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Nate Solder honored to be a Patriot

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  April 28, 2011 10:40 PM

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Q: Where were you when you got the call that you had been drafted?
NS: In my parents’ bed and breakfast in Leadville, Colorado.

Q: Were you surprised?
NS: I was sitting there hoping and praying that they pick me because that's such a great organization.

Q: How much contact did you have with them?
NS: Fairly limited contact.

Q: Did you come up here for a visit?
NS: No, I never came up for a visit.

Q: Can you explain how that unfolded, because I believe you were scheduled to do so and then it got canceled?
NS: I don’t know exactly what happened. I was scheduled to visit. The minute before I left it was canceled. That's all I know.

Q: So you were on your way to the airport and you turned back?
NS: It was the day before I was going to go that they canceled.

Q: What was going through your mind as that was happening?
NS: There have been so many question marks going through my mind this whole process that I didn't even think anything of it.

Q: Did that happen with other teams?
NS: No, it did not.

Q: Did they come out to visit you at all?
NS: Yes, they did.

Q: When did that happen?
NS: Monday

Q: How did you miss two snaps in three years? What happened?
NS: I think that was an end of game situation. I think one of the backups was in there just to kneel the ball.

Q: What did you say when he came out to say you were going out?
NS: I don't know. It’s funny - when they told me I missed two snaps, I had to think about what the heck happened because I couldn't remember missing those two snaps.

Q: Is that a point of pride for you?
NS: Well, I’m extremely proud of my play and things, but it’s a lot of hard work, too. Sometimes you don't control when freak things happen, so I've been blessed as well.

Q: Are you comfortable playing on either side of the offensive line? I know you're a converted tight end. Have you played both sides of the line at tackle yet?
NS: I’ve never played the right side. I’ve always plays left tackle.

Q: You mentioned on Monday the Patriots came out. Who was it that came to see you?
NS: Coach Dante Scarnecchia.

Q: What was your impression of working with him?
NS: He’s an unbelievable coach, one of the best in the NFL and that was completely obvious when I met with him. And I look forward to the opportunity to play with him.

Q: You say you really wanted to come here. Is part of that the fact that they've had such offensive line success here?
NS: All of those guys do great and Scarnecchia is an incredible coach and that’s absolutely part of it.

Q: What did he explain to you in terms of the Patriots system and things that you'd have to work on if the Patriots drafted you?
NS: You know, I have a lot to work on and the great thing about that is that I'm a coachable player and Coach Scarnecchia and Coach Belichick and the whole staff is great to play for.

Q: How do you feel about potentially having to block for potential future Hall of Famer Tom Brady on his blindside?
NS: You know, I think Tom Brady is a great quarterback and I think all my teammates are great players and I'm looking forward to the privilege of playing for the Patriots.

Q: What's your opinion of watching the Patriots offense from games you've watched?
NS: Like I said, I think it's a fantastic organization. I like the way that they do things and I'm honored that they picked me.

Q: What's the name of the bed and breakfast?
NS: Peri and Ed's Mountain Hideaway.

Q: Can you tell us about the moment you got the phone call?
NS: I talked to Coach Belichick. He was congratulatory about bringing me into the organization. I talked to Mr. Kraft as well.

Q: Is there someone in the league you model your game after?
NS: I just play my game and I’m going to do what Coach Scarnecchia tells me to. That’s who I’m going to model my game after.

Q: I hear you are a hunter and you shot an elk once?
NS: Yes, that’s true.

Q: Have you shot anything else?
NS: I shot an elk and I shot a deer once.

Q: Which did you like better to eat?
NS: Deer meat is the best. It’s funny that when you go hunting, you kind of get hungry, so I enjoy both of them.

Q: What’s been the most surprising part of the whole process?
NS: I didn’t really know what to expect to be honest. You know, how can you know? I just feel blessed and honored to be a part of it.

Q: Can you talk about the transition from tight end to tackle?
NS: My coaches came to me and told me I’d be an alright tight end, but a great tackle. That’s why I chose to move to tackle. It’s been a process. I have a lot to learn and that’s a great reason to have Belichick and Scarnecchia coaching me.

Q: Can you talk about the video of you flattening that scout on your pro day?
NS: I don’t know about grief. I think they thought it was pretty cool. Matt Russell was the guy - the scout was named Matt Russell. He was a guy that played at CU, he was a Butkus award winner at CU and he's around the program a lot, so he kind of thought that was kind of comical, too.

Q: What was the workout with Coach Scarnecchia like when he came out to visit you?
NS: It was not really exhaustive. But like I said, all the great things I heard about him were confirmed. I could tell he was an absolutely great coach and I was hoping and praying – though I didn’t want to put in my mind to go there, but I’m so honored to be there.

Q: When do you expect to arrive in Foxborough?
NS: I don’t know what the travel plans are going to be. It’s going to be in the next few days I would imagine, but we’ll have to see how that pans out.

Q: You participate in many recreational sports. You’re kind of like a New Englander already.
NS: Well I’m coming to New England to play football and that’s my sole purpose right now.

Q: What do you think about a potential positional battle with Matt Light and Sebastian Vollmer?
NS: I have all the respect in the world for those guys. I know this: competition makes everyone better, so that’s going to be a great opportunity.

Q: Is that something Dante Scarnecchia imparted upon you – that nothing is going to be given to you, you’re going to have to earn it?
NS: Well, that wasn’t specifically said, but that’s my mentality. I don’t want anything given to me. I want to earn everything I get.

Q: Did you have an opportunity to attend the draft in New York City?
NS: No, I stayed home with my family in Colorado.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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