LT Nate Solder -- December 12, 2018
Q: You surprised how mature (Will) Hernandez is beyond his years for a rookie?
A: I’ve been impressed with all the rookies here. I think that they’ve all done an excellent job. Sometimes it’s us vets that get in the way, not always the rookies.
Q: It seemed a couple of weeks ago all the talk was can Eli (Manning) be the quarterback of this team, but it seems like the way he’s playing now, I mean, he can be a quarterback for a while.
A: Who knows with all that stuff. It’s a tough league. You go one game at a time, focus on what you can control, that’s my job and that’s working with the guys next to me and I think everyone’s doing the best that they can at whatever they’re doing.
Q: I have to ask – what did you think about that Miami play?
A: That was crazy, wasn’t it? I couldn’t believe it. They’ll talk about that for the next 10 years probably.
Q: I mean, that’s (Bill) Belichick’s, that’s his baby, special teams. How shocked were you to see that?
A: I was shocked.
Q: What makes the Titans front tough to deal with?
A: Well, Dean Pees and (Mike) Vrabel, they got a lot of experience, lot of time under their belt. They understand how to win games, so they put up multiple fronts, they put up multiple blitz schemes, lot of stunts and blitzes and games and things up front. Then they got really good players, so you mix that combination of guys, it becomes a pretty salty defense.
Q: Feel like you guys are settling in a little bit. Everybody’s kind of knowing their roles, feeling comfortable, and coach is talking about how preparation carried over into the game.
A: I think there’s been some of that. We kind of know what to expect from each other. We believe in each other. I guess that’s settling in as much as you can, knowing what the coaches are asking of us, being able to do it multiple times consecutively, successfully, in a row. I think all those kind of contribute to that settling in.
Q: Is it fair to say since the bye week coach (Pat) Shurmur has gone to a lot of 12 personnel, having a little bit more run philosophy?
A: I don’t know about that. I think the situations of the games are dictated that we scored early. Our defense is scoring points, we’re getting turnovers, that kind of dictates it a little bit differently.
Q: What went into that offensive celebration photo?
A: What went into it? ‘Everyone get over here, we’re going to take a picture,’ and I was like, oh, okay. I didn’t know what to do.
Q: There was no pre-planning to it?
A: No, no.
Q: Were you shocked that Eli jumped into it?
A: Yeah, that was great. I loved it.
Q: Did he do that on his own or did somebody say get over here?
A: Eli does anything he wants on his own. I don’t think anyone’s pushing him to do anything.
The defense puts a lot of thought into those. You guys might need to put some thought into it.
A: Does the defense put a lot of thought into it?
Oh yeah, it’s all planned out.
A: Oh, I didn’t realize that. Maybe we’ll have some time after practice today to work it out.
Q: When you guys are blowing somebody out, the quarterback gets a break, the running back gets a break, but the five offensive linemen play all 65 snaps?
A: Well, think about when you get a 75-yard run or whatever, how much pressure that takes off you to have to put eight consecutive plays together. Those are big plays and that makes a big difference in the outcome of a game, the way a game looks and appears and everyone says, ‘wow, they did great,’ but we only blocked one play perfect and everything else we really didn’t have to block the other ones. That’s what you want and we don’t always get that opportunity.
Q: But you guys don’t ever need in a blowout like that, you guys aren’t ever like we’ll let the second-string guys go in? Like (Kyle) Lauletta went in for (Manning), (Wayne) Gallman went in for Saquon –
A: This league is so competitive that everything is strategic. It’s never like, oh, we’re the University of Alabama, we’re playing this team or whatever it is like, let the backups play. It’s all strategic. There’s reasons for them doing everything. Very thought out.
Q: So you guys are okay with playing every snap in a blowout like that?
A: Oh, it’s a blast, of course.
Q: You never want to put your feet up?
A: The games I want to be taken out of is when we’re getting blown out.
Q: How much do you guys and the tight ends take pride in Saquon’s two long runs? He didn’t get touched – well, one he didn’t get touched at all, the other one I think he was about 30 yards down field when he got touched.
A: Yeah, that was awesome.