Veteran offensive tackle Nate Solder has returned to the Giants after opting out of the 2020 season last summer.
Nate Solder is back.
The veteran offensive tackle opted out of the 2020 campaign amid the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But things are a tad bit different — Solder isn’t expected to be the starting left tackle like he previously was (in both 2018 and 2019) and may not start on the right side due to the hopeful development of second-year man Matthew Peart.
Like the professional he is, Solder is expressing happiness just to be back at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford. Any job the Giants ask of him, he’s willing to assume.
“One of the great things about coming back is just the opportunity to work with a group of guys. Who cares who starts? I just want to be a part of an excellent group that’s getting better every day and plays at a really high level,” Solder told the media Wednesday following the team’s mandatory minicamp practice. “I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some great O-lines, and nobody cares who’s starting and who’s not because we’re all part of a team, we’re all necessary, we’re all needed.
“If I can encourage, protect, guide, lead, compete, whatever it takes, I’m here to do it.”
So did Solder find out what position he may play? Or the specific role he might take on if he makes the final roster past the training camp and preseason periods?
“They said the best five are going to play,” Solder said. “I’ve been on enough teams where there are six or seven players off the bench who earn significant time, so who knows? They’re going to game plan something up and I’m hoping to get some time on the field, but whatever the case is going to be I’m going to work my tail off and be the best I can to support the guys around me.”
So what’s it like for Solder to spend time with Andrew Thomas?
Earlier in the press conference, Nate spoke on the Giants’ 2020 first-round draft pick. In his absence last year, the Giants fielded Thomas at Solder’s old spot — Daniel Jones’ blindside.
“He’s awesome. He goes about his business, works hard, keeps his head down, he’s humble, just grinds, excellent athlete,” Solder said. “It’s a real pleasure to work with him.”
It seems as if the veteran would assume more of a reserve swing tackle role if he were to make the final roster.
For one, it wouldn’t be a superb idea to take Thomas away from the starting role he possessed for 15 games last season.
And if the Giants end up taking the route they seem to be taking in regard to the offensive line, Peart would be the starter on the right side.
The potential reason the team didn’t draft an offensive lineman this offseason is that it seemingly wants to implement continuity within the unit. This ideology would lead to the Giants electing to start Peart due to his more recent experience with the other O-line counterparts.