Off the top, he was asked about his facial hair - Mankins was recently chosen as having the fourth-best beard in the NFL, though truth be told, he really has more of a Fu Manchu-style mustache.
"That’s nice. I don’t know if I would classify it as a beard but it does look good," Mankins said, smiling.
One of his newest teammates, right guard Brian Waters, has been arguably the best preseason acquisition made by the Patriots; Mankins called him a "really good guy ... good guy to be around."
"He's a pro's pro," he continued on Waters. "He's here for one goal and that's to win football games and play good football. He's always in there studying, watching film with us. He just wants to help the team."
Asked to assess his own play this season, Mankins said, "It’s been pretty good, except for the penalties – that’s kind of irritating. And then there have been a couple other plays that I wish I could do over."
He said his four false-start penalties "just shouldn't happen" and termed the holding call he got against Bart Scott on Sunday night against the Jets "horrible."
Mankins did admit, however, that there are times he knows he deserves a flag.
"Sometimes. 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.