There is plenty of pressure that comes with being a team’s first selection in the draft. Offensive guard Tony Bergstrom was taken in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, but he was Oakland Raiders‘ first player selected that year. Not to mention, he was Reggie McKenzie’s first player drafted as the new general manager. Bergstrom had ups and downs in his first year in the league. However, the good news is he understands the game better in year two.
“This year everything slowed down a little bit,” Bergstrom said, according to Raiders.com. “I understand what’s going on a little better, and I feel like I know the offense quite a bit better.”
Bergstrom played in nine games (one start) last season. He began organized team activities as the starting left guard in 2013 but is competing for the job with only a few weeks left prior to the start of the regular season. He is hoping the chemistry with familiar faces along the line will help him improve over the course of the season.
“The longer you’re around guys, the better chemistry you have on the O-Line,” Bergstrom told Raiders.com. “That’s a big factor. It’s just not playing well. It’s playing well together with the other five guys. Just being able to have that chemistry and knowing guys, being around them for a while. It makes a big difference.”
Whether Bergstrom wins the starting left guard position or not does not mean Oakland will view his progression differently. They still expect him to be a difference maker in the very near future whether he is suiting up for every snap or staying fresh on the sideline.