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Putting the flags on hold

Mankins clearly frustrated by calls

By Julian Benbow
Globe Staff / November 18, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH - Logan Mankins isn’t saying every holding penalty he’s been called for is a bad one.

“I’ve held a lot and not gotten called, but there’s a few I have held and gotten called on it and deserved it,’’ he said yesterday.

But there was one in last Sunday’s win over the Jets, when he was whistled for grabbing linebacker Bart Scott, that he still disputes.

“That was a horrible call,’’ Mankins said. “And I’m not even saying that to be funny, it was just horrible.’’

Mankins has been hearing the whistle this season more than in the past, and said, “That’s kind of irritating.’’

He’s been flagged six times this season, four times for false starts and twice for holding. Last season, the All-Pro guard played nine games after holding out over contract issues, and committed just two penalties (one false start and one hold).

He’s at a loss for the reason, but says he needs to find an answer.

“I don’t know,’’ he said. “Those false starts, they are just something that shouldn’t happen but they have happened. Hopefully, I could not have any more of those.’’

Mankins signed a six-year, $51 million contact extension before the start of the season that made him the league’s highest-paid interior lineman. has Mankins ranked 32d in the league among guards who have played at least 25 percent of their team’s snaps, after he was ranked fourth overall last season.

Mankins said he doesn’t feel any added pressure because of the new contract, but wants to make sure he approaches his job the same way.

“I don’t know if I was nervous,’’ he said. “But I do want to be the same. I still want to work the same, play the same. Those are things that I’m trying to do.’’

The four false starts are the calls that irk Mankins the most.

“Sometimes you just barely twitch just a tiny little bit and you’re going to get called,’’ he said. “There are so many referees or umpires watching the O-line now, especially with the other guy moved behind - there’s two guys just sitting there staring at us. They’re going to catch any little thing.’’

Even though curbing the flags is a goal, penalties are inevitable, Mankins said.

“I’ve always had penalties,’’ he said. “I wish I didn’t, but it happens.’’

Not done

A little more than a week after being placed on injured reserve with a calf injury, safety Josh Barrett is continuing to work.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing, but having to deal with it,’’ he said. “It’s not the injury itself that’s disappointing, but the outcome of it. I’m making it, I’m getting better, doing rehab. So, that’s all you can do at this point.’’

The Patriots’ secondary has been rocked by injuries, and with so many moving parts, Barrett has tried to provide as much support as possible.

“Anything I can be asked to do, I will do,’’ he said. “It’s somewhat limited at this point, but my biggest thing is getting healthy.’’

McCourty absent

Cornerback Devin McCourty (shoulder) missed practice again, as did linebackers Dane Fletcher (thumb) and Brandon Spikes (knee). Kyle Arrington (foot), Patrick Chung (foot), Dan Connolly (groin), Shaun Ellis (rib), Kevin Faulk (knee), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe), Gary Guyton (shoulder), James Ihedigbo (shoulder), Taylor Price (hamstring), Matthew Slater (shoulder), Nate Solder (concussion), Sebastian Vollmer (back), Brian Waters (knee), and Wes Welker (knee) were limited.

Julian Benbow can be reached at

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