Moritz Böhringer adjusting to football as ‘job,’ not ‘hobby’

Moritz Böhringer found a love for football by watching YouTube highlights of Adrian Peterson, but now a part of Peterson’s team, Böhringer is finding there is a difference between football as a hobby and having a job playing in the NFL.

Moritz Böhringer is finding out just how seriously NFL players and coaches take their jobs.

The Minnesota Vikings receiver became the first European player to not play college football and get drafted into the NFL when the Vikings selected him in the sixth round this year. Going from the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns to the Vikings has been quite an adjustment, as Böhringer found out over the last month of practices in Minnesota.

“It was a lot of fun, but I still have to get used to it that it’s my job now and not just a hobby,” he said Thursday after the Vikings finished up minicamp and he prepares for five weeks off.

His next practice will be July 29, when the Vikings start minicamp in Mankato.

Before then, he plans to take at least a week to himself back in Germany before returning to the United States. After that, it’s back to the grind of learning an offense that is far more complex than anything he has faced in his young professional football career.

“We have way more formations here. Basically plays from five or six formations just to keep it simple in Germany,” he said. “Here we have a lot of formations and motions. That’s the biggest difference.

“I think especially in the last few days I’ve become more comfortable with the playbook and just improved every day.”

Charles Johnson and Stefon Diggs have been the starting receivers during the Vikings’ organized team activities and minicamp. Next up is a combination of Cordarrelle Patterson, Jarius Wright, Laquon Treadwell and Adam Thielen.

That’s already six receivers, likely the maximum number the Vikings would keep on their 53-man roster. Böhringer is somewhere in the mix after that.

Because of NFL rules governing offseason workouts, the Vikings haven’t had any fully padded practices yet. When that happens, it could help accentuate the strength and size of the 6-foot-4, 225-pound receiver.

“Yeah, I think it will change a lot. I have no idea what to expect but we will see in training camp,” he said.

“So far we haven’t been in pads. I think it will be faster in pads and way more physical, but right now it’s still OK.”

Böhringer has been leaning on several people to help him with the transition to the NFL. The obvious ones are on the coaching staff, receivers coach George Stewart and offensive assistant Drew Petzing. Diggs and Thielen have also been there for the German transfer.

“I pretty much expected I would have to learn a lot. I think I did pretty good,” he said of his first exposure to NFL practices.

He doesn’t appear intimidated by the speed or physical aspects of the game, although that could spark another adjustment when the pads go on in August. By then, he hopes to have become more rote with the mental side.

He admits he isn’t 100 percent comfortable with the playbook, but believes “that will come in time.”

“Just how many plays and different formations we had,” he said about the biggest adjustment for him. “Adjust to just getting the long calls and do the things on the field.”


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