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Exclusive Transcript: Adam Bergen Interview

NFL Draft mania is nearing its zenith, and Lehigh Football Nation has the goods!

First of all, the CentreDaily has the following report on Adam Bergen's leap to the NFL. As happy I am concerning Adam getting some national attention from an AP writer, the article happens to contain 3 of my pet peeves regarding Lehigh coverage.

  1. "Don't feel bad if Bergen's name doesn't sound familiar. Maybe only the most die-hard draft nerds or Patriot League fanatics have heard of Bergen". Marginalization of the player. Of course, if his name doesn't sound familiar, why is he freakin' writing the article?
  2. "National attention doesn't come easily for players like Bergen, who play in relative anonymity on small campuses with programs that have no national TV deals." Um, last I checked, Bergen's games were twice broadcast nationally on CSTV's I-AA game of the week - versus Colgate and Lafayette. And, it's not like I didn't spill a lot of ink on Bergen's accomplishments (as well as the Allentown Morning Call, Easton Express-Times, I-AA.org, Sports Network...). There's more people who know about Bergen than you think, buddy.
  3. "The knock against players like Bergen and schools like Lehigh is the level of competition. Colgate, Bucknell and Villanova aren't exactly USC, Oklahoma or Miami." UGH how I hate this critique. First of all, TE Alex Holmes of USC might be taken below Adam Bergen in the draft. So obviously, level of competition really helped his draft position, right? Second of all, ask RB Brian Westbrook, RB Rabih Abdullah, WR Terrell Owens, or any number of famous I-AA alumni that their level of competition sucked, and as a result they couldn't hack it in the NFL. What a bogus critique.

Better yet, I got the full copy of Adam Bergen's interview with Scout.com (thanks to Josh for that) and it is reprinted in its entirely below. But let me add my two cents about wht I've observed about Adam Bergen over the past 2 years.

Adam is a hard-working TE with soft hands. He has worked his way into being an elite Patriot League player after coming into Lehigh with modest expectations 4 years ago. Not only was he a great TE for us, he was the type of player that his senior year attracted many double-teams since he was such a dominating player. At our level, he without a doubt was the premier TE in our league bar none.

In all our big games last year versus Colgate, Villanova, and Lafayette, Bergen was the leading receiver and go-to guy, frequently making great grabs in double-teams. On big 3rd downs, you could always could on him. Furthermore, to me he was an effective pass and run blocker, though he frequently ran pass routes so he wasn't blocking every down. Some outlets have questioned his blocking and technique - I feel like it's largely due to the fact that he's so much a part of the receiving offense that he's constantly changing from receiving and blocking. Once he was in to block I think he did a good job.

He's not a big ego guy - just a hard worker that every week pulled in his 5, 6, 7 receptions for 80 yards. I'm sure he will carry that work ethic over to the pros. When you draft Adam, you're getting someone who will be always striving to improve his game day in and day out. I think some team is going to get a really good pro TE when they draft him.

I predict Adam will go on Day 2 of the draft. He might slip into Day 1, but my fearless prediction is that the Eagles will get him in Round 5.

Enjoy the interview (in its entirety below). Tune in for more Spring Football tomorrow and Friday!

Interview with Lehigh TE Adam Bergen: Soft Hands, Hard Worker

INTERVIEW With Lehigh TE #87 6-4, 263 lbs ADAM BERGEN

Josh Buchanan sits down with Lehigh's I-AA All-American Adam Bergen, easily a top 10 tight end in this years draft. Bergen, a big man with soft hands who can run the seam, is in the Chip Smith's camp with a load of other top Draft prospects preparing for their workout dates. He talks about his top notch training, his East-West Shrine game trip and more...

Game Analysis: Looks very solid physically… Shows good athletic ability… Consistently open… Catches everything thrown to him… Only a marginal blocker at this level… very smart… showed decent technique at his level but will have to improve for the NFL level

2004 Stats: 54 catches, 634 yards, 8 TDs, 11.7 yards per catch

Biggest Accomplishment: Preseason Walter Payton Award Candidate and 2004 Sports Network First Team All-American [plus a slew of other awards]

Positives: size… smart… attitude… work ethic… hands… blocking ability

Negatives: blocking… technique

Workout Numbers: 4.67/4.76/4.77 40, 23 reps, 34 inch vertical

Pro Grade: 5th-6th round

Q: What are your current measurables that pertain to your position?
Adam: My current height is 6'4" I believe, I weigh like 263, my 40 time the other day, we tested a week and a half ago I ran a 4.67. I haven't done the reps yet we are doing that tomorrow. Last time we did it which was a little bit ago, it was 23. I don't know my squat max. It is not a big huge part of the program.

