Rookie defensive lineman Ron Brace of Boston College said his first NFL game — the preseason opener against the Eagles — was an exciting one for him.
He described a special moment as he took the field and heard the voice of former Boston College teammate Mark Herzlich.
“I just heard him in the crowd yelling,” Brace said with a smile.
Herzlich is battling a rare, highly malignant bone cancer, and Brace was uplifted by his presence.
“I talked to him briefly after the game,” he said. “He’s doing real good. He’s a kid with high spirits. He never lets you know when he’s down, and that’s what I like about him. I know if he ever gets the chance to get back out there, he’s going to work his butt off.”
Herzlich has been an inspiration to Brace, as well as other players.
“If you know Mark, you know that the way he’s reacting to this is not out of the ordinary for Mark,” he said. “He’s going to take everything head on. He works hard. He’s going to do what he can to beat this cancer and get back on the field. He knows he’s going to beat this. I’m rooting for him.”