BY: ED COLE
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Mike Bercovici was in command a few weeks ago at the NFL Regional Scouting Combine, and he was once again in charge at ASU Pro Day this past Friday.
Bercovici showed the poise and control he was known to have during his time at Arizona State, and with the exception of a few errant passes, he was on the money with all of his passes, even if he didn’t get to launch them all.
“We had scripted 53 (passes), but, unfortunately, we had to cut it short a little bit,” Bercovici said. “I think we definitely got everything in (that) we needed to see. D.J. (Foster) was running pretty much every route in the route tree in the backfield, and out there, Gary (Chambers) and Devin (Lucien) got to show off the entire route tree from the outside perspective. I want to say we threw 45 passes I think.”
It’s no secret that quarterbacks choose players they’ve played with to throw to at their Pro Days. They go with guys they feel most comfortable with, and guys they believe will look good making the catches, which in turn, will make them look good.
Bercovici was not the exception to this. As he said, he had former wide receiver Sun Devil Kyle Williams helping him warmup, then he used Foster, Chambers and Lucien as they went up and down the route tree on Friday morning.
“It was a game-changer,” Bercovici said about having that much talent on his side. “Not only did I train with D.J., and Gary for the last nine weeks, you also have a season-long connection with those guys, (so) it was extremely efficient. And to have Kyle Williams, who’s the ultimate wide receiver mentor, and Sun Devil, it really helped. We already got closer together. We were in here all week working on that script, so it’s just another great day being a Sun Devil.”
Bercovici had a clear agenda set out on Friday. He was out to show the scouts who were there that there’s much more to his game than what they see on tape from his games at Arizona State.
“The biggest thing is that, all my film is pretty much in shotgun,” Bercovici said. “I wanted to show that, not only can I get under center, and make all the throws, but have the personality, and presence of mind to be out here, and prove that I can organize something like this, (and) bring the best out of all the players, and show (I’m a) high character, high effort guy who truly loves coming out here and having a day full of football.”
There’s been a little media group following Bercovici around for the past month or so. You’ve heard of them: The NFL Network. No matter where he goes, or what he does, there’s always camera people, and sound people following and documenting his every move, on his road to the NFL.
NFL Network is putting together a series called “Path to the Draft,” and, being a quarterback who’s hoping to get drafted in late April, Bercovici is a perfect candidate for the show, which will air sometime in September, according to Bercovici.
The cameras aren’t shy about being right in his mug either, which had to be a little off-setting at first for Bercovici, even though he’s taking it all in stride right now.
“It’s fun,” Bercovici said. “It definitely is crazy. I’m not going to say that it’s not, but at the end of the day, this is something that, when I was a little kid writing in journals, ‘I want to be an NFL quarterback,’ here I am with some of my best friends, trying to live out those dreams, and we will. We can already start to feel it. I definitely can’t undermine this situation right now, with what’s going on, but at the end of the day, there’s still 22 people on the field in Pee Wee, high school, college and the pros. It’s just the best sport in the world, to play football.”
There were 18 quarterbacks who were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, and Bercovici wasn’t one of them. That doesn’t mean that his path to the NFL is any harder than those 18 athletes, just because he wasn’t invited; it just means that his path to the NFL has a few more twists and turns to it, like with the Regional Scouting Combine, and him having to have a strong day last Friday inside Arizona State’s bubble, which he definitely did.
Bercovici has a great outlook when it comes to him getting to the NFL, and how he took the next step with his Pro Day.
“I’ve been hearing a little phrase that I’ve liked: ,” Bercovici said. “A thermostat sets the temperature, a thermometer reads the temperature. Coming out here, I just wanted to set the vibe, (and) have some fun. This is shorts and t-shirts football. There’s no defense. You pretty much can guarantee that you won’t get sacked out here. I didn’t see so much pressure. This is what we do as football players. I told my dad, ‘Dad, we’ve been throwing these routes since I was five years old,’ so it’s really not much.”