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OL Bergstrom transcript

Offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom, the newest Raider, spoke with the Bay Area media a short while after being selected at No. 95, in the third round, of the NFL draft.
Here is the entire transcript:

Did you have any inkling that it would be the Raiders?
“Not really. It’s one of those things where it’s just sort of a crapshoot, and you never know what’s going to happen. I was told to expect the unexpected in the draft, and that’s kind of what happened. I was excited. I’d interviewed with some of the coaches. When I got the phone call, I couldn’t have been more excited.”

Were you getting worried that you might have to wait another day?
“Yeah. You always kind of have that worry. You have your family over at the house. It’s always a little awkward when you have to tell them, ‘Come back tomorrow.’ I was just extremely lucky and fortunate to be called tonight.”

Did you have any contact with the Raiders over this entire process?
“Oh, yeah, absolutely. I had interviewed with them at the Senior Bowl and again at the combine. They saw me at all of those things. There was contact, there were interviews, there was plenty of that.”

Who did you talk to and what do you remember from those interviews?
“I talked to coach (Steve) Wisniewski, I believe, the assistant O-line coach. … It was mostly just trying to get in my head a little bit, have me draw some plays up, kind of get to know me more than anything. He kind of instilled in my mind we’re starting a new era with the Oakland Raiders and they’ve got a whole new thing going, and they’re honoring the past and coming into the new system and a new time. I’m excited to be a part of that.”

Do you see yourself as a zone-blocking type of offensive lineman?
“Absolutely. I’ve come from Utah. That’s the scheme we ran. Zone was always our bread and butter. That’s the first play you’ve got to establish. It keeps the defense honest. You can run it against any look they throw at you. You can run it into any blitz. I’m a big believer in it and I feel I can block it.”

Q: What is the transition to guard going to be like?
A: “It’s something I got to do; I got to have a taste of it at the Senior Bowl. I played all right tackle through most of my college career, a little bit of left tackle, and went to the Senior Bowl and played only left guard. I’ve already had a bit of a taste for it. There’s a little growing pains, I’m sure there will be, coming into this new league and switching positions. But, it’s something that came pretty naturally to me. It was fun. I’m not going to lie to you. You get inside, it’s not so much finesse anymore, it’s a little more gritty. I feel like I’m capable of making that transition.”

Q: Did you know all along that you would convert to guard?
A: “Yeah, most likely. There were some teams that I talked to that saw me as somebody who could play tackle. Even talking to the Raiders, they said maybe I could play tackle but I would probably move into guard first. I’m not sure. I kind of knew all along that I was going to be a guard first and maybe be able to play that backup tackle in the future, or right away. But guard’s my position. I’ve already changed my mind-set to guard. So, that’s what I’m thinking right now.”

Q: Can your advanced age and the life path you chose be an advantage?
A: “Yeah, absolutely. There’s been a lot of advantages, not just for the path but to the style. As far as the life path goes, I was fortunate enough; I actually served in the Sacramento area, right above you guys, and became pretty familiar with the area. I was really fortunate to be able to have a weight set. I trained every morning, so I came back probably 50 pounds and in much better shape than when I left. So, that gave me a good head start in college. As far as the lifestyle goes, I’m not one of those guys who goes out and parties. I take recovery very seriously. If you come to my house, I’m usually sitting on a foam roller or something. I have a wife; she won’t let me get into any trouble. Physically, I feel like my body is as in as good a shape as any 20- or 21-year-old, and it will last just as long because I take care of it.”

Q: In that same vein about physically feeling better, do you feel like the time off from the wear and tear and the hits of playing football has sort of gotten you physically, health-wise ahead of where most players are your age?
A: Yeah, I mean, high school’s a little different. High school is not quite as bad as college. Obviously the time that I’ve had just training for the Combine and pro days and afterward has been nice, to kind of take a break from the hitting, not having any spring ball. That definitely helps. Giving your body some recovery time always helps.

Q: Are you a mechanical engineer or electrical engineer?
A: Chemical.

Q: Do you have any particular areas of interest or areas of study within that?
A: I did, it was more I kind of was looking more into the petroleum area. If you make big oil you can make great money, right? But I don’t know, as I got into it further and further I was more interested in the research side of things, nanotechnology kind of stuff, but I’m not sure yet. There’s a broad spectrum of things you can go into.

