BOSTON (CBS) – Another NFL season is upon us and once again, the New England Patriots are the darlings of the odds makers.
The last I saw the wise guys had the NEP pegged at 13-to-2, slightly better than one or two teams at 7-to-1. I know what you’re thinking; “what the heck’s the difference there?”
Whatever ‘it’ is, Patriots’ fans will take it and be grateful they have ‘it’.
The Patriots host the Jacksonville Jaguars in Foxboro Thursday night, and nobody really has a feel for what they will see from Bill Belichick’s troops. With the off-season OTA’s (Organized Team Activities) and various mini-camps for this, that, or the other thing wiped out because of the lockout, no one really knows what to expect. On either side of the ball.
However, this I am absolutely sure of. When the Patriots have the ball and Tom Brady steps back to throw his first pass of the preseason, every New England fan will get that ‘deer in the headlights’ look and fix their gaze at the Left Tackle.
With Pro Bowler Matt Light not cleared for play, the job of protecting ‘The Season’ falls upon rookie Nate Solder, the Patriots 1st round draft choice this year. If you don’t know, the Left Tackle is responsible for protecting the quarterback’s back, if said QB is right-handed.
Solder is no shrinking violet. He checks in at 6’8”, 319 lbs (wouldn’t you want to put away a pizza or sub so you could tip at an even 320? Just sayin’) and played his college ball at Colorado.
As a senior the 23-year-old was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, awarded to the best offensive lineman in college. He’s proven to be durable on the line, playing in 2,540 of a possible 2,542 Buffalo plays from the start of his sophomore year through the end of his days at Colorado.
That’s all great, but that was college. Solder lines up Thursday night in the NFL with the task of protecting the Face of the League.
No pressure or anything.
Good luck, Nate!
We’re all pulling for you and remember…TAKE THE PENALTY IF YOU HAVE TO! IF YOU GET BEAT, HAUL ‘EM DOWN BY HOOK OR BY CROOK AND TAKE THE FLAG! NO HITS ON #12!
I’m sorry, was I shouting? I beg your pardon. I think it’s nerves