FOXBORO (CBS) – All Pro guard Logan Mankins, practiced for the first time Thursday and then spoke to the media afterwards.
Remember last season, Logan was in a bitter “he said, she said” battle with the organization and many people thought he had a problem with Patriots owner Rober Kraft.
Well, Mankins cleared everything up.
“Let’s get things straight. Me and Mr. Kraft never had a problem. I never said he lied,” Mankins told reporters.
“When I said the organization, I never said he did. So let’s get that straight right now. Me and Mr. Kraft never had a problem. We’ve talked last offseason, we’ve talked last season, we’ve talked this offseason, we’ve talked in training camp, so everything is good between me and him.”
Mankins said he is happy to be back with the team and he’s putting last year’s contract squabble behind him.
This year, he’s going to make $10 million and he hopes he will be able to sign a long-term deal soon, but he understands more than ever, that this is a business.
Patriots first round draft choice Nate Solder signed his deal on Thursday and he was immediately out on the practice field.
With Matt Light on the sidelines watching, Solder was inserted in practice and worked out with the first team.
“It was great. It’s been a while,” Solder said of practicing, while noting the difference between college and the NFL. “There are some great players out here. It’s a challenge definitely.”
Solder said his teammates have been welcoming and he’s just looking forward to the work ahead. He’s missed a week of training camp, so his main focus is to try and catch up.
“Things happen, I’m just happy to be here now. I just wanted to get out here and play,” he said. “There are great coaches here and that’s going to help me get ready to play.”
Yesterday’s practice for the Patriots was the 10th since the start of training camp. It was also the first official day of the NFL year. The CBA got signed and we can officially say football is a go.
Here are some of things I noticed:
Debut of veteran signings
The CBA was ratified and now certain veteran players can get on the field. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was finally in the mix and so was Mankins. Sammy Morris, Kyle Arrington, Brandon McGowan were also players who were finally on the field. Matt Light and Kevin Faulk were also here, but the watched in shorts and t-shirts from the sidelines.
Solder makes debut
Just a couple of hours after signing his deal, first round draft choice Nate Solder, was on the practice field. The offensive tackle out of Colorado was inserted immediately with the first unit. That was a surprise because he had missed a week of practice and again there were no offseason OTA’s. This could have been because Matt Light was not in uniform. Solder did appear to hold his own.
Bad day for Ochocinco, receivers
Chad Ochocinco has had a alot of drops in camp and, in yesterday’s practice, he dropped some more. He dropped about a half a dozen in drills and on a 7-on-7, he beat Brandon McGowan and dropped a deep ball that drew boos from the fans. This is not a trend. Chad dropped a lot of passes last year when he was playing for the Bengals.
Haynesworth health in focus
Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth is having his reps limited in practice. It was good to see him on the field going up against Logan Mankins. The two of them had a couple of fierce battles. But afterwards he was seen on the sideline re-habbing with players and stretching. His health will continue to be a focus as the team gets closer to the start of the regular season.