Q: Have you talked to brother-in-law Paul yet?
A: That was the first thing we looked at was when are we playing each other? I think we’re playing in November, in Baltimore I believe, if I can remember. That was something that was right quick. I was able to talk to Paul. He’s always been kind of an Oakland fan so he was pretty excited for me to go there.

Q: Where and for how long were you in the Sacramento area?
A: I was there for two years, mostly in the South Sac area and then down in Stockton area.

Q: Were you told you would need to move to guard or was that your decision?
A: A little bit of both. I felt like I did well at tackle. I like to get my hand in the ground. I can do a two-point stance. But who wants to be in a two-point stance. There’s no fun in that. I like the idea of moving into guard. I was told by a lot of NFL coaches they saw me doing that as well and me being a swing player who can do both.

Q: Did going on a mission make you more ready?
A: Absolutely. I think that always helps, having a little bit more maturity. I’m a guy that … I’m no stranger to coming home and studying all day and spending time with the family instead of going out at night. As soon as I get my playbook I’m going back to that lifestyle of just studying every day and doing my workouts. I think having that schedule that you get used to that’s kind of a big part of maturity.

Q: How did you think interview with Raiders went?
A: I felt like I did pretty well. I answered all the questions fairly well. I felt like I was confident but not arrogant, all those things they tell you at the combine prep things. I felt like I did well. I came out of every interview thinking I did well and then going back over my head going I have no idea. You have no idea what the coaches are thinking. They give you almost no feedback the whole time. You hope you do well but you never know.

Q: How much has Paul helped you in this process?
A: he was a great help. Not just throughout this process. Even in my senior year I talked to him and he’d kind of fill me in a lot on what it was about my game that needed to change and what NFL coaches were really looking for out of college linemen. That was probably the biggest help from him just every week telling me what it is that I need to do to be more recognizable to NFL coaches.

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Steve Corkran

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    white line…get mad kell

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Smart Pick

  • priesttj

    RaiderO Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning……LOL

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Overwhelming physical tools? No.

    Smart, mature, and loves to play football? Yes.

    This is Reggie’s team now.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    He is smart. lol

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    BHP,

    It’s not worth it. I don’t get mad at things I can’t control.
    I don’t like the pick, but I hope I’m wrong (not the 1st time), and I wish the young man nothing but the best.
    Do you think we should draft a big RB, or are you happy with our RB situation?

  • Guy

    I was a little angry before but I really don’t know much about him. I don’t mean to be a downer but everyone blindly defending this pick imagine if one of our rivals took him. What would you guys being saying about him then? Would he be a “huge reach” like derek wolfe for the broncos or Donald Stephenson for the Chiefs was?

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    26 years is not old for an O-lineman.

  • http://www.wasRaider75.com wasbanned

    Bergstrom

    Scouting Report

    Possesses a thick lower half, good girth through his base, but doesn’t look real long armed. Does a decent job sitting into his stance and keeping his base under him, but looks a bit tight and will double over at the waist. Pops upright off the snap in pass protection, struggles to really sit into his kick-slide and gets upright initially into contact. Lacks the range to routinely reach speed off the edge. However, understands angles and his limitations and will overextend into contact in order to push defenders past the play. Displays above-average short area quickness for his size, gets a bit wide with his footwork, but collects himself quickly in tight areas, re-directs well and will lunge into his target. Isn’t a real natural puncher however as he isn’t a guy who can hold up laterally in space. But, because of his size and good hand placement can anchor with some consistency on contact. Is heavy handed, but will struggle with balance through the play. Nevertheless, he’s tough, gritty and works hard to keep the outside of the pocket clean.

    Isn’t a great move player in the run game. Seems to lumber in the open field, doesn’t have much range and struggles to reach/breakdown on contact. Displays some short area quickness off the line when asked to step and seal. Takes good angles off the ball, has a little snap at the point, but again struggles to balance himself through the play. Lunges off the ball without moving his feet when playing from a three point stance and struggles with pad level from a two point stance.

    Impression: A big, strong tackle prospect with some short area quickness for his size. But struggles with flexibility in pass protection and looks limited in what he can offer an NFL offense. However, looks more coordinated and plays lower as a guard and looks like that is where his future lies in the NFL.

