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Logan Mankins Press Conference Transcript

New England Patriots offensive guard Logan Mankins addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, January 12, 2012.

Q: How did it feel to be able to get back out on the field this week?  

LM: It felt good; got to move around a little bit out there.  

Q: How's your knee feeling?  

LM: Still day-to-day, but we'll see. Just taking it one day at a time and we'll see what happens.  

Q: How have you been able to test your knee on the field in practice? Has it been limited in any regard that would concern you?  

LM: Not yet, I've been limited all week, though. I'm not going to get into too much but like I said, it's day-to-day, we're working on it and we're not sure what's going to happen yet.  

Q: How were you able to help the younger guys on the offensive line in your absence?  

LM: Well at least it was only one game so far. Those guys that, Ryan Wendell played when I was out and he played a lot of us all year - center and he's been here for four years now so he knows the deal around here. He did a great job last game.  

Q: Is there anything different about the mindset or preparation going into this playoff game than the last two playoff games?  

LM: No, we know how important playoff games are. It's a one game season right now. If you lose, you're done. If you win, you have a chance to keep going. It's do or die so you put everything you've got into this game and hopefully it works out for you.  

Q: What recollections do you have of the last couple playoffs losses? What is the motivation factor to avoid that feeling again?  

LM: Getting to the Super Bowl - that's why we play this game. You want to win every game but we know that's a tough thing to do. But this time of year you have to win or your season is over and no one wants it to be over.  

Q: How difficult has it been the last couple of years when you've had opportunities at home?  

LM: It's horrible. You never want to lose those games. The situation we've been in the past few years, we were in good situations and to come up short like that is very difficult. It stays with you for awhile.  

Q: You wanted to come back in the last game, didn't you?  

LM: Yeah, I would have liked to.  

Q: Given how much you like to play and that you almost came back last time, what would it take for you not to be able to play?  

LM: We'll figure that one out when we get there.  

Q: Given the results the last two years in the playoffs, would you buy into the line of thinking that this team faces more pressure in the playoffs this time around?  

LM: I don't know. This is a different team than we've had the last few years; a lot of different guys. Every year I think a team's mindset is different by the guys that are on it. We know what's at stake and we're going to do our best job to not have the result we've had the last few years.  

Q: A lot of guys have said this is a different team. How are you guys different?  

LM: I don't know. I think you've seen our resiliency this year. We've had a few games where we've come out the first quarter and played horrible but guys never gave up. We knew if we kept playing hard that guys would make some plays and get us back in the game and have a chance to win. I think in years past, I don't know if we had that all the time but this year we've been tough and we keep playing.  

Q: Why do you wear a knee brace?  

LM: All of our offensive linemen wear them.  

Q: Did you think about that given how your knee was hit and that it stopped it from being something major?  

LM: Yeah, it could have been worse. It couldn't have been as bad either, I guess. But yeah, we wear knee braces just to help prevent something like that.  

Q: How about the challenges that exist with Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil?  

LM: Big challenges. They're both good players, they both have over 10 sacks. They give a lot of teams a lot of trouble. You saw it last game when Dumervil hit Tom [Brady]. We don't want that to happen again. Those guys are good players and we're going to have our hands full with them.  

Q: Can you talk about playing in this cold front that is coming in on Saturday? Do injuries flare up when it's so cold out?  

LM: No, not once the clock starts, you don't feel that stuff anymore.  

Q: So it has no effect on play?  

LM: No, I wouldn't say so. The cold might affect the ball in the kicking game, that's about it. It's the playoffs, you don't feel any injuries out there.  

Q: As a veteran, do you have a greater sense of appreciation for what it means to be playing in the postseason? What are your recollections of your first playoff game?  

LM: I've been around long enough now, I know how hard it is to get to the playoffs; how hard it is to win in the playoffs. It's not easy. And that was a long time ago, my first one. There have been a few since then, I don't remember all of them.  

Q: What was it about the first time you were in the playoffs?  

LM: I just knew it was a big spot in the season. I know we won that game, I think it was against Jacksonville. Other than that, I don't remember much of it. I knew that it was a tough, competitive game. It was just one of those days, going into a playoff game I wanted to do everything right and help my team and we ended up winning that day.  

Q: There was a lot of talk earlier in the season that you guys couldn't be a finesse team. As an offensive line, do you think you guys have exerted your dominance?  

LM: I don't know if we have. Ask some other D-linemen around the league if we hit them or not.  

Q: How much of an effect is Dante Scarnecchia's leadership in terms of attitude and keeping you all together?

LM: It's very important. Dante, he's an excellent coach. He's been around a long time; he's seen it all. He demands hard work. He demands it but he also puts it in himself, he's here all night, all morning. He has a great game plan for us. He studies film, he has everything broken down to make it easier on us and have us prepared. He's invaluable to us.  

Q: Do you expect to see Von Miller moved inside from time to time? They didn't do it against you guys the first time. What kind of problem does that present?  

LM: He does present a problem. He's probably their most talented pass rusher. They're going to try to get matchups for him. They did put him in there a few times in the first game; ran a middle cross with him. Whenever you have a guy that is as good as Von, you're going to try to move him around. You don't want the offense just to key on where he is the whole time. You want to get him where he can get freed up.  

Q: Is it his speed that creates problems?  

LM: Yeah, he's super fast, very athletic, great change of direction. That's why he was the number two pick, he has all the tools. He's a relentless player, he plays hard.  

Q: Maybe you don't pay attention to much of it, but is it any surprise to you that Tim Tebow is getting more notoriety than Tom Brady?  

LM: I'm not too worried about that. I'm more worried about Von Miller and [Elvis] Dumervil and the guys they have inside there. I don't pay too much attention to Tebow, he's on offense.  

Q: In your mind, no comparison between the two quarterbacks?  

LM: Not yet.  

Q: What do you think about Wes Welker's mustache?  

LM: It looks nice. It's filling in nice, so hopefully he can keep it going.  

Q: What is Brodrick Bunkley's strength?  

LM: Exactly what you said - strength. He's not the tallest guy but he's really thick. He's a load in there. He's got good leverage and good power.

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