.
‘Nah, that was a long time ago,’ responded Mankins.
The reporter followed up, asking if it got under his skin at all.
‘No, but you are,’ responded Mankins with a smile.
The retort is par for the course for Mankins, who always plays with an edge. (Quarterback Tom Brady  once said with a grin that the occasionally feisty Mankins ‘plays until the echo of the whistle.’ ) The first time the Patriots and Ravens met this season, there was plenty of pushing and shoving between the two teams, and Mankins talked about why that was on Thursday.
‘I think we’re two emotional teams, so stuff happens out there,’ he said. ‘You just always have to be smart about it. A penalty just hurts your team, so you can take it a little ways — you just have to make sure you never take it too far.
‘That’s the only way I know how to play and I’m going to keep doing it until they tell us we can’t.’
Following are more highlights from his Thursday morning Q&A with the media.
What has it been like to have the continuity with Ryan Wendell at center on the offensive line this year?
‘Oh yeah, definitely, it’s always nice to have your center there the whole season. Last year I think we had four different centers. It was a little bit different every week. He did a good job staying healthy for us. He’s done a good job preparing, playing, communicating, so he’s done a very good job.’
How tough is Haloti Ngata as you get to see him up close and personal?
‘Haloti, he’s a very good player. I think everyone knows that. He does a lot of different things for them, he lines up everywhere. I think that’s one of the things that makes him very good, he’s very versatile for someone his size. He’s always a handful for whatever team’s playing them and we’ll have to do a good job against him.’
Yesterday your teammates talked about how hard Tom Brady works despite his accomplishments. Do you become amazed at how hard he works and became a natural leader because of it?
‘Yeah I think so. I think at any point in your career where you stop worrying about working on the little things, you’re not going to be as good. I think Tom understands that no matter how good he is, he needs to prepare like anyone else would that’s not at the same level as him. He’s going to work hard to make sure he’s ready.’
Does his work ethic inspire the rest of the team to work just as hard?
‘We are professional athletes, that’s our job. If you’re not working as hard as you can, you’re cheating yourself already. I think the coaches are going to notice that and you’re not going to be around here too long.’