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Brace: 'I feel like a different player'

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  May 26, 2010 03:08 PM

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Brace-buffalo.JPGCandor is often hard to come by around Gillette Stadium, but former Boston College standout Ron Brace didn't hide behind a lot of cliches after today's practice when he was asked about the struggles of his rookie season.

Asked if last year was overwhelming, the Springfield native and Worcester prep star said, "Definitely. For someone coming out straight out of college straight into the real world, you have this job where everybody's yelling at you to do something and you don't know what you're doing and you basically have to catch on quick and catch up with the pack."

One of four second-round picks for the Patriots in last year's draft, Brace only played in eight of the Pats' 16 regular-season games, though he did start two of the final three.

He called the year humbling, and said that a year later he feels a lot better and "like a different player" from the time when he was first handed his playbook at rookie mini-camp.

"It was kind of a humbling experience for me because I didn't get to play. But it also opened my eyes to let me know there's still work to do. You ain't the big man around here anymore. There's another big man. You've got to learn your role and fall in and just work on trying to excel," Brace said.

Brace has changed his number to Jarvis Green's old 97 from the 92 he wore last year.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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