In the midst of the NFL's uncertain future, Patriots defensive lineman Ron Brace said today all he can do is worry about himself.
"I worry about what I can control right now," Brace said. "And what I can control right now is me working on trying to get ready for the season."
Brace is working through plenty as he continues to rehab from surgery to repair a ligament near his elbow. Today Brace was part of a group of special guests who showed up for the Boston R.O.C.K IT! program at the Strand Theatre.
Mayor Thomas Menino, Brace, and others used today's event to encourage children to participate in summer activities through the Boston Centers for Youth & Families programs.
"I just want to let the kids know they can use the resources that are available to them," said Brace, who is a native of Worcester. "Basically, it's some of the same things I did when I was younger. When I was younger in the summer that was some of my most active times. You never stay in the house because in New England you don't get that much good weather, so you enjoy whatever you get. I was outside from daybreak until the end playing basketball, flag football, or whatever."
Brace ended the 2010 season on injured reserve and missed the playoffs. While the situation was disappointing, he said it served as motivation for him to have an even better year next season.
"It was really hard," Brace said. "Playing throughout the whole season and finally you get close to what you're working for, you can almost smell it, and then you can't play. Words can't explain what it does to you if you're sitting there watching it and you're a player. But if anything, it gave me more motivation for next year because we came that close and I'm trying to get even further and be a part of it."
Brace has enjoyed his offseason. Just before the Super Bowl he was on the Rachael Ray Show competing against other NFL players for the best Super Bowl recipe. His meal of choice was a steak.
"It was nice. I've never been in the back of a green room for any show," Brace said. "Being on TV like that, I've never had so many people call me up that I haven't talked to in a while. ... It's nice to know that I still have people out there that support me."