– Florida State DE Bjoern Werner is thought to be a top 10 pick. He’s a relentless, athletic type of end with good pass rush skills. He’s almost certainly not going to be a Ram given his draft status and the team’s lack of need for help at DE. But he’s a fun interview and had some good insights on a number of topics.
– So if you want to be entertained, here’s the words from Werner.
How amazed are you to be here? “Great journey. So exciting. This is just another step right here and just coming from Germany and dreaming about it in Germany, watching the combine, and just being here right now and all my friends watching me right now is just amazing. It’s amazing to be here and go through all this.”
You could watch the combine in Germany? “Yeah. Online. Yup. I remember – I watched Chris Long, Mario Williams, every year we just watched it. It was a big event. All the football players just gather around and just want to watch it together.”
Excited to step on that field? “I’m looking forward to it. I’m really excited, and not only going out there, seeing all the coaches, seeing actually the faces in front of you and what you see on TV every Sunday is just ridiculous.”
What’s it like to see so many FSU guys here? “I didn’t see most of them in like 8 weeks. I’m just walking by, ‘Hey, what’s up, Rodney Smith.’ ‘What up Chris Thompson?’ it’s just awesome to see that so many Florida State people are doing great and they got invited to this event.”
what other sports play in Germany? “I played soccer for six years before I started playing football. how long playing football? “I started when I was 12, flag football.
what teams meet with? “The Raiders, the Packers and the Seahawks.
what are they most curious about? “The journey. The first question is explain why you’re here, how did you come over here and that takes alone 10 minutes so I try to explain everything at a fast pace. And then when you have five interviews in a row and you have to explain the same story I’m forgetting all these key moments in my life. Just try and explain and see how passionate I am about this game. I made a lot of sacrifice. I left my country, my family, my girlfriend, she’s my wife today, just to be here and pursue this dream.
short version, how came here and why? “Sixth grade there was a classmate who threw around the football and I just start throwing around with him and he saw I got some catching skills and he asked me to join his club team, the Berlin Adler, and I did, and I just fell in love with flag football at the time, but when you turn 15 you automatically advance to tackle football and it was just the most amazing feeling just hitting people. I just fell in the love with the game. I played a lot of Madden, that’s how I got to know the NFL. It was just crazy. And then my head coach, Joerg Hoffman, said you have a lot of potential. You should try to go to high school and go through the whole American recruiting process with the goal to be here and I get drafted. I never looked back, it was just pursue that dream.
ever imagine you’d be at combine back when you were watching? “It was my dream, but of course I was so young, I was 12, 13, 14 years old, I would never imagine I would be at the combine. Of course I always believed in the dream I wanted to play in the NFL, but I was a little kid. Good thing I never looked back and questioned myself and just go take the opportunities I had and just take them. now that you’re here, was it worth the sacrifices? “I would do it over again. I experienced so much in life just seen so much of the world and different places in America; west coast, east coast, south, north and just meeting so many different people. I would do it over and over again.
how get here from Germany to play HS sports? “The youth and football international student program, they send like 5 to 6 kids every year to a prep school in the northeast area. They give you a list and they pay a scholarship, like tuition to the prep school. They gave me a list and I was like ok, I’ve never been out of Germany, I don’t know Connecticut, Massachusettes and all these states that I don’t know where that is. But I just saw football, football. I just pointed my finger on the list of like 50 schools and I pointed out two schools and the Salisbury school was one of them, and I got in contact with Christopher Adamson and I sent him a highlight tape and he was really so interested. We just started getting everything going by email. And a translator.
how pick up English so well? “When you get thrown in a culture and you have to speak the language, you pick it up that fast. It’s ridiculous. I learned in like 2 or 3 months, just being in America. I took English in high school, but a lot of people take Spanish here and can’t speak any Spanish, that’s like me in Germany taking English. But everything worked out.
pick up bad words first? “no comment.
decision to leave school early? “I had individual goals and I had team goals. I achieved both of them. I wrote them actually down in my mirror and I achieved all of those goals, and I was healthy. And I have a wife in college, everything was just pointing towards leaving. I gave Florida State everything I had and was great three years, and it was just time to move on for me and my family.
can you play 3-4 olb? “yes. Teams are asking me to do that and I think I can do it. I did it at Florida State when Brandon Jenkins went down, he was our 3-4 outside linebacker and I replaced him and I think I did a good job and I think I’m athletic enough to do it in the NFL.
Grow up cheering any nfl players, teams? “No, it was just too many – there’s no favorite team. Just when I played Madden back in the day I took the good players and took the good players and just created the Bjoern Werner Team. That was my favorite team.
Go to NFL Europe games as a kid? “Yes, I went to every game for the Berlin Thunder. That was the big event every weekend for the Berlin Adler. The guys, my friends, to just go in there just watching them. That was the big event.
soccer background help footwork? “Every time I hear somebody playing soccer, like back in the day everybody says it was because of soccer. Thank you soccer, if it was for it. I really don’t know if it has to do with soccer or not, but I give the credit to the soccer .. played every position in soccer …
what you like about American football? “just the physicality of it. Playing soccer and being a big guy and always getting, ‘Take that big guy out of the soccer game cause he’s hurting people.’ And then I just got to football and just hitting people, it’s such a man’s sport where if you line up against another guy and who’s going to be the stronger guy, it’s just an amazing game. It’s just not like the physicality, event he mental conditioning where can you do it once or can you do it 50 times a game.
What’s family back home say about your success? “They don’t understand it. They’re just so happy like me, but I’m trying to explain the NFL combine to my parents. Actually before I left I talked to them and I told them about the interviews, when you have interviews with the teams. And they were like, ‘Wait, are you going to play for an NFL team after this combine already?” I was like, ‘No, it’s just another puzzle in the whole process.’ They don’t understand it. It’s just so hard to understand for European people who don’t play football because in the soccer world you can pick your team, just get offers. But here, you don’t have any rights. (If) the team takes you, the team takes you.
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