We haven't done the vertical. We should be doing that very soon though also. Last time I did it was a 34 ½ but at the combine I expect 35 or 35 ½.

Q: What was your height and weight as a senior in High School?
Adam: I was probably 6'2" or 6'3", 225lbs.

Q: What are you doing now to prepare for your Pro workouts?
Adam: I am training down in Atlanta with Chip Smith and Robbie Stewart with Competitive Edge Sports. I love it down here. This is definitely the best decision I made.

Q: What types of workouts and training do you have to do?
Adam: We basically go 5 days a week. Every day I work on my route running and I catch passes from the quarterbacks who are down here. Monday we work upper body, Tuesdays we work lower body, We also run as well and Wednesdays we do a pool work. It is very hard. It is one of the most challenging things we do here.

Thursday and Friday we work out and run. Saturdays we can come in and lift on our own. Chip is there and he will help you with drill work and stuff. Sunday is your off day for the most part.

Q: Who else is training there in Atlanta with you?
Adam: Mike Williams is down here, Boomer Grigsby, Liam Ezekiel, David Greene, Adam Terry the tackle from Syracuse, he is a big man. Robert McCune, the linebacker from Louisville is down here. Jason White just came down recently. There is a good cast of linebackers down here. Vincent Fuller is down here.

There was a decent crew who went to the Senior Bowl. Ray Willis from Florida State. There is a D2 fullback from Edinboro, Matt Phillips. Terry Jackson from Southern Illinois is down here. Roger Robinson from Northern Arizona is also down here.

Q: What do you feel are your best on-field attributes?
Adam: I feel I am a good pass catcher. I am very excited to see that the tight end is very much used now in the NFL.

Q: What areas of the game you feel need most work?
Adam: Just my technique in run blocking.

Q: As you look back on your college career, what was your favorite moment(s)?
Adam: One of the biggest moments was we had a playoff victory against Hofstra in overtime. Of course all of the accolades I have received are great but the best thing was probably that victory.

Q: Who is the best player you went up against in College?
Adam: We played UCONN two years ago and Dan Orlovsky was a very good player.

Q: Do you try and pattern your game after any current NFL player?
Adam: I don't feel like I pattern my game after any certain individual.

Q: What do you think the biggest adjustment from College to the NFL will be?
Adam: Of course the speed of the game is much faster and the level of play will just be greater than it ever was. There is no one who is not good, everyone is a good player.

Q: Pertaining to the position you play, what do you think is the hardest thing to do in Football?
Adam: If you ever have to take on a big defensive lineman one on one.

Q: How did you like the East-West Shrine Game?
Adam: I thought it was just a great experience in general, especially the hospital visit. It was a big time learning experience. Our team I thought was great. We were a close team right from the beginning.

The best player down there, it is hard to say, we didn't really see the West at all because the way they split everything up.

Kyle Orton was very good, C.J. Brooks from Maryland was really good. It is hard to say who is the best because you don't have a lot of time to see who the best player is. I spoke to almost every team down there. I don't believe I spoke to everyone more than once. You fill out the questionnaire and they speak to you then that was it pretty much. It was not like a huge process.

Q: What teams are showing the most interest in you?
Adam: I don't really know who is showing interest in me. I tell him not to even tell me what is going on. That is another thing you have to worry about.

Q: What plans do you have if the NFL does not work out?
Adam: Of course if it doesn't work I want to try a secondary league. At the same time I would like to be involved in coaching at some level.

Quick 6
1. Favorite Music artist(s)?
Adam: I mostly listen to rap but I don't have a cd player. I am basically good with anything, most forms of rap is what I listen to. I have no one in particular that is my favorite.

2. Play Football Video Games at all?
Adam: I play video games, I own a PS2, I play mostly Madden and Tiger Woods.

3. Favorite Movie(s)?
Adam: Rounders is a great one, I just saw Man on Fire, which I thought was a great movie.

4. What other sports you like to play?
Adam: Right now all I do is football but I enjoying golfing a little. I find it very relaxing.

5. Favorite TV show(s)?
Adam: I love Seinfeld, Seinfeld is big in New York. At the same time I watch Sports Center all day. I love watching PTI.

6. Where will you be for the Draft?
Adam: I watch the draft every year so I am not going to miss a round. I have a lot of free time to say the least. Right now it looks like I will be at home with my folks watching.

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