FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -– Despite fielding offers from other franchises and not having spoken to the team prior to the draft, when the Patriots came calling to sign undrafted tight end Brad Herman out of Iowa, the choice was clear.
“It was just a great situation for me,” Herman told reporters in his first appearance in front of the microphone as a pro.
That situation involves playing alongside a talented pair of young tight ends in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. While some might think that such a situation would be detrimental to Herman’s chances of making the roster, he’s taking a different approach.
“They’re great tight ends. [I] couldn’t learn from a better group of guys, and I can just do my part to help with the team’s success.”
Part of helping his new team will be for Herman to master the Patriots playbook and system, which presents a new challenge compared to what he experienced at Iowa.
“It’s complex. The college game is much more simpler than the pro game. It’s because we’ve got full-time jobs here.”
He explained, “You don’t have to worry about school or putting too much on younger kinds. But now we’re adults, this is our job. You’re gonna have a more complex playbook both offense and defensive wise.”
Although he’s only been on the job for a handful of days, Herman says he’s already learned that it involves “long days and short nights of sleep.”
Thankfully for the 22-year-old, he has some familiarity on his side, having played in a pro-style offense in college that he says involved some of the same techniques that the Patriots employ.
As for whether or not the familiarity between Bill Belichick and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz (a former Belichick aide with the Browns) played a role in Herman ending up as a Patriot?
“I have no idea,” he said.