Complete transcript of Nate Solder’s Q&A with the New England media
|04.28.11 at 10:53 pm ET|
Nate Solder just wrapped up a conference call with New England reporters. Here’s the complete Q&A:
Where were you when you got the call?
In my parents’ bed and breakfast in Colorado.
Were you surprised?
I was sitting there hoping and praying that they’d pick me, because it’s such a great organization.
How much contact did you have with them?
Fairly limited contact.
Did you come up for a visit?
I never came up for a visit.
Can you explain how that unfolded? You were scheduled to come up by it was cancelled?
I don’t know exactly what happened? I was scheduled to visit, but right before I left, it was cancelled. That’s all I know.
You were on your way to the airport?
Nope. It was the day before I was going to go it was cancelled.
What was going through your mind?
There’s been so many question marks going through my mind this whole process that i didn’t think anything of it.
Did that happen with other teams?
No it did not.
Did they come out to visit you?
Yes they did.
When did that happen?
How did you miss two snaps in three years?
[laughs] That was an end of game situation. I think one of the backups was in there just to kneel the ball.
What did you say when he came out to replace you?
I don’t know. It’s funny when they told me I missed two snaps — I had to think about what they heck happened because I don’t remember missing those two snaps.
How much of a point of pride is that durability?
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.
Are you comfortable playing either tackle?
I’ve never played the right side. I’ve always played left tackle.
Who came out to see you on Monday?
Coach Dante Scarnecchia.
What was your impression of working with him?
He’s an unbelievable coach, one of the best in the NFL, and that was completely obvious when I met with him. I look forward to the opportunity to play for him.
On the Patriots’ o-line…
All those guys do great and Scarnecchia is a great coach. That’s absolutely part of it.
What did he explain to you in terms of the Patriots system and what you need to work on?
I have a lot to work on and the great thing about that is I’m a coachable player, and coach Scarnecchia and coach Belichick are great to play for.
On blocking for Tom Brady.
I think Tom Brady is a great quarterback and all my teammates are great players. I’m looking forward to the privilege of playing for the Patriots.
What’s your opinion of the Patriots’ offense?
Like I said, I think it’s a fantastic organization. I like the way they do things and I’m honored that they picked me.
What’s the name of the bed and breakfast?
Peri and Ed’s Mountain Hideaway in Leadville, Colorado.
Tell us about the phone call from the Patriots.
I talked to coach Belichick. He was congratulatory as well as bringing me into their organization. I talked to Mr. Kraft as well.
Is there a guy you try and model your game after?
I just play my game and I’m going to do what coach Scarnecchia tells me to do, and that’s what I’m going to model myself after.
You’re a hunter. You shot an elk once?
That’s right, I did.
I shot an elk once and I shot a deer once.
What did you like better, the elk or the deer?
To eat? Deer meats the best. When you go hunting, you kind of get hungry, so I enjoyed both of them.
Most surprising part of whole process?
I didn’t know what to expect with this whole process. How can you know? It’s all been a shock and surprise. I’m just blessed to be a part of it.
On the transition from tight end to offensive line.
My coaches came to me and said you’d be an all right tight end but you’d be an even better tackle, and I’ve always wanted to be to be great, so that’s why I moved to tackle. It’s been a process. I have a lot to learn, and that’s a huge reason that I’m happy that Belichick and Scarnecchia will be coaching me.
On flattening a scout on video at Colorado’s Pro Day. Did you get a lot of grief?
I don’t know about grief. [laughter] I thought it was pretty cool. Matt Russell was the guy. He’s a guy who played for CU, a Butkus Award winner for CU, and he’s been around the program a lot. He thought that was kind of comical too.
On working with coach Scarnecchia…
It wasn’t overly exhaustive. But all the great things I thought about him were confirmed. I could just tell that he was an absolutely great coach, and I was hoping and praying … I didn’t want to put it in my mind that I’d go there, but I’m honored to be there.
When do you expect to arrive in Foxboro?
I don’t know what the travel plans are going to be. It’s going to be the next few days, I imagine. But we’ll see how that turns out.
You also ski and kayak? You’re kind of like a New Englander already.
[laughter] I’m coming to New England to play football — that’s my sole focus right now.
On a potential positional battle with Matt Light and Sebastian Vollmer…
Well, I have all the respect in the world for those guys. I know this — competition makes everyone better. That will be a great opportunity.
Is that something Dante imparted to you?
It wasn’t explicitly said, but that’s my mentality. I earn everything I get.
Did you have an opportunity to attend the draft in New York?
No, I was just here in Leadville, Colorado.