Wednesday, May 16, 2012
BBAO: Lions search far and wide
By Kevin Seifert
We're Black and Blue All Over:
Ben of Frankfurt was among those who sent us a heads-up of European Internet reports that made for an unusual offseason note: A professional German football player traveled to Detroit this week for a tryout with the Detroit Lions, a relative rarity in NFL player procurement.
Receiver Christian Bollmann is scheduled to work out Wednesday, according to this press release from his New Yorker Lions team. (You'll need to run a translator program to read it, unless you know German.) Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press confirmed the workout, which was arranged by coach/general manager Phil Hickey, who has a relationship with Lions general manager Martin Mayhew dating to their time in the XFL.
Bollmann is 6-foot-5, 220 pounds and runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, according to Hickey.
It's rare but not unprecedented for a player without American high school or college experience to get attention from the NFL. The league doesn't keep records of such things, but typically when European players make their way to the NFL, even on tryouts, they have some American experience.
The most recent example is defensive tackle Markus Kuhn, a German who attended North Carolina State before the New York Giants made him a seventh-round draft choice this year. Kuhn is one of three European-trained players to be drafted. The others are defensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer in 2009 by the New England Patriots and defensive tackle Romeo Bandison by the Washington Redskins in 1994.
Continuing around the NFC North: