Indianapolis rookie Bernard Raimann is not the only Austrian hoping to play in the upcoming NFL season.
His ex-teammate Bernhard Seikovits is in his second year with the Arizona Cardinals and wants to take the leap from the training squad to the 53-man squad. In the camp from July 21, the 1.96-meter man will convince “so I can then have done my part of the bill,” the Viennese says during a home visit to the federal capital.
“This year, it is definitely expected that I will take the next step, and that is what was communicated to me,” explains Seikovits from APA. The 24-year-old joined the Cardinals last year through the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program (IPPP), a team with Super Bowl potential led by young quarterback Kyler Murray (24).
“That’s why I was 180 all the time”
After the preseason, the tight end got a protected place on the training list, but he did not advance. That should change this year. A permanent place in the training squad can make it easier for him to be called up to the combat squad in case of injuries.
“I have certainly learned a lot, a lot of new experiences,” said the former Vienna Vikings player, summing up his first year in the United States. “But the most important thing is that right now I feel more confident, I feel more confident. Last year I did not quite know what to expect, where and when I should perform. So I was 180 all the time. This year white means I, in the training camp it depends. You just have to be there. “
Seikovits “on another level”
The feedback from the coaches is good. “My special team coach keeps telling me I’m on a different level compared to the international players he’s known so far,” Seikovits said. “Of course, the football level is also overwhelmingly higher than in the AFL, so I definitely feel more confident now and ready to really push.”
Athletically, he can keep up, the biggest difference for players who grew up in the United States is sometimes the football-specific technique. “They’ve been doing it since high school. There’s a saying that 10,000 repetitions makes everyone a master. And these people just have more repetitions at a higher level.”
Seikovits speaks with admiration of Zach Ertz, nominally the best and most experienced tight-end on the list. The 31-year-old, who won the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018, helps him a lot. Ertz is not afraid of losing his place to the Austrian. “It would be very strange, but I think it also plays into my hands because it opens him up.” Ertz “wants the team to be good. If he can help by sharing tips and tricks, then he will do it.”
“It’s just not Vienna”
Seikovits stays in Vienna until July 8 and enjoys time with his family and girlfriend Lena. The cheerleading coach was in Arizona last winter, where her boyfriend moved into an apartment in Tempe, but had to return to Austria after three months.
“She was not allowed any more,” Seikovits said. “We’re trying to fix it with visas. But it’s hard with work and she’s studying too. I’m happy if she’s there for three months, even if she has to go back then.”
Basically, he has settled in well in his new home. Because of the dry heat “you do not sweat so much, it is quite comfortable. I feel good there, but it’s just not Vienna,” said Seikovits in front of the Belvedere Palace and laughed.
“Phoenix is a smaller city”, but has the benefits of a wide variety of sports. He’s seen a Phoenix Suns basketball game, a baseball game, college football, and even an Arizona Coyotes hockey game. “We came in with blankets,” his girlfriend told of the marked cooling in the rink.
Text source: © APA
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