Motivated Brace rising up

Since being drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft, Patriots defensive lineman Ron Brace has had a non-descript start to his career.

He appeared in just seven games in 2011, the lowest such total of his three seasons, and finished with just four tackles.

The Patriots have added a number of pieces to their defensive line this offseason, and Brace is amongst those who appear on the bubble to make the active roster.

He’s off to a strong start in training camp, however, flashing impressive power in one-on-ones against the offensive line. His bulk and athleticism have stood out.

The lack of playing time last season has motivated Brace, as he told reporters on Tuesday afternoon, "If not playing doesn’t motivate a player, I don’t know what would."

Vince Wilfork will remain the Patriots' interior anchor along the defensive line in 2012, and other interior players who project to be in the mix for a spot on the roster and extensive playing time include Jonathan Fanene, Kyle Love, Myron Pryor, Gerard Warren, and Brandon Deaderick.