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Nate Solder Press Conference Transcript

New England Patriots T Nate Solder addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, January 8, 2014.

Q: If you were casting a vote for Defensive Player of the Year would Robert Mathis be on your ballot?

NS: Well, he'd definitely be on the ballot. Yeah, he's had a tremendous year, absolutely.

Q: Is there anything that sticks out about his game and why he's been so effective?

NS: I think it's rare that you get a guy that has that much talent and then plays so hard every play and that's him. That's the challenge of him I think.

Q: Is there anyone he looks like that you've played this year?

NS: Maybe [New Orleans Saints defensive end] Junior Galette, maybe but I would say he's kind of unique in the things that he can do, really unique, I'd say.

Q: When you get to January and you have a running back like LeGarrette Blount running well, what does that mean for an offense?

NS: We were excited to see him kind of turn it on last game. It's really kind of how we perform going ahead and the more we can move the ball and be productive that way, it's better for us.

Q: What kind of dimension is it for your offense when he gets going?

NS: You can stay balanced, you can move the rock, you can continue to progress with the offense, I think those are all good things.

Q: Logan Mankins has said he gets excited when the running game gets going and the motivation is for running plays to keep getting called. Do you feel that way too?

NS: Well, that's a great offensive coordinator question because I feel like if I were an offensive coordinator then yeah, absolutely I think that's great. Josh [McDaniels] is on a different level than me so I let him make the decisions on that.

Q: But do you enjoy blocking for the run, especially at this time of year because of the ability to control everything?

NS: Yeah, I think anytime you can run it, things are going pretty well I think.

Q: What are some of the traits that link Junior Galette and Robert Mathis?

NS: I think I said that, I wouldn't have gone too far with that. But they have a real sharp quickness, they're quick off the ball, they have a nose for the ball, they play really hard. I think those are the things.

Q: What are your thoughts on Logan Mankins' toughness?

NS: I've seen unbelievable toughness from him and so many other guys on my team. It's amazing to play with a group of guys like that, absolutely.

Q: What's the year been like for you developing personally?

NS: I've definitely learned a lot. Every week I've strived to get better and this week it's still trying to get better and improve the things I didn't do so well last week. I've had a great time doing it and that's something that I've really appreciated, is really gaining a passion for it and getting excited about it and having a lot of fun out there.

Q: What qualities have made this offensive line so versatile this year with guys going in and out with injuries?

NS: I think it all just trickles down. The head coach doesn't make excuses. [Dante] Scarnecchia doesn't make excuses. Whoever is in there is going to have to play and play well. That's kind of the way we keep going with whatever happens.

Q: We've had a couple cell phones go off in the room today. When that happens in the players meeting with Coach Belichick what happens?

NS: I don't think that would ever happen.

Q: If it does?

NS: I've never been around when that happens. I don't want to be around.

Q: You've only missed one game in your time here. What does it mean to you to know that the team can count on you?

NS: We all depend on each other. It's the greatest team sport. We're all so interconnected. So many times when maybe you don't feel like you can go but you do it because of the other guys. I think that's part of the reason that we all work so hard at it.

Q: Do you think that's the case with Logan Mankins?

NS: You'd have to ask him but he's such a great teammate and everything, I'm sure that's part of it.

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