OFFENSIVE TACKLE NATE SOLDER
Q: Is it important to get all of the hard work done this week before you go to that circus that's waiting for you out in Minnesota?
NS: It's really important to get all the work done - I wouldn't say done. I'd say we have to work hard this week because there's a lot of work to be done. So we're going to work hard this week. We're going to work hard next week because we want to be as prepared and ready to go as possible.
Q: On a normal Friday usually you would be done with practice and have a walkthrough on Saturday. Where are you in the practice schedule at this point? Do you know?
NS: I don't know. They haven't told us. We're going in. We're going to practice and do what we're told and that is what it is. I mean I wish I could say it was a regular week but it's not. So we're taking every day, getting better, whatever we can do.
Q: You say there's a lot more work to be done. It's not at the end?
NS: Yeah, yeah I think that's fair to say. I think we've pushed as hard as we can. We've done as much as we can each day and we have more to do.
Q: The drive to succeed can come from a number of places. Where would you say yours comes from?
NS: My drive to succeed? I've always had an innate competition, competitiveness and I also think that I always want to do the best that I can with what I've been given and I think I've been given a whole lot. I think this team is very fortunate to be in the situation that we're in and it's our duty and our privilege to get to play as hard as we can and be the best that we can.
Q: What makes this team such a great fourth quarter team? Where does that come from?
NS: We work incredibly hard. We're in good condition. We are a focused group. We are pushed in tough, competitive situations on a daily basis so when it comes up we try to be as prepared as we can be for those situations.
Q: What about the hills behind the practice field? Is that a part of it?
NS: The hills? Yeah. Well the hills is definitely mental and we get some conditioning out of it so I think that's part of it.
Q: Does it help having been to the Super Bowl before? Do you feel any more relaxed or is it kind of nerve wracking anyway?
NS: Well you don't want to take anything for granted. Just because you've been there before doesn't mean you're going to do it in the future. I don't think about that too often. I think about how I need to perform going forward.
Q: There always seems to be a defining play in these Super Bowls. Do you think that's just right place, right time for a guy or is it something else? A lineman doesn't always get that opportunity but do you ever hope for that chance?
NS: Do you hope for that chance?
Q: Yeah, for a big play in a big moment.
NS: Well it wouldn't be a big play if he wouldn't have made it so I guess in hindsight we can say that. Going into it you just don't know what that play is going to be so you just do every play as best that you can.
Q: Do you think there are any players that come to mind on this team that are right for the moment?
NS: That's crazy to say because it could be anyone.
Q: Do you like the idea of practicing in the bubble and getting out of the cold for a day?
NS: The cold hadn't affected me. Actually, I was saying yesterday while we were going through while the wind was whipping up like, 'Hey this is like a ski lift.' We were just having fun and they were like 'cool.' It doesn't matter what the conditions are. We're just out there working, trying to get better.
Q: What do you say to some of the guys who have never been to the Super Bowl before to prepare for some of the longer breaks, a longer halftime and things of that nature?
NS: It is different. I think I don't need to say anything. I think the coaches do a great job of preparing us for those differences. So I keep my mouth shut and just do what I'm supposed to.
Q: Your team has battled through so much adversity this season. What does that say about this team?
NS: Well I think that's the NFL. I think if you're going to be in this situation, as the Eagles have, you've got to overcome some things that happen to you during the course of the season.
Q: How different is this defense that you're going to face with Fletcher Cox and the four linemen that they bring than you've seen this season?
NS: Well they're exceptional up front. Those guys are really good players. They play really hard. They have great scheme. They come out upbeat every play for sure.
Q: Some of the players have particular ways that they manage pain. Do you have anything that you use to manage pain and extend your career?
NS: Well how do you know if you're going to extend your career or not? That's kind of predicting.
Q: Well these are things that Tom [Brady] has done and other people have done to get their body to respond - to get as much as you can out of it.
NS: Yeah, well we do. We all work as hard as we can in the training room, with our massage, with our - even mentally with a lot of things you can do - your breathing, your sleep, your nutrition. You do everything you can.
Q: But you don't have any particular techniques that are outside the typical regimen?
