FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Entering 2012, there weren't a ton of questions facing the Patriots' offense, which finished last season at the top, or near the top, of many major statistical categories.
One of the few questions was whether second-year tackle Nate Solder could step up to replace the void left by the retired Matt Light.
So far, so good, as Solder and the offensive line have excelled through eight games.
"Nate played a lot last year too, and he's been very reliable and dependable really since the day he got here," quarterback Tom Brady said Wednesday. "He's very mature. I think he's really asserted himself as a very good player. That's a tough position to play. You get the best of your opponent every single week, and he's never really backed down to a challenge. There's a lot of comfort there."
Brady was steadfast in his confidence in the line prior to the regular season, despite some woes experienced during preseason play. That confidence remains.
"I've never thought much about -- concerned myself with their job and so forth," Brady said of the line. "They're very well coached. They work very hard. That entire group, that's kind of like their own little sub-culture within the team. They have the things they do to get ready, they're coached very hard. Dante Scarnecchia is one of the best coaches I've ever been around. It's just a matter of time, the more you play together the better you're going to do, and those guys have continued to work really hard and obviously it's showing out there on the field."