Solder 'hoping and praying' Pats would draft him

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Solder 'hoping and praying' Pats would draft him

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; After catching only three passes for 50 yards in 11 games asa blocking tight end during his redshirt freshman season in 2007, the Coloradocoaching staff approached Nate Solder and said, Youd be an alright tight end,but youd be a great tackle.

The advice paid off with a phone call from Bill Belichickand Robert Kraft on Thursday night, officially making him the New EnglandPatriots first pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Solder was the 17th overall pick on Thursday. The offensivetackle got the call while at his familys bed and breakfast in Colorado.

I was hoping and praying that theyd pick me, because, youknow, its such a great organization, said Solder in a conference call.

I didnt know what to expect with this whole process, hesaid. How can you? How can you know? Its all been shocking and surprising.Im just blessed and honored to be a part of it.

Solder said he had no idea what to expect on draft night.And going to New England wasnt anywhere close to a guarantee.

The Patriots had canceled Solders scheduled visit toFoxboro a day before he was supposed to hop on a plane. Instead, Patriotsoffensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia flew out to meet with him, on Monday.

Hes an unbelievable coach, one of the best in the NFL,said Solder. And that was completely obvious when I met with him. And I lookforward to the opportunity to play for him.

Solder said hes only played left tackle in his career as anoffensive lineman, but said he believes in healthy competition, and wants toearn his spot on the roster.

I have a lot to work on, said Solder. And the great thingabout that is, Im a coachable player. And coach Scarnecchia, and coachBelichick, the whole staff, is great to play for.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Ordway: Garoppolo has to play in game 4 of the preseason vs. Giants

Ordway: Garoppolo has to play in game 4 of the preseason vs. Giants

Glenn Ordway sits in with Bob Neumeier and Gary Tanguay on the Arbella Insurance Early Edition to chat about Brady's suspension terms, and Brady, Garoppolo and Brissett playing in the final pre-season game.

Patriots place Lewis, Vollmer on reserve/PUP to get to 75-man limit

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Patriots place Lewis, Vollmer on reserve/PUP to get to 75-man limit

FOXBORO -- The Patriots were able to trim their roster to 75 players by Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline without making any eye-opening cuts. 

The team placed right tackle Sebastian Vollmer and running back Dion Lewis on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which will make them unavailable for the first six weeks of the regular season. The Patriots also released linebacker Ramon Humber, tight end Steven Scheu and offensive lineman Keavon Milton.

Neither Vollmer nor Lewis were expected to be healthy enough to begin the season. By placing them on reserve/PUP, the Patriots are no longer dedicating active roster spots to those players, but they have also kept the option open for one or both to return later in the year. Guard Tre' Jackson was also placed on reserve/PUP on Monday. Receiver Danny Amendola is the lone player to remain on active/PUP, meaning he will continue to count against the active roster and can re-join the team to practice at any time.