New England Patriots Quotes: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski Talk Chargers

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Oct 26, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tackle Nate Solder (77) prepares to block Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen (69) during the second half of New England

Nate Solder

Q: You guys had a streak of games without allowing a sack going into the Packers game, during which you struggled a bit with protection. What are the things you’re working on to fix that for the remaining games?

NS: I think sacks are only a small factor of our protection. I think keeping the quarterback clean and avoiding pressure and giving him space, I think those are all the things that we always strive to do, and I think this week is no exception to that.

Q: You guys have used a tackle as an extra tight end on several occasions over the last few games. How does that change things for you and what do you have to be mindful of when you have another tackle next to you?

NS: I don’t know that there’s a huge difference, but I know a lot of times they’re bigger guys so we’ll get more movement and they’re more accustomed to doing double teams and that sort of thing. They don’t have to run the routes and everything, so they have more time to practice that. I guess that’s the biggest difference.

Q: How much does it change your job?

NS: I wouldn’t say it would change it. We have some great blocking tight ends, and I think if they’re in there, they’re labeled a tight end, or if it’s a tackle in there, it’s been pretty good, really. It hasn’t changed between the two of them.

Q: How much of the offensive line’s success would you attribute to having repetition and chemistry with the same five players?

NS: I think that the chemistry definitely helps, and we’ve gotten a little bit more solidified there. But you’ve got so many guys who can get plugged in, and no matter who’s in there we’ve really been able to do it. And I think we’re all bought in to a process of improvement, and I think that’s been the key factor. It’s not a pass-fail; it’s a building process.

Q: Dan Connolly attributed some of the line’s success to trusting Bryan Stork. What are your thoughts on that?

NS: Oh, yeah, I think we all have a lot of trust in each other, and he’s certainly a part of that group. I think as we go forward, that just builds as you have success, and you gain some trust with the guys next to you.

Q: Does it get easier as the season goes on to get in a groove with your new offensive line coach this year, Dave DeGuglielmo?

NS: I would say yes, you get into a groove, but I would also say the games will only get harder. I wouldn’t say that they get easier, simply because the competition gets stiffer and things become tighter and more important.

Q: What have you seen from Cameron Fleming this year? Being a rookie I assume is already a challenge, and with him being in and out of the lineup due to injury, how do you think he has responded to the adversity?

NS: I think Cam is a great guy. I think it hasn’t really got him down visibly to me. It seems like he continues to do the best he can to get healthy and to learn and to be a part of the system.

Q: What do you remember about the learning process around this time of year when you were a rookie? Is there anything you can pass on to Cameron Fleming?

NS: It’s a long, tough year, and I think that we all kind of go through that, no matter what year you’re in, and I think that it’s an adjustment. It’s a matter of keeping your head above water sometimes as a rookie, and I think he’s done a great job of that.

Q: What’s it been like as an offensive line group this year, because typically you prefer to stay out of the spotlight? It seems like when you play well, people ask why, and when you don’t play well, people ask why you’re not playing well. Does it feel a little different this year because you’ve been in the spotlight so much?

NS: No, I think every year is about the same. We don’t want any of the glory. We don’t want any of that. We just continue to work, and I don’t know what you exactly mean, but it’s not important to us.

Q: Well, what I mean is you’re not an anonymous line, which is probably what you’d prefer to be. No matter what you guys do, you’ve become much more publicly scrutinized.

NS: Well, I didn’t realize that. I guess I haven’t paid too close attention to that.

Q: Josh McDaniels talked the other day about the aggressiveness of the Chargers defense. Is there anything you can address about the style of defense you’re expecting to face on Sunday?

NS: I’ll say this, they put a lot of different guys in there, and they all play really hard. I would say they’re aggressive. I don’t exactly know what he was talking about. I didn’t hear him say that. You might want to ask him for more details on that.

Q: Well, he had a lot of respect for the entire unit, but specifically he was referring to their front seven.

NS: Oh yeah, they’re certainly aggressive, I would agree with that.

Q: Are there any keys you can talk about in layman’s terms about what you are looking for as far as their tendencies?

NS: I think there is a lot of that and that’s part of our preparation. That’s what we’ve been working on. I don’t know exactly what you’re asking for on that.

Q: Their tendencies to pressure or send extra men on early downs or anything of that nature.

NS: I’m not going to talk about the specifics of it.

Q: What have you seen from Dwight Freeney this year? Is he the same type of guy he was in Indianapolis, and what have you seen in his tendencies that we should look out for on Sunday?

NS: Well, I think he’s one of the guys that has that aggressive style, and I think every year he’s played, he’s played hard and he’s really put a great effort out there. I think it’s going to be a challenge, certainly, to go against him, as well as all the guys that they put out there.

Tim Wright

Q: What are some of the things that you see from San Diego’s defense?

TW: They are a great team. They are playing well this year. They’ve got some great players on defense – guys that can run to the ball, basically fit their role pretty well. Basically just for our offense, we’ve just got to stick to what we’ve been doing. We did lose the game last week versus Green Bay, but that’s not going to change anything that we are focused on trying to do. Just stick to our normal game plan, utilize the guys that we’ve got in our offensive room and defense alike and also special teams. Just go out there and execute — that’s the main thing.

Q: A lot of guys talked yesterday about showing a level of resilience and an ability to bounce back after the loss in Green Bay. How do you see it and what do you see in this team that leads you to believe that they have the sort of character and resilience needed to go on the road especially after a tough game like Green Bay and come out of San Diego with a victory?

TW: It all starts with preparation. That’s what we pride ourselves on. Just looking at the challenge that we have ahead of us this week – going out there [in] San Diego, playing in the different climate, different personnel that we aren’t used to usually facing. But like I said, preparation is going to put us in a great position to bounce back from the loss that we had and put us in the position to get back rolling again.

Q: They have a couple guys in that secondary in Brandon Flowers and Eric Weddle, both Pro Bowlers. What do you see from that secondary and specifically those two guys that have allowed them to have the level of success that they’ve had for an extended period of time?

TW: They are great leaders on their team. They play well together. They swarm to the ball; they run to the ball. [They’re] high energy guys. I would think the same thing for them is their preparation and executing week-in and week-out is what multiplies those weeks, and multiplies weeks turning into months and years of experience and playing at a high level that they do.

Q: As someone who isn’t out there every snap with an offense with so many weapons, do you feel like you have to be even more precise when you’re given the opportunity?

TW: Yeah, you do. You’ve got to go out there with a high level of focus. You know, it doesn’t just happen on Sunday, it happens during the week during practice. Even when we get the game plan it’s just focusing on our role, especially for myself, focusing on the role that I’m asked, and when that number is called for me to go in and execute my job and just going out there and doing it.