Oakland Raiders: Rookie OL Tony Bergstrom Has Pedigree of Professional Athlete
Stuart Kovacs – Jul 5, 2012
Oakland Raiders’ offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom is set to go through a tremendous growing process, which every other rookie in the NFL must go through. Luckily for him, he’ll have an easier adjustment period as he comes from a family with numerous professional athletes.
Bergstrom sat down with Henry Wofford of CSNBayArea.com to talk about how he has benefited from coming from a family of athletes.
The rookie out of the University of Utah has two family members that are currently playing professional sports. The first one is Ryan Roberts who is the cousin of Bergstrom. He is currently an infielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks, playing most of his time at third base.
Already in his seventh year, Roberts has accumulated a lifetime .248 batting average with 35 home runs and 132 runs batted in. However, what is more important than the statistics is the experience that Roberts is able to share with Bergstrom.
The other family member of Bergstrom that has an athletic background is Baltimore Ravens’ outside linebacker Paul Kruger, who is Bergstrom’s brother-in-law. Kruger, who also attended the University of Utah, collected 5.5 sacks in 16 games played in the 2011 campaign.
The Raiders’ third-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft has seen this relationship to be an even greater help as Kruger has been able to prepare Bergstrom for what the NFL will be like through the giving of invaluable advice of what coaches are looking for in a player.
“He was a big help to me. He gave me a lot of advice even in my senior year and junior year. In my senior year he helped me a lot to know what NFL coaches look for.”
In addition to just helping Bergstrom prepare for the NFL, Kruger can also aid the rookie, who in a few weeks will begin his first training camp.
As an outside linebacker, he can give Bergstrom that perspective of what front-seven defensive players see when going against offensive linemen such as Bergstrom. He can also answer his questions regarding how he can defeat what certain defensive players are doing to him.
Bergstrom understands how fortunate he is. His brother-in-law didn’t have this opportunity to learn from a family member who is already in the league. He had to do it all himself without much aid off of the field.
“It was kind of nice because he was pretty much the ginnie pig. He didn’t have any of that help and he kind of was the beta test on all of that and I just got to learn from him.”
In addition to the teaching that Bergstrom has received, it is also important to note that Bergstrom has good athletic genes which is considered important when evaluating professional athletes.
Bergstrom and wide receiver Juron Criner are the only draft picks that the Raiders have failed to sign thus far. However, both are expected to have contracts come training camp.
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