FOXBORO -- There are a few guarantees in life, one of which being that the Patriots will go no-huddle at some point on game days.
You know it, I know it, and the Ravens know it.
New England's ability to speed things up is one of its biggest reasons for continued success on the offensive end. That, and some guy named Tom Brady. The two go hand-in-hand.
But while Brady is busy calling out plays, it's on the offensive line and rest of the offense to be all-ears in order to be on the same page.
"We have words for everything," Logan Mankins said. "So, the play is run, and then Tom will make a word -- he calls out some words and some of them mean the play and some of them don't. So, we just have to know which ones are live and which ones are not."
It's more than just listening though. The entire offense -- including the offensive line -- has to be physically ready for the rapid pace. That's done between games, during practices and in the weight room.
"Well, you know it is tough sometimes on the conditioning," Mankins admitted. "But we're pretty conditioned for an offensive line, if you would call us conditioned at our position. But yeah, a lot of time we catch them off guard; they're not lined up. A lot of times that works to our benefit, sometimes it doesn't. Because guys aren't where you expect them to be or where they should be, so you get confused a little, but I think for the most part we've done a pretty good job of getting everyone in the right direction on the right guys. So when you do catch them off-guard it works out pretty good sometimes."
But the hurry-up style of play isn't welcomed with open arms by some teams and players around the league. Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo made headlines last Sunday when he criticized the Patriots for playing that way.
Ayanbadejo tweeted, "New England does some suspect stuff on offense. Can't really respect it. Comparable to a cheap shot B4 a fight."
Then, "Are you watching the game Pats vs. Texans? If so you see the hurry snap offense catch em B4 they set up. It's a gimmick."
Ayanbadejo didn't stop there though. He called out the Patriots for Spygate as well.
That led one reporter on Thursday to ask Mankins if comments regarding Spygate, such as the one Ayanbadejo made, bothered him?
"No, that was a long time ago," Mankins said.
"It doesn't get under your skin at all?" the reporter followed up.
"No, but you are," Mankins said with a smile.
And on Sunday, the Patriots hope to get under the skin of the Ravens any way they can and as fast as possible.