|Logan Mankins at No. 82 on NFL Network ‘Top 100′ list||05.02.13 at 9:33 pm ET|
Patriots guard Logan Mankins was revealed as the first player on the NFL Network’s “Top 100″ Thursday night, coming in at No. 82.
The first-round pick of the Patriots in 2005, the Fresno State product was named to an All-Pro team in each of the past three seasons and five Pro Bowls during his career.
It marks the third consecutive season he’s made the list — he was at No. 39 in 2011 and No. 64 last year. The list is compiled by a players’ vote.
|Andrew Luck replaces Tom Brady on AFC Pro Bowl squad, Logan Mankins, Wes Welker and Vince Wilfork also out||01.21.13 at 7:38 pm ET|
Tom Brady is again politely declining a trip to Hawaii to play in the NFL’s greatest exhibition game.
Andrew Luck had one of the best seasons any rookie quarterback has ever had in living up to his No. 1 overall draft billing coming into the 2012 season.
On Monday, the Indianapolis Colts rookie was rewarded with a trip to Hawaii to replace Brady in the in the Pro Bowl. Brady was excused from the Pro Bowl with an undisclosed injury.
Brady was selected to his eighth Pro Bowl game in late December but hasn’t played the last six times he’s been selected. He played in Feb. 2002 after winning the Super Bowl and he played in Feb. 2005 after the 2004 season but hasn’t played since, as he has been designated as injured and has been replaced.
It appears Brady won’t be alone in turning down the leis in paradise. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports Wes Welker, Logan Mankins and Vince Wilfork have also taken their names out of the Pro Bowl due to various injuries. Linebacker Jerod Mayo and special teams captain Matthew Slater were also selected but remain on the Pro Bowl roster.
As for Luck, through Week 9, Luck had thrown for the same number of yards as his predecessor, Peyton Manning, did in his first season in Denver.
His legend began to truly grow in Week 13 against the Lions. Luck and the Colts were trailing 33-28 with 1:07 left. He was able to get to the Lions’ 14 yard line and faced a fourth down with three seconds left. Luck then threw a screen pass to Donnie Avery who got free and ran in for the winning score.
The win gave Luck his eighth on the season – the most wins by a rookie quarterback drafted first overall in NFL history, as well as his fifth game-winning drive on the season, tying Vince Young and Ben Roethlisberger for the most by a rookie quarterback. On Dec. 23, 2012, Luck broke the record for most passing yards by a rookie against the Kansas City Chiefs, throwing 205 to bring his season total to 4,183. Cam Newton held the previous record with 4,051 yards.
Luck advanced the Colts, one season removed from 2-14, to the the playoffs, where they lost to the Ravens in Baltimore.
|Rob Ninkovich on M&M: ‘It hurts’ going out this way||at 12:05 pm ET|
Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich and offensive lineman Logan Mankins stopped by for visits with Mut & Merloni on Monday morning to discuss Sunday night’s 28-13 loss to the Ravens in the AFC championship game.
“You put in a lot of effort and time to get to where we were last night. It hurts,” Ninkovich said. “All you can really do is try to learn from it. We’ve got a lot of young guys on defense. They got a lot of great experience throughout the season, through the highs and lows of a football year. I think we’re just going to get better from it, really. I think our future’s definitely bright.
“You’ve got to give the Ravens credit for the way they were able to play us. I think they played us the best way they could.”
Said Mankins: “Overall, we didn’t execute good enough and didn’t score any points [in the second half]. That’s what happens. You don’t score, you don’t win. … You’ve just got to take your hat off to those guys. We expected to win and we didn’t. They played a heck of a game, and we didn’t play a good one.”
Most of the focus is on the New England offense’s missed first-half opportunities to build a bigger lead and its inability to score after the break, but Ninkovich is more focused on the defense giving up 16 points after the break.
“That first half, defensively we did a good job of kind of shutting down the run game,” he said. “They really weren’t able to get anything moving on us. But at the end of the day, it’s up to us to hold them to seven points. If they score seven at the half, we should have done our best to keep them from scoring again.
“We definitely missed out on a couple of opportunities for turnovers — a missed interception, [Jerod] Mayo had a great strip on the sideline there, the ball bounced out of bounds; any other game it would have bounced back in and somebody would have jumped on it. That’s the way football is. You’ve got to deal with it. Sometimes it rolls the other way.”
|Logan Mankins: Spygate taunts don’t get under my skin||01.17.13 at 1:47 pm ET|
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.
|Logan Mankins on M&M: Texans ‘frustrated, and deservedly so’||01.14.13 at 12:54 pm ET|
Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins checked in with Mut & Merloni on Monday to talk about Sunday’s victory over the Texans and next Sunday’s matchup with the Ravens.
The Texans stuck with their blitz-heavy game plan on Sunday, which came as no surprise to Mankins.
“They did the same thing all season long. They’ve had great success with it, so why were they going they stop?” Mankins said. “We did a good job of picking up the pressures at times and had some good plays from it. Other times we should have done a better job. But for the most part it went pretty well.”
