Nate Solder: 'I don't think confidence has been a problem' with offensive line

Mike Petraglia
September 26, 2014 - 2:56 pm
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FOXBORO -- It's been a brutal week of criticism for everyone along the Patriots' offensive line. Even Tom Brady dropped very subtle hints this week that he needs more time to "make better decisions" and expressed concern that sometimes teams "flatten out" in their improvement and never get above a certain level. But all of that has done nothing to shake the confidence of one those who has heard the most criticism since the Patriots escapted 16-9 Sunday against the Raiders. Nate Solder figures to once again be the starting left tackle, assigned to slowing down Tamba Hali or Justin Houston. Solder says neither he nor any of his offensive line teammates are in a confidence of crisis. "I don't think confidence has been a problem," Solder insisted Friday after practice. "We've been building steadily the whole year and we're going to continue to do that. "We're working hard to fix everything. At this point, it's just a building process. Things hopefully improve but you never know until game day so we work hard every day to make it better." As for slowing Hali or Houston, Solder knows what he's up against. "Exceptional players, play really hard and make a lot of plays. Huge challenge for us," Solder said. Even with the struggles of the offensive line against the Dolphins and Raiders, Solder and Sebastian Vollmer appear to be fairly secure at the left and right tackle spots, respectively. It's the interior line where the Patriots might decide to shake things up, especially with veteran center Ryan Wendell not appearing on the injury report. After struggling through the first three games of the season, the Patriots offensive line is looking forward to showing that it can perform at a higher level when it takes the field Monday night in Kansas City. If the Patriots decide to shake up the offensive line, such as starting rookie Bryan Stork at center, moving Dan Connolly to right guard or even swapping out left guard Marcus Cannon, they'll be doing do in one of the most hostile environments in football - Arrowhead Stadium. But Solder, who played in the Big 12 at Colorado, says he's not overly concerned. "I imagine the crowd will get into it at some point but our main opponent is the Chiefs so that's what we're really focused on."