The night of April 29th to 30th, 2022 will be remembered by Austrian football fans for a long time.
Bernhard Raimann is the first Austrian ever to be selected in an NFL draft and ends up in 77th place with the Indianapolis Colts. Everything about the second night of the draft>>>
The offensive lineman, who spent his college days with the Central Michigan Chippewas, speaks at a Colts press conference about his long road to the NFL and the grueling draft night.
How it all began
First, Raimann looks back at his beginnings. The Burgenlander talks about the great coincidence that brought him to American football in the first place.
“Honestly, it was just a big coincidence. When I was 13, I saw some boys throwing a football around, so I just joined them and had a blast. I just gave it a try and it kind of always worked,” like the Burgenlander.
“Somehow works” is definitely an understatement. After a few years in the youth club of the Vienna Vikings, Raimann ventured into Dalton High School in Michigan as an exchange student.
From there he went to Central Michigan University and ultimately to the NFL with the Colts.
The long wait
The final step towards the NFL would prove to be one of Raimann’s most nerve-wracking. Some experts had seen in him the potential that he could be picked in the first round, i.e. within the first 32 picks, in the end it was round three and pick 77.
These athletes were active in the USA before Raimann>>>
Raimann says about these moments: “There were really a lot of ups and downs. My parents came here especially to share this moment with me and then it takes a really long time. Now I’m just happy that it worked.”
The fact that Raimann ended up with the Indianapolis Colts was the icing on the cake: “I had good talks with coach Chris Strausser before, but you never know what will happen in the draft. That it really became the Colts is an absolute stroke of luck, I feel blessed to be here.”
Model from Germany
His path also reminds many people of another German-speaking NFL export in several ways: Sebastian Vollmer.
The German also played in offensive tackle for the New England Patrios from 2009 to 2016 and captured two Superbowl rings alongside superstar Tom Brady.
Raimann also sees him as a role model: “I looked at him a lot and his story really inspired me. I met him for the first time last year, we talked a lot about football. It’s an absolutely unique moment, his to meet an idol.”
Raimann the hard worker
One of the main issues that comes up again and again in connection with Raimann is his change of position. The Burgenlander started out as a wide receiver with the Vikings, in America he was retrained as a tight end, and finally ended up in the left tackle position two years ago.
Colts GM Chris Ballard praised the 24-year-old for his flexibility shortly after the draft>>>
One of his future colleagues, Danny Pinter, has had a similar journey. The Colts’ fourth-round pick of 2020 also underwent the same transformation as Raimann in college and is now in the Indianapolis starting lineup.
The Austrian is proud of his transformation: “I’m very proud of my athletic style of play. It doesn’t matter how heavy I am, I want to be as flexible as possible, and my background definitely helps me with that. It’s a central part of my style of play.”
“Two years ago I had to practice things that I had never done before. But my work ethic got me through it, I stood alone on the training ground and trained until everything was perfect,” says Reimann about the first few months its conversion.
A superstar as a neighbor
In the offensive line of the Indianapolis Colts, Raimann meets an absolute superstar among the offensive linemen.
Colts left guard Quenton Nelson is expected to be right next to the Burgenlander. Nelson was drafted 6th overall to the Colts in 2018 and is considered by many to be the best guard in the NFL.
In his first four seasons, he was on the All-Pros first team three times, on the second team once, and was selected to the prestigious Pro Bowl each year.
Raimann is particularly looking forward to Nelson: “It’s a unique opportunity. His finishing is the best in the NFL, and that’s exactly what I want to achieve. I’ve watched a lot from him, that I can now play with him and from him Being able to learn is a huge opportunity. I look forward to every single day with him.”
The two will probably be on the training ground together for the first time towards the end of May, when the rookies and the rest of the squad will meet together for the first time in what are known as “Organized Team Activities” (OTAs).
— NFL (@NFL) April 30, 2022
Textquelle: © LAOLA1.at
to the top » COMMENTS..