NS: I've tried a lot of things. You only have so much time in a week so you do as much as you can with the time that you have.
Q: The kind of things that you've tried and said 'not for me?'
NS: Like I said. I think it's just a matter of time. I don't think that I've found anything that's a waste of time I just think there are some things that are priorities, more important. So through the course of the week it's just having your body as healthy as you can be.
Q: How much of an inspiration is your family to you?
NS: That's a big one. I carry them with me wherever I go. They're always there. So I think that is a big inspiration. I think that it's a great perspective too because they love you no matter what and you go out there and play free and have some fun.
Q: When it comes to mentors, who would you say was the biggest influence in your life to get you to where you are today as an athlete?
NS: As an athlete? The first one that comes to my mind is my high school coach. His name is Bob Marken and to this day he texts me. He encourages me and as an athlete he's been wonderful and as a person he's taught me a lot.
Q: Is he still coaching?
NS: He's kind of like some of the coaches around here. They can't ever give it up so they just love the game. It's part of their DNA. So he's involved with it still.
Q: What did he say about you going to the Super Bowl again?
NS: What did he say? When I was in high school he used to say, 'Nate, you're going to be an All-American one day' which I thought was a crazy thing but I ended up being an All-American so he's always been very much of an encourager. Whenever I bring a complaint to him, you know, 'Hey this coach has been hard on me' and he's like, 'Yeah, but did you need it? Did it make you better?' I'm like, 'You're right, coach. It really did.' So he's always helped me.
Q: This team has been a dynasty for almost two decades now. You've never played against them but do you think there's any mystique or psychological thing that other teams have?
NS: There might be. I don't know. Like you said, I've never played against them. I don't know.
Q: Are your days longer now leading up to the Super Bowl or are they about as long as they usually are during the regular season?
NS: We've been putting in some long days, for sure.
Q: How has Dante Scarnecchia impacted your career?
NS: Well I don't want to sound cheesy but I think that he's really been a huge part of the way I play now. I really appreciate everything, all the work that he's put into it, the work that we're putting into it. The guy never backs down. He never takes a day off. He's always helping us to improve and he's a huge part of what we do.
*Q: When you guys are on the sideline during the game, does he have a calming presence to him? *
Q: How would you describe just how he leads you?
NS: I think he's pretty good at pushing the buttons that need to be pushed, and sometimes that's not pushing any buttons and sometimes that's really putting the gas down and he does a good job with that. It's not always easy in the moment. You kind of want to not listen but when you do listen it helps you and you can improve.
Q: Specific to where he is at this point in his life, does it ever open your eyes just to see him running the gassers before practice? Does he show any signs to you of his age or slowing down?
NS: No, but I think that's definitely a goal to be achieved for myself. I'd love to be that healthy and energetic at that age.
Q: Were you happy to see Dante Scarnecchia return after his brief retirement?
NS: I really, really appreciate everything that Dante is helping with and so when he came back I was glad to see it.
Q: What is the relationship that you guys on the offensive line have with Tom Brady? There have been commercials a long time ago before you were here where Tom was sitting at a table and the offensive line was there to make sure that they handed the check to him correctly. Is there a situation where you have that protection mentality around him?
NS: I would love to have another commercial like that. You know what; he's like a brother to us. I mean we do everything we can to protect that guy to do the best we can by him. We all love him. We all have a personal relationship with him. All commercials aside, we love him and we do everything we can for him.
Q: How long is your mullet staying?
NS: How long is the mullet staying? I don't know. To be continued.
Q: What's your opinion on the other stuff about a Super Bowl trip - the ancillary stuff, the press availability and things like that?
NS: What's my opinion of it? It's a little exhausting.
Q: You could live without the women in the wedding dresses and the celebrities?
NS: Some of the silly stuff that goes on? Like I said, I don't think too much about it. I try to get it done the best that I can.
Q: What will it be like seeing former teammates LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long on the other sideline in this huge game?
NS: Yeah, and they're good players too. They're going to make it hard on us. It's not just them because every week there's somebody you know and somebody you care about on the other side and in this business it doesn't matter. You just - it's us or them. So we do what we do.
