BY: ED COLE
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The practice bubble at the Cardinals facility isn’t too far from the practice bubble at Arizona State.
Maybe that’s why former Sun Devil quarterback Mike Bercovici performed so well at the NFL Regional Combine over the weekend.
“Absolutely. There’s something about being home right now. You kind of walk with some confidence and some swagger out here,” Bercovici said. “I think working with Travis Brown over at Fischer Sports pretty much every single day for the last eight, nine weeks, really prepared me for this. Nothing was a shock to me, (and) everything has been part of the preparation.”
Bercovici’s not just talking a good game; he backed up every single syllable with his performance on Saturday. When he moved between stations, he was always one of the first, if not the first, athletes to arrive and get prepared for the drill.
In watching him for the five hours he worked out for scouts, you could tell without a shadow of a doubt, that Bercovici was on a mission to show them he’s for real.
“What most people don’t see is the desire,” Bercovici said. “Just showing up here with a positive attitude, coming in here having fun, (and) being myself, and making all the throws out there (and) showing athletic ability in the beginning part of the circuit. When it came down to throwing the football, and being a leader, I felt like I excelled.”
“I really think, when we got here late in the day, and just started getting routes on air, whether it’s the deep ball, throwing slants, (or) ball positioning, I think that’s what it was, showing proper footwork, and proper placement, and understanding every single route,” Bercovici said.
It’s been a whirlwind time for Bercovici ever since he ended his career at Arizona State on Jan. 2 at the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl at Chase Field. Two days after that game concluded, he was at the Fischer Institute working out, and getting ready for the Combine and his Pro Day.
The biggest thing Bercovici’s learned about himself throughout this process is how to be a professional.
“(Fischer Institute founder Brett) Fisch(er) says that there’s a difference between a pro and a professional, and that’s not just signing a contract. It’s the way you walk, it’s the way you bring an attitude every single day to work,” Bercovici said. “I definitely feel like a grown man right now.”
Bercovici has to be one of the most patient and understanding young men in the world today. With what he went through at Arizona State, in having to wait his turn in order to be the starting quarterback once Taylor Kelly graduated, it had to be frustrating, but Bercovici handled it with dignity and with class.
“Especially in this sport, (and) in life, you can’t just expect things to come to you. You’ve got to work for them, put your head down, persevere and work,” Bercovici said. “Who knows? If the first snap I need to throw (is) in the Super Bowl, then so be it, but at the same time, you see guys like (Broncos quarterback) Brock Osweiler playing for three, four years under (Broncos quarterback) Peyton Manning, and finally getting his opportunity. He was poised and ready to go. There’s examples like this all over the country, and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
The NFL is so close, Bercovici can taste it. It’s what he’s been dreaming of since he was five-years-old, and his dad told him to “strap up a helmet.”
“It’s pretty surreal right now, but it’s getting past the point of being a dream, and it’s starting to feel the right way,” Bercovici said. “I’m just excited to be part of an organization, and give my all to the community, to a football team, and go win a Super Bowl.”