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Logan Mankins Postgame Press Conference Transcript

New England Patriots G Logan Mankins addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, January 11, 2014.

Q: What is it like for the offense when you are able to run the ball like you have the past couple of games?

LM: Yeah, I think that's great. Me personally, I believe that our team is the best when we are running the ball like that. The more runs we get, I think the better we are and the better chance we have to win.

Q: If someone had told you at the beginning of the year that the team would have all the injuries they had and still end up in the AFC Championship game, what would you have said?

LM: Well that's the good thing about football – you still have to play the games. Any Sunday, any team can win and if you have guys that play to their role and do their job the right way, no matter who it is, you have a good chance to win. That's the good thing about the players on this team, they do their jobs. They take pride in doing what they're supposed to, and when they do it right, we have outcomes like tonight. If we keep doing that we have a good chance.

Q: It looked like tonight the team went with a very physical lineup with Michael Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan out there for a lot of the game. How much was that a point of emphasis this week and the past month or two?

LM: You're right it has been. We feel like we had the advantage tonight physically, and we ran the ball well. The backs ran hard. The tight ends blocked great. Our fullback [James Develin], I don't know if he's gotten that much credit this year, but he's been outstanding. He's been another element to our team that we were lacking and he's done a great job for us. Any time you get that many rushing attempts, you feel like you're controlling the line of scrimmage, and that's where games are won and lost.

Q: You hear about how important it is at this time of year to have a running game and have balance. What does that mean to you as one of the guys who has to try and carry that objective out?

LM: Well, to us we want every run to be like that long one tonight, but we know that's just not the way the game works. You're going to lose some yards sometimes, you're going to have no gains sometimes, but as long as you have the amount of runs called and keep that number up high, eventually you're going to pop one out there. Eventually you are going to wear them down and get some bigger runs. So, as long as we keep running it, eventually good things will happen.

Q: What is it like blocking for LeGarrette Blount? Different backs have different running styles, and it takes some time for the offensive line to mesh with the running back.

LM: It's great so far. You know, he's done great for us this year. He's came in, he's been a great teammate. We really appreciate him and he's run great for us. There's nothing better than seeing that big guy out in the open field. Man, he grabs another gear from somewhere and he starts moving and you know none of those safeties and corners want to tackle him, let alone they're not going to tackle him when it's one-on-one with him out there with no one else around. So, it's fun to watch him.

Q: For the last seven years you have been on the team, they have showed spurts of being a balanced offensive team, but for the most part it's been a passing team. That's sort of different this year. Can you talk about that mentality and what has happened?

LM: Well the only way that can happen is if you are being efficient in the run game. If you're not doing good running the ball, it's hard for them to keep calling runs. If you're grinding out yards and at least showing promise in the run game, it's easier for Josh [McDaniels] to call runs. If you're getting stuffed every time, it's a lot easier for him to call pass plays. So, as long as we keep doing good and the backs keeping running the way they have been, then it's easy for him to call them.

Q: Was it stressed this year that the offense wants to be more balanced than ever before?

LM: I think we've always strived to be more balanced. It's just, what is the strength of your offense? At time, we're a better passing team than a running team. Right now, I don't know if we're a better running team than a passing team, but the running is working. So, why go away from something that's working?

Q: Are you going to watch the Denver-San Diego game tomorrow?

LM: I'll watch. We're going to be playing either one of them, so I might as well start getting a little scouting report on them. So, I'm sure most of the guys will be watching and we'll fire it back up Monday once we know who we're playing.

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