Patriots 2nd round draft pick (40th overall) Ron Brace (DT) addresses the media during his conference call on Saturday, April 25, 2009.
Q:Congratulations, Ron. Can you tell us, being a guy from Springfield, Mass., what's it like not only to be selected to play in the NFL, but to be picked by the Patriots?
RB:It's really a great honor. I'm so gracious because going from [Boston College] to the NFL as a Patriot is a big dream of mine. I just can't wait to get to work and start learning the system.
Q:Ron, where were you today?
RB:I was at home in Springfield with my family.
Q:What was the phone call like? Tell us a little about that.
RB:I was actually walking upstairs to get myself a drink. I saw the call come in and I picked it up and talked to Bill Belichick and [Robert] Kraft. I was actually speechless. My sister was standing right next to me and I just couldn't believe that I was getting ready to play around my home area.
Q:Did you have any kind of inkling that you were going to be taken by the Patriots?
RB:To tell you the truth, I didn't really know who I could end up with. I was talking with my agent the other day and he said that I could possibly end up with any of the 32 teams. The fact that it ended up being the Patriots was just crazy because I remember watching them when I was younger, too. It's just crazy. I never thought I'd end up playing for the team I watched when I was younger.
Q:Did you have a visit with New England? And, if so, what was that like?
RB:I didn't have a visit. I just came in for a physical. That's how it was with a lot of my visits. They just wanted to make sure that I was healthy enough to play.
Q:You played your collegiate career with B.J. Raji, another big-body guy that went to the Packers today. Now how much are you looking forward to playing with Vince Wilfork?
RB:I just can't wait to get in there and learn the system from the coaches and also just learning from him because he's been in the league for however amount of years that he's been here. I actually remember watching him get drafted by the Patriots. I just can't wait to actually learn from him and the coaches.
Q:When you were playing at Burncoat High [in Worcester, Mass.] could you ever foresee this thing happening?
RB:Never. I never did to tell you the truth. I just knew that it was a dream of mine and eventually it actually came true. Hopefully, I'm not dreaming right now. It's just a really good feeling.
Q:As a kid, or as a player in college, did you ever have the chance to see a Patriots game in person?
RB:I've never been to a pro football game. I've been to a pro basketball game, but I've never been to a pro football game.
Q:If you had to compare your game to somebody who plays in the pros right now, who would that be? Do you try to model your game after anybody?
RB:I can't really say that I model my game after anybody. My game right now is obviously going to be changed because I'm going to be playing in the system they play with the Patriots.
Q:How do you see yourself fitting into that 3-4 defense?
RB:To tell you the truth, I don't know where I see myself in that right now as far as where [they will put me]. All I know is that I need get in and learn the system before I can say where I'd be in that.
Q:Can you talk about your reaction to B.J. Raji getting drafted?
RB:It's actually as good a deal to see B.J. [Raji] getting drafted within the Top 10 actually, with that whole scandal that came out before with [people] allegedly saying that he failed a drug test. I think that's really good for him. No, I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him. I know he's probably talking on the phone like crazy right now, too.
Q:What has your family said about the fact that you were drafted by the local team and now they can stay home and watch you here?
RB:Well, in between the yelling, they were just so proud and so happy. Especially my father because he'll be able to see all of my home games just like he did in high school and in college.
Q:What do you know, having been around here, about the Patriots organization in terms of their work ethic and the kind of team that they are?
RB:I just know that the Patriots are a real hard-working team. They obviously have a system that has worked and I need to get in and learn it before I do anything else.
Q:You were known as a great run-stuffer in college. How much work do you feel you need as a pass rusher now?
RB:It's not just my rush stuff, I need to work on my all-around game just to get myself ready to play with the Patriots.