New Raiders offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom with Hall of Famers Willie Brown and Jim Otto. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Q: Since you got here today, I saw you met with Wisniewski, what other stuff have you done so far?
Bergstrom: Mostly just touring the facility, getting a feel for the facility and the area around the facility. There's not a ton that we can do, apparently there's rules that you have to follow where they can't go into the playbook too much and they can't do anything really football related. It was mostly just trying to get to meet everybody. There's more names than I'll probably ever remember. I'm getting there, but it'll take me a little while to learn everybody, but that's about it. Just touring and kind of getting to know everyone in the area.
Q: It's has to be a nice bonus being the team's first pick - kind of unusual for a third rounder.
Bergstrom: Absolutely. As a third rounder you don't expect to be a team's first pick. It's an honor to me. I couldn't be more honored for them to come into this draft and have their only one first pick and have me be it. It's something unexpected and honestly just quite an honor.
Q: What's it been like since you got the call? You went from not knowing where you were going to go, then you get the call, then you hop on a plane and come out here and meet guys like [Wisniewski] and Coach and all them. Has it been kind of a whirlwind?
Bergstrom: Absolutely. It's a pretty crazy thing. You go from the awful experience of watching the draft - and that is a terrible experience, just four hours of tension where you just have no idea what's going to happen and then you get that call and it's just complete relief. Then you're told, 'Okay, we'll have you on a plane tomorrow morning out here and we'll send you home tomorrow night.' It is a little bit of a whirlwind. Everything's coming at you fast. You come in here and there are a hundred people to meet, and I still can't find my way around this place. It's kind of a labyrinth. It's a bit of a whirlwind, but it's a great experience. I'm just trying to enjoy the experience as it comes.
Q: So what's next for you now? How long do you stay here? Do you go back home and then you come back for the next camp? Or are you still finding all of this out?
Bergstrom: Pretty much. I'm still trying to find it all out. As far as my understanding of the schedule, I think they have to ship me back out tonight. Again, there are those rules that they have nowadays. I think they have to ship me back out tonight. Then in two weeks I'm going to come out for rookie mini-camp and then OTAs, and I'm pretty much out here for the duration after that.
Q: Did you come out alone? Did your wife come, a parent or agent or anything?
Bergstrom: No, just me. It was one of those things that was really spur-of-the-moment sort of things. I've got a little girl so it's kind of a project to try and travel with her. It's something that obviously my wife and my family are all a part of. This is as much their dream as it is mine, but today it was just me.
Q: So did you already have the silver and black tie or did you have to buy that for today?
Bergstrom: No, actually I already had it. So I guess it was meant to be. I already had the black suit and the close to silver shirt and the silver and black tie. It was sitting in my wardrobe fortunately. I guess it was fate.
Q: Quick background question - how did you come to serve a mission in the Sacramento area, and what was that experience like?
Bergstrom: Well, how I came to do it, it's a lot like the draft. You have no idea until you open up the call from the church and at that point they tell you where you're going. I ended up in the Sacramento area, spent a lot of time in south Sacramento and down in Stockton. It was a great experience. More than anything, it got me familiar with this area and helped me know I like the weather out here. Also, I came down to Oakland a couple of times in that time, so I've at least seen the area, and it wasn't foreign to me. This is almost like my second home already. When I heard that I was coming here, it just made it all that much more exciting, that much easier.
Q: With your time in Sacramento and the couple times you came down here, what's your experience and your impression of Raider fans?
Bergstrom: I love them. They're the kind of fans I like, just loyal to the end. They're good, hard-working, working-class kind of people. I've already told my family to make sure that they have the black and silver face-paint. I'm excited. You have the whole city behind you when you play for the Raiders.