  • Dakota

    This kid can play in the nfl for 10-12 years….being 26 isn’t that big of a deal.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Reg isn’t kidding about character, smarts and discipline.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Hendu,

    I like Ta’amu, Chapman, and Massaquoi.

    O Mock Draft 6.0:
    4- DE Jonathan Massaquoi, NT Chapman, or DT Ta’amu
    5- CB Coryell Judie or Chris Greenwood
    5- LB Miles Burris SDSU GO AZTECS
    6- FS J Jackson, HB T Ganaway, NT N J Baptiste, or OT Joe Long

  • Dakota

    We have drafted one-eyed RBs, DTs that kick the bucket, RBs that have to serve in the Navy, mormons who refuse to play on sundays…..so what if the kid is 26?

    big deal

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    LMAO Dakota.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    IF this is the model player that Reg wants, Romac is done.

  • RaiderLen

    Lowdown_in_Beijing Says:
    April 27th, 2012 at 9:59 pm
    Reg isn’t kidding about character, smarts and discipline.
    ————————–
    Seriously.

    Smart, dedicated, disciplined.

    That much is evident with the interview and personal History.

    I’ll leave the talent evaluation to Reggie.

  • RaiderLen

    Dakota Says:
    April 27th, 2012 at 10:00 pm
    We have drafted one-eyed RBs, DTs that kick the bucket, RBs that have to serve in the Navy, mormons who refuse to play on sundays…..so what if the kid is 26?

    big deal
    —————————
    LOL!

  • irjonny

    i still think mike jenkins with our 5th is a heck of a deal. especially since i’m sure somehow reggie will get us more picks in this draft.

  • priesttj

    Raider O The Raiders traditionally have always had a big back. It will be strange IMO if we go without one and we had IMO the best in the NFL in Bush. It hurts seeing that kid go man I loved his skillset. He was extremely gifted. The chance of getting someone remotely close to him is slim at best. Another big back wont do..

  • lefty12

    I know this isn’t a popular statement but it seems our hierarchy doesn’t think DL is that big of a priority.

  • Dakota

    LMAO Bush the best big back in the nfl…too funny….dude couldn’t get a 3rd and 2 if his life depended on it, and struggled in the red zone despite being fed constantly.

    Nice backup RB, but nowhere near the best of anything in the NFL.

  • GForce21

    Dakota Says:
    April 27th, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    We have drafted one-eyed RBs, DTs that kick the bucket, RBs that have to serve in the Navy, mormons who refuse to play on sundays…..so what if the kid is 26?

    big deal
    —————
    Poor Joe Aska. I really wanted him to succeed.

    I really liked when we drafted that running back that played baseball.

    Lets face it, Bergstrom is already a better draft pick than our 1st rounder in 07.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    BHP,

    I thought Bush was going to demand a lot more than $3.5 million. I don’t think the new GM values RBs the way Al did (based on what they did in GB).

  • irjonny

    why can’t we run taiwan, tonga and reece when dmac is resting? i think rb is a udfa to develop. unless there is a fa you guys like out there. i don’t

  • RaiderLen

    Mike Bush played smaller than his size…in the worst form of the meaning.

    Bush had a great opportunity to demonstrate his overall game and failed…imo.

  • lefty12

    How do we know our BU/power RB isn’t already on the roster?Miller just might turn out to be that guy.

  • Stringer Bell

    GForce21 Says:
    April 27th, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Dakota Says:
    April 27th, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    We have drafted one-eyed RBs, DTs that kick the bucket, RBs that have to serve in the Navy, mormons who refuse to play on sundays…..so what if the kid is 26?

    big deal
    —————
    Poor Joe Aska. I really wanted him to succeed.

    I really liked when we drafted that running back that played baseball.

    Lets face it, Bergstrom is already a better draft pick than our 1st rounder in 07.
    *******************************************************
    Well at least he’s already talking about studying his playbook. I don’t think #2 ever got past the table of contents.

  • GForce21

    priesttj Says:
    April 27th, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Raider O The Raiders traditionally have always had a big back. It will be strange IMO if we go without one and we had IMO the best in the NFL in Bush. It hurts seeing that kid go man I loved his skillset. He was extremely gifted. The chance of getting someone remotely close to him is slim at best. Another big back wont do..
    ————————

    Chris Polk is still on the board. He was projected for 2nd-3rd round and during the year, was actually generating hype to be a 1st rounder.

