Solder gets early taste of big games

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots left tackle Nate Solder is in just his second NFL season, but he'll take the field for his fifth postseason game this Sunday during the AFC Championship Game. If the Patriots win, he'll advance to his second Super Bowl, already exceeding the total number of bowl games he played during his college career at Colorado.

"It's fantastic," Solder said on Wednesday, capping off a set of three news conferences (defensive back Devin McCourty and left guard Logan Mankins the others). "It's what I always wish I could've done in college and now that I have this opportunity, I'm blessed, it's amazing."

He was asked if there was any merit to the idea of needing to gain big-game experience through playing in the postseason.

"I think that it's always about how you execute and how you play," he responded. "I think that's any game."

At the age of 24 and with presumably a long career ahead of him, Solder said he hasn't done any reflecting on playing in big games yet, and hasn't thought about what it will take to sustain success.

He joked that with two conference championship games appearances in two seasons, he's been spoiled with success.

"I guess I'm spoiled and I just expect it every year now," Solder said with a laugh.