FOXBOROUGH --- Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was the first to broach the subject of Spygate this week when he tweeted out a derisive message about the incident during the Patriots' 41-28 divisional-round victory over the Houston Texans last Sunday.
Ayanbadejo Monday backtracked from his comment and issued an apology on Twitter.
So when Logan Mankins was asked about it Thursday by NFL reporter Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the Patriots veteran left guard politely tried to dismiss it as old news.
"That was a long time ago,'' Mankins said, when Cole asked if it still bothered him when other players around the league remind him of Spygate.
"But does it get under your skin at all?'' Cole asked.
"No,'' Mankins replied, smiling, "But you are.''
Nervous laughter filled the visitor's locker room at Gillette, where Mankins spoke at the podium in advance of Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Ravens.
Asked about the chippy nature of the games between the two teams, Mankins replied, "I think we're two emotional teams and stuff happens out there. You just have to be smart about it, because any penalty can hurt your team. You can take [emotions] a little ways but you just have to make sure you don't take it too far.''