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Brad Herman embraces opportunity with Patriots, but realizes he has a long way to go

05.12.12 at 3:28 pm ET

FOXBORO — With a 6-foot-five, 253-pound frame, undrafted rookie tight end Brad Herman unquestionably has the physical tools to translate his game to the NFL level. Saturday afternoon, while meeting with the media at Gillette Stadium for the first time as a member of the Patriots, the Iowa product emphasized maturity and an awareness that school is out and it’s time to get to work.

“They make it clear that this is a business and you should treat it like a business, both from their standpoint and our standpoint,” Herman said. “We have full-time jobs here. You don’t have to worry about school or putting to much on younger kids. Now, we’re adults. This is our job, so you’re going to have a more complex playbook.”

Herman comes to the Patriots under the tutelage of Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz, who served under Bill Belichick from 1993-95 as an offensive line coach with the Browns. His understanding of the shrewd lifestyle of the NFL was matched by the personal growth he said he needs as a player to make the Patriots squad, especially with the roster already rife with talented tight ends.

“I can develop in all areas — that’s the important thing,” Herman said. “Compared to these guys, I’m nothing. I’m just trying to learn from them, get better, and get to the level that the coaches want me at, and what I need to be at to play to my best abilities.

“You’re at the same level as they are,” he continued. “They are just men, like you, at the end of the day just trying to have a job. That’s how you have to treat it. You can’t be star struck.”

Herman’s numbers improved vastly his last year at Iowa. In 12 games last season, he had eight catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. Ferentz ran a pro-style offense at Iowa which benefited Herman, but nevertheless, the intricacies of the pro game are something he hopes to adapt to with time, all while proving to the coaching staff he belongs.

“Some things I’m used to as far as the coaching technique,” Herman said. “Ferentz and Belichick are tied into each other, I know that. It helps, but overall I really don’t know much at this point. It’s still a huge learning curve.

“You go out there and try to establish yourself,” he said. “Do what you can to help the team, give your full effort and it’s up to the coaches to decide. If they think you’re good enough then you make the team, if not, try your luck elsewhere.”

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