The Boston Herald's Ian Rappoport has been following the blossoming mentor-ship of New England Patriots DL Ron Brace by NT Vince Wilfork.
"Whenever he has a chance, V will pull me aside," said Brace, referring to Wilfork. "I just ask, ‘V, what do you look at while you watch film? Or ‘Come watch film with me.’ Those little things right there are going to make a big difference. You realize you got to really get in-depth."
Wilfork has often talked about players stepping up and assuming a leadership role on our team and it's nice to see him stepping up and putting his actions where his mouth is. Brace needs to be an integral part in our defensive line since DE Jarvis Green departed to the Denver Broncos. Brace is currently the least used of our four 2nd round picks and, rightfully so, is considered the biggest "bust". With OT Sebastian Vollmer stepping up the plate and being one of the best tackles in the league, and with CB Darius Butler contributing when called upon and with S Pat Chung helping out on special teams, Brace seems to be looking for his niche. Hopefully he can find it soon.
Veteran Jarvis Green signed with Denver, opening up a spot at end. Brace practiced there in the spring, and the 6-foot-3, 330-pounder is a possibility to fill the void. Either way, he knows he has a big season ahead of him.
Brace needs to find his place on the team and find it soon. He's watched fellow draftee Myron Pryor jump ahead of him in the depth chart. He knows he needs to work harder and he has the desire to succeed. Brace is taking advantage of the people and resources around him and he continues to seek out knowledge from Wilfork.
"My locker’s next to one of the best D-tackles in the league right now," Brace told [Rappoport] yesterday, "so I can’t help but take advantage of his teachings, you know? I try to learn how to watch film like he does, I try to watch to see what I can do to improve my technique. Basically, everything this man is doing, I’m watching, because hopefully I’m going to try to play to the caliber that he is."
"It gives me more time to learn from a player like him," Brace said. "Learning is vital to me now, especially in this league, because here, everybody has physical attributes. It’s just all up here (in his head) now, it’s a mind game now. He has it down, I’m trying to learn to figure it out like he does, ya know?"
I have a lot of hope for Brace this upcoming season and I think that a year under his belt will do a world of good in his production.