By Alex Krempasky
OL Tony Bergstrom was the Oakland Raiders' first draft selection in the 2012 NFL Draft and the first draft pick under GM Reggie McKenzie. The Raiders chose Bergstrom in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and 95th overall out of the University of Utah.
In 2012, Bergstrom played in nine games including one start against the San Diego Chargers on December 30, 2012. He made his NFL debut on the field goal and extra point units against the Atlanta Falcons on October 14, 2012, in the Georgia Dome. Bergstrom made his offensive line debut on November 11, 2012, in Baltimore against the Ravens. He also filled in as a blocking tight end during the latter part of the 2012 season.
Prior to joining the Raiders in 2012, he spent his college career at the University of Utah. As a Ute, Bergstrom played in 48 games, in which he was a starter for the final 38. He was given multiple accolades during his tenure at Utah including first-team All-Pac-12 as a senior, second-team All-Mountain West as a junior, academic all-conference as a sophomore and played in 12 games as a true freshman.
As a second year player, he's been able to grasp the NFL game and training camp better this year.
"This year everything slowed down a little bit," Bergstrom said. "I understand what's going on a little better, and I feel like I know the offense quite a bit better."
The offensive line has a few new additions but 10 of the 15 members of the unit were members of the Oakland Raiders in 2012.
"The longer you're around guys, the better chemistry you have on the O-Line," Bergstrom said. "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."
Bergstrom and his training camp roommate, Lucas Nix, are competing for the same position on the offensive line for the second consecutive year.
"[Lucas] and I are both friends," Bergstrom said. "I think we've roomed together ever since we both got here last year. We've been roommates for everything. We make it fun. [Competing] is something that makes us both better; we both push each other pretty hard."
During Bergstrom's short time in the NFL he has worked with two offensive line coaches and two offensive coordinators. Bergstrom says he is enjoying working with new offensive coordinator Greg Olson.
"I really like him," Bergstrom said. "I think he's a good play caller, I like the scheme he brings with him. We're going to see a lot more downhill stuff. He understands the talent we have."
Offensive linemen are not really well known, however, Bergstrom believes that's not really a bad thing.
"When people hear, especially an offensive lineman too much, it's generally a bad thing," Bergstrom said. "I'm hoping [fans] really don't hear my name that often. For fans, it's usually 'oh, this guy jumps offsides and lets up sacks' and that kind of thing."
Offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom and the Oakland Raiders travel to New Orleans for their second preseason game against the Saints on Friday, August 16 at 5 p.m. PT.