Thursday October 24, 2013 | 05:24 PM

In his ninth season starting at left guard for the New England Patriots, Logan Mankins has developed a reputation as one of the toughest players in the NFL.

He's also one of the most honest and direct.

Earlier this week, he spoke to reporters about some of the problems the Patriots have had on offense this year and said that the offensive line has got to be better.

"There's times when we play really good and there's times when we play really bad,'' he said. "Like the other night (against the Jets), the little stretch there was about as bad as you can get.''

He was refering to the third quarter of Sunday's 30-27 ovetime loss. Tom Brady was sacked on the first play, hurried on the second, leading to a Pick Six interception.

Then was followed by three consecutive 3-and-outs that included two more sacks.

"We expect a lot out of ourselves,'' said Mankins. "That's why we were disappointed after the game the other night. We thought we played good until the end of the second. The third quarter was bad and think I think we played better in the fourth. But we had that lull right there in the third quarter that hurt us and hurt the team. We just can't play like that.''

But it would be wrong to blame all of the team's offensive problems on the offensive line.

"It's not all on us,'' said Mankins. "But there's enough of it on us.''

Mankins was asked if he felt the line, intact from last year, had improved over the first seven games.

"I don't know,'' he said. 'The answers are always on Sundays. If you're losing, you're not improving.''

WALT ANDERSON will be the referee for Sunday's game against the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium, according to Football Zebras.com.

TOM BRADY was added to the Thursday Injury Report, listed as right shoulder with limited participation.

DT Tommy Kelly (knee) and RB Leon Washington (ankle) were the only two Patriots not to practice.

 

About this Blog

Mike Lowe has covered the New England Patriots since 1999 for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and has had a nice view of their emergence as one of the NFL’s premier franchises.

He’s been at the paper since 1982 and has covered everything from a Little League World Series to the Summer Olympics. He is married to Tracie and they have three children and two grandchildren.

Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeLowePPH.

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

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