Added Mankins: “They’re frustrated, and deservedly so. They do a great job all season, and the two times they play us they give up over 40 points. If I was them I’d be pretty frustrated.”
The Patriots had success with their hurry-up offense against the Texans. Mankins said the hurry-up presents challenges for the offense as well as the defense.
“We’ve done it for pretty much the whole season,” Mankins said. “You get down there, you make a good play to get down there. The line and the guys on the field, all of a sudden we just hear Tom [Brady] yelling a play, so it’s time to go. We just get lined up and go. A lot of times they’re not set and ready, so we get the jump on them. Then it just comes down to guys trying to figure out who to block, because they’re moving around everywhere, you don’t know who is who. Luckily we’ve been able to get guys on the right guys and there’s been a nice crease there for the backs, and it’s worked out very well.”
The Patriots have been criticized for their hurry-up offense — most recently by Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo — but Mankins said opponents would be better off focusing on how to stop it.
“It’s part of the game now,” he said. “We’re not the only team that quick-counts people. … Whatever team you play, you have to be prepared for the nuances that they do. If you want to complain about it, that’s fine. If you want to try to prepare and get ready to stop it …”
The Ravens head to Foxboro for the AFC championship game with a team known for its defense, and Mankins is looking forward to the challenge.
“This is the game we wanted to get to. It gives us a shot to move on,” Mankins said. “The Ravens are always a tough test. They’re proven mentally tough and they’re physically tough. It’s always a hard-fought game. They’ve got a good defensive line — big, physical, strong guys. You’ve got big, physical linebackers. So, it’s always a tough matchup for the offensive line.”
|Vince Wilfork first-team AP All-Pro, Logan Mankins second-team, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski snubbed||01.12.13 at 1:06 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Another dominating season along the Patriots’ defensive line has earned Vince Wilfork first-team Associated Press All-Pro honors.
Starting left guard Logan Mankins was named to the second team despite missing six games due to hip and ankle injuries. The results from a panel of 50 voters was announced Saturday morning.
Despite another Pro Bowl season, quarterback Tom Brady, with three votes, did not make either first or second team, beaten out by first-teamer Peyton Manning (43 votes) and Aaron Rodgers (four votes). Brady missed the second team by one vote after throwing for 4,827 yards and 34 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 63 percent of his passes.
This is the first time Wilfork has been voted to the first team, after being named to the second team in 2007, 2010 and 2011. The perennial Pro Bowl nose tackle finished the season with three sacks, 29 tackles and four fumble recoveries.
Rob Gronkowski finished third among tight ends, behind Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez and the Cowboys’ Jason Witten.
|Logan Mankins on his 2012 season: ‘Of course, it’s been tough’||01.10.13 at 6:25 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Logan Mankins laughed at the mere mention of the question.
Has this year been difficult for the big, bruising starting left guard for the Patriots?
“Physically? Yeah. I’ve missed some games; of course it’s been tough,” Mankins said Thursday. “You’d like to be healthy for the whole season, but it just doesn’t always go that way.”
To be specific, Mankins missed six games this season with various injuries. He missed Sept. 30 in Buffalo with a sore hip. He missed the Jets game at home the Rams game in London with a recurrence of the hip issue along with a bad calf. Then, he came back against the Bills at home on Nov. 11, only to turn his left ankle, forcing him to miss the next three games before starting the final four of the season.
But a little perspective reveals that a bum hip, ankle and calf isn’t about to stop a man who played with torn ACL and MCL in his right knee last season.
“I feel a lot better,” Mankins said when asked to compare how he feels now to 12 months ago. “Last year at this time I had a torn MCL and a torn ACL. So I feel a lot better.”
Mankins was one of those who really needed the bye week to get extra rest for the playoffs. Does he feel like a new man this week?
“Well I was until the last three days of practice,” he said with a smile. “You know you always feel pretty good after a bye, after a couple of days off. Not having a game, you freshen up a little. So yeah, I feel pretty good.”
Is the bye particularly beneficial for the offensive line given the physical nature of the position?
“Yeah, if you make the most of it,” he said. “If you get a few good lifts in, some good running and get off your feet when you go home, it’s always beneficial, if you use it to your advantage.”
But now, the task gets tougher – a lot tougher. J.J. Watt and the Texans defensive line will certainly try to find different ways to pressure the Patriots offensive line Sunday afternoon.
“Well it’s going to be really tough,” Mankins said. “You have probably the best D-lineman in the league in J.J. Watt and then you’ve got Antonio Smith, another very good defensive lineman. So those two together are very tough and then you put all four of them out there at one time and they’re a tough matchup for anyone. You see the problems they give teams every week. Cincinnati scored six points on offense, so that says a lot right there, to hold a team to six points in the playoffs.”
What makes J.J. Watt so special in Mankins’ eyes?
“It starts with he’s got all of the physical tools: he’s big, strong, fast and then he plays relentless,” Mankins said. “He’s a high-motor guy that hustles a lot and he’s got a great playing style, so that’s why he’s good.”
Here’s the rest of Thursday’s interview with Mankins:
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