No matter how good a quarterback is, he can only do so much behind a weak offensive line. In the years that the New England Patriots have fallen short of a Super Bowl, failure was usually due to the line’s inability to protect Tom Brady. Last season was consistent with this trend. But with the return of long-time coach Dante Scarnecchia and a mix of unproven talent and experienced presence, 2016’s offensive line has great potential.
Dante Scarnecchia and Offensive Line Can Immortalize 2016 Patriots
Nate Solder has been the blind side tackle since the Pats drafted him 17th overall in 2011. Solder was an ironman his first four seasons, starting 60 of 64 regular season games. He came up under Coach Scarnecchia during the veteran coach’s first tenure with the team. There are occasional problems with his footwork and quickness, but he has held his starting job his entire career.
Solder tore his biceps Week 5 of last season and was placed on injured reserve. He was then placed on the physically unable to perform list by the team last week. He is expected to be ready for the regular season, but backup LaAdrian Waddle has filled in during his absence in training camp.