The first draft pick of the Reggie McKenzie era, taken in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft, was a tall, athletic RT from Utah named Tony Bergstrom.
Bergstrom, a 3 year starter at RT, started and played in 38 of 39 possible games during his sophmore to senior years.
His senior year he earned honors as first team All-Pac and, according to Utah’s football website, was their best overall offensive lineman having won 546 of 639 assignments (OL versus defender) for an 85% overall grade.
Bergstrom graduated high school in 2004 and committed to Utah in 2005 before enrolling on a church mission that lasted until he started the spring term in 2008 as a Freshman.
Bergstrom will be competing with veteran Cooper Carlisle as a LG in training camp as well as learning the nuances of other positions to make himself as versatile as possible.
Now that OTAs and minicamp have concluded, Bergstrom was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions for TFDS:
Q: What is your home town/state?
Bergstrom: I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and have been there for most of my life.
Q: Did you root for a particular NFL team growing up? Who? Why?
Bergstrom: Not having any nearby team left me able to pick and choose who to root for. With that said my first introduction to football was the Madden video game so I’ve always been a John Madden fan and thus slightly partial to the Raiders. I also was a bit of a Lions fan (I think it was because they always played on Thanksgiving).
Q: Did you have an idol growing up? Who?
Bergstrom: I had a lot of idols. One in particular was Luther Ellis (DT for the Lions).
Q: What are your strengths as a player? What do you bring to the team?
Bergstrom: I think I play smart and I’m a finisher. I think I can help add to the finishing mentality of the team. It’s all about how you finish the season.
Q: Prior to being drafted, did you know anyone currently on the squad or coaching staff? What did they tell you about the team?
Bergstrom: I really didn’t know anyone on the team personally. My biggest link to the Raiders, before the draft, was having trained with Alex Gibbs, who is sort of the zone scheme guru, so I got to hear a lot about Oakland’s (and formerly Houston’s) offensive staff through him. Most of what I heard dealt with schematics more than anything else.
Q: You said that you had worked up some plays with coach Wisniewski – was this before or after the coaching changes? Did you meet with any other coaches?
Bergstrom: This was after the changes during the combine. I believe coach Pollack was sitting across the table interviewing someone else. Until after the draft Coach Wisniewski was the only one I met with.
Q: What hobbies do you have away from football?
Bergstrom: At this point there really isn’t such thing as “away from football” but I’m sure as things start to slow down I can get back some of the other things I enjoy which include water and snow skiing, fishing, shooting. I’m trying to take up golf but I’m not sure if I’ll ever be good at that.
Q: If you’re a gamer, what system and (if you don’t mind) what is your ID so Raider Nation can play against you?
Bergstrom: Sorry I haven’t played a video game in probably a year.
Q: Which NFL player do you compare your skill set with?
Bergstrom: I don’t know if I compare but I used to watch a lot of film on Jordan Gross (Utah guy) and try to model my play after him.
Q: In your first press interview you said that if people come to your house you’re usually “sitting on a foam roller or something.” What does that mean?
Bergstrom: A foam roller is like a large rolling pin and is basically a poor man’s deep tissue massage. I said that to convey the fact that I learned how to take care of my body and keep it functioning at a high level.
Q: Is there anything you’d like Raider Nation to know about you?
Bergstrom: I’m here to win. I have plenty of personal goals but the one at the top of the list is a Super bowl victory.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to say to Raider Nation?
Bergstrom: Go Raiders! I’ll see you at the Coliseum.