Finally, Patriots left tackle Nate Solder has gotten a feel for a normal offseason.

The 2011 first-round pick’s camp debut was held up due to the lockout, which stunted every second-year player’s growth during the following offseason. Even as strange as it sounds, young players need to learn how to navigate their downtime, particularly as they prep for an upcoming season.

“I think it’s more the timing. I knew how much time to take off, how intense to start working out and maintain body weight, strength, everything over the break,” Solder told the Herald yesterday while speaking out against bullying at the Eliot Elementary School in Boston. “I have a little more time under my belt, but I feel like every year the expectations have risen, so I certainly feel that the expectations have risen another level, so I think my play should also rise.”

Solder returned home to Colorado for a bit after the season and then spent a couple weeks in Hawaii before ratcheting up his efforts for the 2013 campaign. He feels the knowledge he has gained, the comfort level of knowing his true position and the consistency from one year to the next will help him improve upon a steady season of protecting Tom Brady.

“I think the experience that I have will help me play better,” Solder said. “The time I spent working out getting physically better, the time I spend in OTAs and camp preparing ourselves mentally and physically will all add up to being a better player.”

Giant leap on tap?