    I think we have bigger concerns though.

  • RaiderLen

    Irjonny Says:
    April 27th, 2012 at 10:08 pm
    why can’t we run taiwan, tonga and reece when dmac is resting? i think rb is a udfa to develop. unless there is a fa you guys like out there. i don’t
    —————————–
    Goodson is our #2 book it.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    We showed interest in DL and LBs at the Senior bowl and the combine. Most of our invites were to LBs.
    I’m positive we will draft a LB, and I think we will draft a DE, but I don’t think we will draft a DT.

  • irjonny

    raiderlen

    i agree. dmac crushes safeties to end runs. bush gets wrapped or tripped. i like him as a backup but nothing more. easily replaced

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    I think the DA made it clear the strength of our Defense was the D-Line.

    Seems they’ve been pretty honest with us..

    He also said he wanted players who loved the game, and the preparation for the game. The transcript above, shows Bergstrom takes his body seriously.

    Again they seem to be men of their word.

  • Dakota

    Bergstrom went to the Raiders with the 95th overall pick.
    “They play a zone offense like we did at the ‘U’ so I’m familiar with it,” he said. “I’m excited about their fans. They are so loyal so I am stoked about that.”
    This summer will be a bit of a whirlwind for the Skyline H.S. product.
    Bergstrom and his wife, Jessica, are expecting their second child, a boy, in July. The couple have a 17-month-old daughter named Olivia.
    “We still have to figure everything out,” Bergstrom said. “We have a lot to do, but we are still wrapping our minds around what happened.”
    – Lya Wodraska

  • YoungAmerican

    Terrell Manning
    Sammy Brown
    Miles Burris
    Emmanuel Acho
    Keenan Robinson

    Some good LBs left if the Raiders are in the market.

  • Dakota

    lefty12 Says:
    April 27th, 2012 at 10:06 pm
    I know this isn’t a popular statement but it seems our hierarchy doesn’t think DL is that big of a priority.
    ++++++++++++++++

    Or it could be a reflection of the draft prospects at that position at #95.

    Maybe they simpy did not see anyone that was worthy of a 3rd round pick to address that need and will be sifting through camp cuts to improve it….you never know.

  • J Hill

    Sorry Priest, but Bush I not that guy.

    Doesn’t run like a big back through the LOS. Yeah DBs don’t want to see him not the 2nd level, but DL and LBs stop him frequently.

    Twinle toes won’t be hard to replace at all.

  • Marks hair

    Good pick. Coops out.. Easier to find a starter at guard than anywhere else at 95.. Taamu wouldnt start…. Massi kept getting passed. I think he’ll be a guard too. But he’s not a zbs guy.

  • Marks hair

    They think dl is our strongest pos… Told ya we wouldnt go dt.. I was hoping for taamu, but it was mostly for his name..

  • lefty12

    Dakota Says: you never know.
    ==========================
    Might be the most truest statement ever written on this blog.

  • lefty12

    *that was terrible.Might be the truest statement….

  • Marks hair

    Looks kinda like wiz on tape.. the pre draft descriptions are about the same too..

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Lefty,

    Bush was special IMHO as an ex used car salesman (lol). He was projected as a 1st round pick before he broke his leg. He was a steal. Al had good picks in layer rounds. Bush, Branch, Chaz, and Moore. We also did well after the draft. Reece and Bryant are good examples.
    I don’t think we have a backup RB like Bush..

  • Dakota

    Most trueliest!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Later*

  • hendu

    12,Try and get some sleep O,maybe some purple, its D all day tomorrow!Raiders!!!!!!!!!

  • Marks hair

    Tj might just tear it up in the zbs

  • lefty12

    Why do some get so upset with a pick like Bergstrom instead of saying ‘wow,good pick,I didn’t think we’d go there’?Is it so important to predict the player we picked?

  • Dakota

    Okay, big day tomorrow….I expect Reggie to select three hall of famers in rounds 4-7….and a solid pro bowler or two too.

  • Marks hair

    Whats are pick tomorrow?

  • lefty12

    Hendu-too many Pale Ales.LOL