Tackle Nate Solder
August 4, 2021
Q: Hey Nate, I was wondering how you view the competition with (Tackle) Matt (Peart) there at right tackle? It looks like a competition between you two. Obviously a big difference with your experiences but how do you go into this situation?
A: You know, I don’t think the competition is just between the two of us. I think it’s a team competition. I think that they want the best 11 football players out there and I’m working to, if not be one of those, make those guys the best, you know what I mean? So that’s my job, my role is just to go out there every day and be the best that I can be and help make others that way, too.
Q: What have you seen from him? What did you see from him last year when you were not with the team and what have you seen from him so far in a couple of days that he’s been on the field?
A: Yeah, it’s early. But it’s been great to play with him and all the other guys. I think we have a long ways to go, but hard-working guys. Guys that care, smart, tough and we’re going to develop who we are and what we’re all about.
Q: One of the things we heard when you didn’t play last year, maybe sitting a year out, getting your body to rest is a good thing. Looking back at that and now being out there, first time in pads yesterday, has it been a good thing? Do you feel younger, fresher, stronger, all those things?
A: I don’t feel younger, but I do feel great. My body feels recovered, healthy. I think there is a cumulative toll that playing every season takes on you, so actually having that time to let some of those bumps and bruises kind of heal up has been a good thing.
Q: Hey Nate, obviously you knew (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) before he came here and had a little time last spring and this spring, but this is your first time really working with him. Has he been like what you expected as a head coach?
A: The great thing about Joe, and I have tremendous respect for him and what he’s all about, he’s the same guy that I’ve always known. I don’t think that he’s trying to put on airs. I don’t think he’s trying to be anything that he’s not. He’s exactly who he says he is and that’s just his integrity and I think that’s shown through in the last week that I’ve been here.
Q: I’m curious, you’ve been in a bunch of offensive line rooms, including in New England, where they had some interesting setups with the coaching staff in that specific room. You have a lot of coaches this year in your room and I was wondering what do you think of that and have you ever been in a room with this many coaches sitting in one position group?
A: I mean, it’s excellent to have the resources. I knew (Assistant Offensive Line Coach) Ben (Wilkerson) from before. I’m getting to know (Offensive Line) Coach (Rob) Sale and Coach Flats (Offensive/Defensive Consultant Pat Flaherty). Coach Flats and me sit down from time to time and I can just hear so much of his experience and when Coach Sale goes through it, he’s clear and knowledgeable and he helps us get on the same page. The biggest thing with any o-line, it’s important that you know what you’re doing, but it’s also important that we’re working together. I think that’s been through the coaching staff all the way through to the players, so that’s been a great group.
Q: Hey Nate, does that t-shirt say ‘fight’?
A: Yes, it does. Yes, it does.
Q: Did you pull it out of the closet after yesterday?
A: No. This is about a mentality, it’s not about an activity.
Q: What was your take on what happened yesterday at practice and the aftermath of it?
A: Well, I think a couple things. I think that it’s a good thing that we have competitive guys, guys that care, guys that are willing to be scrappy. But I think it’s also important what the coaches say, too, is we have to be disciplined and intelligent and smart and make good decisions. So I think it’s both and we’re always walking that fine line on the football field at all times. We want to be tough, but it’s got to be within the rules, and we got to do it at a high level.
Q: And then real quick, did you have a chance to talk to (Offensive Lineman) Joe Looney before he made his decision or after he made his decision and left?
A: I didn’t get a chance to talk to him in depth. I was not aware till this morning when it was announced to the team that he retired, but he’s had a fantastic career and I know he’s making the best decisions for his family. He’s a man of Christ like myself and we had an immediate unity and so I know God’s fighting for him and loves him and he’s going to have great things in his future.
Q: Do you think that the running and everything from last night had anything to do with his decision?
A: No. No, I don’t think so. He’s got his own thing going on. He’s a longtime veteran and I don’t think one time of exercise would change his decision, no.