Actually, the players kind of like the experience too. More, really, for the week than anything else, being around guys that they don’t normally get to hang out with all that much.
“We don’t see each other too often,” Patriots guard Logan Mankins said after the game. “But we had a great time together and we made the most of the week. There were some late nights in there.”
Maybe not as late as this guy’s nights, but this game, for obvious reasons, isn’t exactly serious business. What is going to be is the expiring contract situations of both Mankins and Vince Wilfork, both of whom will likely have their free-agent options limited pretty severely. For now, though, the guys seem intent on putting it all on the backburner. At least for a little while.
“Vacation, that’s it,” said Wilfork of his plans. “That’s only thing I’m thinking about, enjoying my family right now, just taking a break from everything — football in general, business in general — and just being there for my family. I think as a family, we need it.”
Mankins echoed his teammate … “I’m gonna go on vacation and probably do some hunting and some ranching, and get back to what I know best.”
As a bonus, Mankins did get some “camera time“. When Matt Schaub was strip-sacked in the fourth quarter by DeMarcus Ware, the big guard fell on the ball, then got up and advanced it 4 yards.
“You never know what’s gonna happen out there,” he said. “I was just thinking, ‘Don’t get blown up’, and thankfully they just wrapped me up and took me down.”
So now starts about a two-month break before the offseason ramps up, and it gives the players a chance to make up for lost time.
“I’m going back tomorrow,” Wilfork said. “I’ve been away from the kids for a week. I miss them. I come home tomorrow night. So I’ll see them first thing Tuesday morning, take them to school. But I heard the weather back there’s cold, so I’m not looking forward to the cold, just looking forward to my kids. …
“Before everything gets going, we want to get a chance, as a family, to hang out like normal people for once and go forward from there. Whatever happens after that happens.”