PATRIOTS SAFETY PATRICK CHUNG
Q: Where does your internal motivation come from to get to the level that you're at now? Is it family? Does it just come from within?
PC: Family, pretty much. I'm a family guy.
Q: Family more than anything else?
Q: Is it important to get a lot of the work done this week before you have to go out to Minnesota on Monday?
PC: Yeah, there's going to be a lot of distractions, so it's good we're getting a couple of practices in before we head out there and still practice out there, obviously. Then just catch up on things and get ready to go.
Q: Is it fair to say the real work is being done in Foxboro this week?
PC: Real work is going until this whole thing is over.
Q: Was it nice to practice inside of the bubble today?
PC: Yeah, I'll take it.
Q: What's easier about practicing in there besides the obvious temperature?
PC: The obvious - temperature.
Q: Do you focus more on the on-field drills this week or are you breaking down more tape to see what Philadelphia will try and do against you?
PC: A little bit of everything. We're going to game plan all the way through this thing. Every little thing we do is going to help us, so we're going to continue to do that.
Q: What stands out to you about Zach Ertz?
PC: He's savvy. He's savvy for a young tight end, and he's good, man. He has good routes. He's quick. He's fast for a tight end. He can catch and he's elusive with the ball. We've got to try and slow him down a little bit.
Q: What are some of your keys when you're in the back end of the secondary looking at their offense?
PC: Just doing your job. Just do your job. That's all you need to do really.
Q: Do you have to pause for a second to determine what they're doing in their run-pass option plays?
PC: No pausing. Just do your job. We'll be good.
Q: How close have you become with your fellow safeties? That particular group has been together for quite some time now?
PC: Yeah, close. I've been with those guys for a long time. They're my friends. We chill out and play pool together, do our thing, but when we come here we work and we compete. We try to make each other better and I'm glad to have those guys.
Q: How valuable has the continuity been just for the defense in general?
PC: It's great. If you play like a family, you win like one. It's very appreciative.
Q: Do you hope to have a Super Bowl moment like Malcolm Butler had against Seattle or Julian Edelman had last year?
PC: Yeah, why not? I'll take it. If it happens, if it comes along then, yeah, I'll take it.
Q: What have you seen from Kyle Van Noy and his progress since he arrived here in New England?
PC: Yeah, Kyle's good, man. He does a lot of things for us. He's very energetic. He plays hard, so he's somebody we want on our team.
Q: What have you enjoyed about playing for Matt Patricia and what is he like as a coach?
PC: He brings some fire out of you. He does it because he knows that you can do it. He's a great coach. He's given me a lot of good years. He's good.
Q: What was Chris Long like as a teammate and did you learn anything from him? Is there anything that stood out from your time with him?
PC: Yeah, Chris is energetic, too. He works hard. He's a really good dude off the field. I just hope he does a good job with the turnout still in our favor.
Q: How would you describe the different running styles between LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi?
PC: They both run hard, man. LeGarrette jumps over people. Jay - he runs hard. He stiff-arms people, breaks tackles. They're both very elusive and big backs so they can do a lot of things.
Q: What was it like for you to come back here into this system after spending a year away with Philadelphia?
PC: I feel good.
Q: Do you have extra motivation to play against the Eagles after spending a year with them?
PC: No, just going to play a game, man. Do what we got to do as a team to get this win and finish as champions.
Q: Who's the better pool player between the safeties on the team?
PC: Pat [himself].
Q: Are you accustomed to seeing Danny Amendola make clutch catches over the years and is it not even a surprise at this point?
PC: Oh yeah, not at all. Danny might have the best hands on the team. I don't count out Danny any time. He's a great player.
Q: What is it about him coming up in big moments?
PC: He just works hard. He does it every play. If his time comes, he's always ready for it.
Q: What do you like about riding on the team plane? What are you looking forward to on the trip out to Minnesota?
PC: I don't know. I'll be sleeping.
Q: Bill Belichick said you were one of the best players in the NFL. What does a compliment like that mean to you?
PC: It only means something if I play good this next game. We'll see how that goes.
Q: Do you like the media hype that leads up to the Super Bowl?
PC: Absolutely not.