Björn Werner Tells You What Is Takes to Make It in the NFL

Born August 30, 1990 in Berlin, he is the first German American Football player selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Since 2013, he’s played for the Indianapolis Colts. His name?

Björn Werner.

What does it take to be an American football player?

Physically you have to be fit, there are few sports in which the physical stress is so high. This requires discipline, a high self-motivation and a lot of hard work. The rule is: Never think that you have reached your limit. Everyone can always be better.

What traits have no place in American football?

Egoism. Football is a team sport, and compared to other team sports we have a very large squad. If you only place for yourself, you will have a bad day on the field.

How hard was the step from the rookie to the “real” professional?

At first you’re a little nervous, there is a learning process. But the more games you play, the more experience you collect and the more comfortable and confident you will feel. My rookie year consisted mainly of learn, learn and learn again.

What’s the most important thing for a rookie in the NFL

Willingness to learn is one of the most important characteristics that must have a rookie. Also, a certain humility. Be quiet, can take back and pick up the respect of teammates especially on performance.

What have you learned in your first two seasons in the NFL?

That everyone is equal, no matter how old or how big the name. Each player has to fight for his place on the field and on the team.

What was the biggest disappointment in the NFL?

I have had to deal with injuries, and it is especially hard when you can no longer play. If you yourself can not play, there is always someone who can. All you can do is apply your skills to oust then when you’re fit again.

American football is a tough sport, it is difficult to avoid injury?

Injuries are part of the sport. In all, professional behavior and training may not be enough. You have to accept, without ever being afraid it as a part of the sport. If it happens to you, you always look ahead and think positively!

You earn a lot of money, how hard is it to maintain focus?

I am by nature a down to earth guy and was brought up this way. Therefore, for me, it is not hard at all. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I’ll always stay the same Björn.

What are your personal goals in the NFL?

Simply to get the most out of Björn Werner. When I look back on my career later, I want to say: You have given everything. And hopefully succeed (laughs). My biggst goal, of course, is to at least once win the Super Bowl.

What advice do you have for a young German American Footballer, who wants to emulate you?

Nothing is impossible! Set your goals high and work as hard as you possibly can. There will be days when you think that the goal is not achievable. But it is precisely then you have to tell youself ‘Never give up!’

Interview: Christian Bärmann, SPORTSFREUND September 2015