In a fantastic article on MMQB by former Patriots beat writer Greg Bedard, we get an in depth look at the Patriots offensive line during their tumultuous journey to the promised land through the eyes of offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo
We learn that no one in the Patriots organization thought that Ryan Wendell could play guard, until he got the chance and was the best guard on the roster. He notes that Wendell had the biggest hill to climb and stayed professional even though other, younger linemen were receiving better opportunities.
We learn that DeGuglielmo wasn't told of Logan Mankins' departure until it was announced to the team, and that Tom Brady voiced his confidence in the line, even after their struggles over the first quarter of the season.
Really pertinent is the fact that "Googe" loves left tackle Nate Solder.
"A lot of times we turn the protection right, we don't turn it left," DeGuglielmo said. "[Solder's] out there and he's done a great job holding up.
"There are times where, listen, you have to tell him he's one of the elite. And I believe he is. I believe he's one of the best left tackles in the NFL. And I see enough tape in film study to know what I'm talking about in that regard. I wouldn't trade him for another left tackle in the league, I really wouldn't.
"I mean the only guy, and I've told him this, that is in his league in my opinion with the combination of skills and movement and power is Tyron Smith in Dallas. I don't want to hear about [Denver's Ryan] Clady, [Cleveland's] Joe Thomas, I don't want to hear about any of them. [Eagles' Jason] Peters is sloppy. I'd take Nate Solder over all those guys, and I've told him that."
That's some really high praise from the positional coach. It's a great interview; you can read it here.