Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sebastian Vollmer ready for whatever comes along

Boston Herald •  January 13, 2013 
FOXBORO — Sebastian Vollmer is a master at adapting  Mark Daniels /@mdaniels06 

Even if the 6-foot-8, 320-pound offensive tackle sticks out, he’s learned to blend in over the years.
That’s evident by the German-Texas twang in his speech. He developed that after leaving his Kaarst, Germany, home in 2004 to play football at the University of Houston in 2004. Now after four seasons with the Patriots, he said he’s started to notice a hint of a Boston accent in his voice, too.

As the Patriots face the Houston Texans in today’s AFC Divisional Playoffs, Vollmer is nearing the end of his contract. The 28-year-old has no idea what the future holds for him. He doesn’t know if he’ll finally settle down or move on to acquire an additional layer to his accent.
And he’s fine with that.

“It’s kind of wherever I am, I feel like it’s home,” said Vollmer.  Wherever he’s gone, he’s excelled. And that’s why it didn’t take long for Thomas McGaughey to notice Vollmer.

While at an NFL development camp in Europe, the then-University of Houston special teams coordinator watched in awe as Vollmer, who played for the Düsseldorf Panthers, excelled in all three phases of the game. “I was like, who is this kid?” said McGaughey, who’s now an assistant at LSU.
McGaughey offered Vollmer a scholarship on the spot. The two kept in touch and hit it off even if there was a language barrier.

“I didn’t really understand what he was saying,” Vollmer said. “I’m sure he didn’t understand what I was saying. But it kind of worked out. There was kind of a trust factor there. That’s kind of why I came to Houston.”

Putting plan in action

Vollmer took a leap of faith when he came to America. It wasn’t easy as a 20-year-old. There were days were he missed his family, friends and his native language, but he worked hard. “I came here with a purpose,” said Vollmer of America. “I wanted to, one, learn the language. I didn’t want to separate myself. I wanted to be a part of the team and just America itself . . . And I didn’t want to get on the football field and get my ass kicked.”

He gained more than 70 pounds and, by his senior season, he was not only speaking fluently but earned first-team All-Conference USA honors.

“I could tell, when I was recruiting him, he had that passion to want to prove everyone wrong or just to prove himself,” said McGaughey.

Riding a draft horse

When the announcement echoed throughout the New York Giants war room on the first day of the 2009 NFL draft, the words were music to McGaughey’s ears: “With the 58th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select Sebastian Vollmer from the University of Houston.”
Working with the Giants as an assistant, McGaughey spent a good part of the 2009 draft process building up his prized recruit. Vollmer had a solid career at Houston, but was still considered raw and wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine.

McGaughey even heard it from the Giants talent evaluators. “They were like, ‘Hey, we saw your guy today and he sucked,’” McGaughey said. “They were trying to be funny because they knew I recruited him.” McGaughey was in the hallway outside the Giants war room when Bill Belichick made his pick. “You could hear a pin drop in there,” said McGaughey. “It was funny.”

Belichick surprised more than just the Giants staff that day when he drafted Vollmer, but it paid off. The tackle, who earned All-Pro honors in 2010, has been a stalwart on the Patriots offensive line ever since.  Today, Vollmer faces the task of blocking NFL sack leader J.J. Watt. It’s no easy feat, but he’ll tackle the challenge head on — just as he did when he came to America and when he came to the NFL.

He’ll do the same next season if he finds a new place to call home.  (Lassen die Patriots ihn schon los? Anscheinend ja, denn sie haben ihn seit 2009 nur 4 Jahre als Patriot unterschrieben. --RSB)  “My future is (today),” said Vollmer. “Then I’ll go from there.”


  1. Ich mag dass Sie über der Patriots schrieben Frau Baker! Der Patriots sind meine Lieblingsteam. Es ist sehr kühl dass der Patriots ein Deutsche Spieler hat. Ich mag Vollmer. Ich denke dass er ist einer guter Man. Er hat sehr weit gekommt und jetzt ist er ein Patriots Spieler.

  2. Ich finde das cool. Ich glaube, er ist sehr mutig.

  3. Nur vier tagen zeit bis die Ravens gegen Pats! Mit dem Playoff-Auftakt der New England Patriots beginnt für Sebastian Vollmer die neue Phase in der NFL Saison und in der Planung seiner eigenen Zukunft.

  4. fussball habe ich nicht gern, aber vollmer ist fleissig. gut, dass er Patriot ist.

  5. Ich wusste nicht, es war ein deutscher Spiel für die Patriots! Das ist so kühl!! Es wäre schön wenn er für sie spielt.

  6. Das ist wunderbar! Er ist Vorbild.

  7. Ich habe das nie zuvor gewusst!(dass der Patriots ein Deutscher hat) Wie kuhl! Wie glucklich kann man sein wenn jemand sagte ihm "jetzt gehst du in der USA um zu lernen, oh und auch um fussball fur der Patriots zu spielen" Ich hoffe er ist immer wieder aufgeregt. So ein tolles job oder?

  8. Das ist wunderbar dass ein Deutche person ist auf ein American football team!

  9. He really wanted to play football, if he came here without knowing the language. Thats like me going to germany and not knowing anything they say. Thats called dedication.