MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — First-round draft pick Nate Solder had a terrific debut during the Patriots' victory against the Dolphins on Monday night, but he's not eyeing anyone else's job.
Solder, a left tackle by trade who started at right tackle in place of Sebastian Vollmer, said he's just keeping Vollmer's seat warm until his back heals.
"It's a learning process, and Sebastian is our starter," Solder said. "We need him in there. I was happy to perform my role, and I need to get better at that role."
Solder was almost exclusively lined up against outside linebacker Cameron Wake, who was third in the NFL last season with 14 sacks. Solder had help from the tight ends, as well as guards Dan Connolly and Brian Waters, but the rookie deserved a chunk of the credit for limiting Wake's production in the season opener.
Aside from a spurt late in the second quarter, Wake was held in check. He only registered one sack, and that was also his lone hit on Tom Brady.
"Cameron Wake is an incredible player," Solder said. "I'm just learning to play with guys like him. First game, I'm a young guy, I have a lot to learn."