Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins, joining Mut & Merloni on Monday morning, talked about the team's preparations for the Texans, who will be in Foxboro for Sunday's AFC playoff game.
The Patriots blew out the Texans, 42-14, on Dec. 10, but it's been widely discussed that two years ago the Patriots routed the Jets in the regular season only to be upset by New York in the playoffs.
"It's always hard to compare different years," Mankins said. "That's a learning experience for us to look back and see that we beat a team and then in the playoffs got beaten by them. Hopefully we can change that this time. We're definitely not taking this team lightly. We know they're very good."
Mankins acknowledged that some people will look past Texans, but he said those people won't be in the Patriots training facility.
"Human nature makes me want to think that way, but if you've been around long enough and played enough teams multiple times in a season, you know the second time is always tough," he said. "They know you and you know them. They're going to know you're tendencies, you know theirs. The second time around is usually a dogfight. It's always a lot closer than the first game."
Added Mankins: "Bill [Belichick], he's great at serving up humble pie. I don't think Bill's overlooked any team ever. You know he's going to have us working hard this week and trying to get ready."
To keep the players grounded, Belichick has been showing the players film and pointing out their mistakes. Asked if there were any clips of him, Mankins said: "Everyone's on there. There's no one safe in this building."
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On Texans defensive end J.J. Watt: "He's an outstanding player. You've got to take care of him up front, whether it's running the ball or passing the ball if your want to have any success. We know we're going to have to play a good game against him and limit his production."
On Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' style: "He's an aggressive coach. He likes to blitz, his teams always blitz a lot. They give you some different looks and they're going to give different blitzes. One thing about his defense is they always play hard. He always gets his guys to play with a lot of effort, and that's how Houston's defense is. Those guys are going a hundred miles an hour out there."