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Cardinals Go Seiko: Austrian Bernhard Seikovits Hoping To Shake And Bake Into NFL Spot

Tight end learning pro game and American lifestyle

Tight end Bernhard Seikovits runs a drill during practice Wednesday.
Tight end Bernhard Seikovits runs a drill during practice Wednesday.

With a day off coming, Bernhard Seikovits is going to have a little homework, thanks to his fellow tight ends.

"(Maxx Williams) told me this weekend he's going to make me watch a movie which is supposed to be super iconic over here," said Seikovits, the Austrian native with the Cardinals this season thanks to the NFL's International Player Program. "He's going to make me take notes."

And just what is this iconic movie, one that will help Seikovits understand better American culture and living in the United States? The Godfather? Star Wars? It's a Wonderful Life?

"First chance we get we're going to watch Talladega Nights with him," Williams said on the Red Sea Report. "He's never seen it. We've been in a lot of tight end meetings quoting a lot of Ricky Bobby and Talladega Nights, just to get him ready to show him what it's all about."

After all, if you ain’t first, you’re last. But in this case, if 'first' is making the roster, the competition for Seikovits is a little different than the other players. As part of the IPP, Seikovits will get to stay the season regardless, as essentially a 17th man on the 16-man practice squad, as he learns the game in America.

Seikovits wouldn't be eligible to play in a game this season if that happens. As much as Seikovits brings athleticism and an NFL body (6-foot-5, 262 pounds) to the roster, playing football in Europe likely hasn't given him the background yet to be ready for the NFL.

Still, "I'm not striving for a lower goal," Seikovits said. "I'm not lowering the standards just because it would be hard."

The man they call "Seiko" – "Before I came over here I never thought of Seiko being Psycho. It's just my last name," he said – was once a quarterback and then a wide receiver before realizing tight end was where Seikovits' future had to be in the NFL. A captain for Austria's national team, he has become a star in Austria's version of the game. The NFL was the next step.

"He's very smart, works hard, conscientious, athletically he's talented," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "It's just that this is a completely different level, the speed of the game. I'm anxious to see his development throughout the year and he will definitely serve a purpose on this team."

Kingsbury understands the lure of the game in other countries. He played in Cologne, Germany, when NFL Europe was still a thing.

"I was very familiar with a lot of those guys and the international players they had, and they love the game and they are passionate about it and they work their tail off," Kingsbury said. "To be able to bring a guy in and give him this experience, it's life-changing for him."

"It's uniting when you kind of fight for, I don't know, the rest of the world to be recognized as football players too," Seikovits said.

Seikovits admits he has much to learn. He came into camp telling himself simply to embrace the day. He's leaned on Williams, whom Seikovits called "super-helpful" answering questions or giving tips.

"Maxx has really taken it upon himself to teach me the way," Seikovits said.

That includes, apparently, the legend of Ricky Bobby and all that entails.

"It's a completely different culture over here," Seikovits said. "It's interesting to learn how people live their life over here."

PUGH TO COVID LIST; WALKER RE-SIGNS

The Cardinals lost another player to the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday when guard Justin Pugh was sent there, according to the official NFL Transactions list. With the roster spot, the Cards re-signed linebacker Reggie Walker on Wednesday.

Images from Wednesday's practice at Cardinals Training Camp Powered By Cox.

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