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Mankins says camp is 'for earning your job'

Logan Mankins is back for another training camp in New England and the Pro Bowl guard knows what to expect.

Logan Mankins has been through it all before.

This is the 10th time the Pro Bowl guard and Patriots co-captain has reported for training camp at Gillette Stadium. So he knows what to expect.

That's not to say he likes the work that goes on the hot practice fields of Foxborough in July and August, just that he's experienced with how to deal with.

"I'm not sure it's too different, it's just the way you go into it," Mankins said entering camp now as a veteran as opposed to past years. "I think I've gone into them all the same except for the first one when I didn't know what to expect. Since then I've known what's going to happen every time, what to prepare for and be ready for."

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At the age of 32 and with a decade under his belt Mankins was asked how many more training camps he can see himself attending.

"I don't know. That's a good question," Mankins responded. "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 and if I can still do it. If I can't do it I don't think I'll keep going, once I don't feel that I'm playing the way I want to."

While most players enter camp fresh and healthy, Mankins knows that feeling won't last long.

"I feel great right now. I'm sure in a few days I'll feel like crap." Mankins said with a smirk.

Though the aged leader of the line in New England at this point, Mankins is far from the only veteran in the group. The Patriots return the entire starting lineup from last season and all key backups. At a spot where continuity is the goal, that's an option up front for 2014, although there are three draft picks and returning youngsters looking to break into the lineup.

"We do have a lot of veterans returning. We have some young guys that are fitting in nicely so far," Mankins observed. "It's always good to know the guys you are with, that you can trust them and stuff like that. It's good but this is the time of year that you have to go out and prove it. You have to earn your job. That's what training camp is for, earning your job."

One important change and new face is the addition of offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, taking over for coaching and franchise legend Dante Scarnecchia.

"It's been great," Mankins said of working with a new position coach for the first time in his career. "He's a good guy. He's a hard working guy. He's very loud. He gets his point across well. He's funny. It's been great so far and 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. That's what all these practices are for."

Check out a selection of the best images of Patriots Pro Bowl G Logan Mankins from the 2013-14 NFL Season.

Those practices will begin on Thursday, when Mankins and company will take part in workouts in shells, shorts and helmets but no pads. It's a two-day CBA-mandated acclimation that leads into padded action.

"I know a lot of guys are always excited for pads, like the quarterbacks and those guys that don't hit," Mankins joked. "The linemen, we hit every play in the pads, so it's a different practice for us. It's good. Football, you are hitting. So you might as well do it in practice."

It's a necessary evil, much like training camp itself. Which is what Mankins has come to expect if not enjoy over his decade in the NFL.

"At this point you'd just rather get to the games, but I understand what training camp is for," Mankins admitted. "It's needed. It's necessary. It's just one of those things that you have to put yourself through and it makes you better. It gets you in good shape. It's a necessary.

"You learn from new guys what they're willing to put themselves through. How good a shape guys are in. If they're willing…if we're doing drills that are really tough and they are already tired, you see what they got. It's always a fun time, but it's a hard time."

And it kicks off on Thursday.

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