Moritz Böhringer may not have what it takes mentally


Moritz Böhringer is finding out that to stick in the NFL you have to treat football like a job, not a hobby.

That whole NFL thing is a lot harder than it looks, eh Moritz Böhringer?

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer declared shortly after Böhringer’s arrival at rookie minicamp that the feel-good story was over and it was time to get down to work. Böhringer responded by vomiting up his lunch in his very first practice.

I bet that didn’t feel very good for the former German league player turned sixth-round NFL draft pick.

Predictably, Böhringer has struggled in subsequent OTA and minicamp sessions as he continues trying to adjust to life in the big leagues.

The biggest adjustment for the 22-year-old who has only been playing football for four years? Understanding that being an NFL player isn’t just something you do for fun on weekends (via St. Paul Pioneer-Press):

"“I have to get used to it that it’s my job now and not just a hobby,” Bohringer said.Böhringer had his share of dropped passes during workouts the past two months. He thinks he knows why.“Most of the time, it’s a mental thing,” Böhringer said. “I’m not 100 percent comfortable with the playbook, but I think it will come in time.”"

It was always going to be a mental thing for Böhringer. The young man is certainly big and fast enough to play in the NFL. Now can he learn to deal with the mental rigors that come with the job?

Can a man coming from a league characterized by Vikings GM Rick Spielman in a recent interview as “maybe Division III level” learn to handle getting challenged every day by NFL-caliber players?

Böhringer certainly would not be the first young player to enter the NFL and be overwhelmed by the daily grind of practicing and learning and preparing. Lots of big-time American college players from major programs also have hit that next level and found themselves unable to adjust and quickly washed out.

The leap is even greater for Böhringer, coming from a football culture that is nowhere near as crazy-hard-core as the one you’ll find on American college campuses and even at a lot of high schools.

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For Böhringer, culture shock doesn’t just mean adjusting to eating American food and dealing with American distractions. It means coming up against a football culture that takes this stuff way more seriously than they do back home.

Clearly, Böhringer was not entirely prepared to realize that when you play in the NFL, football isn’t just a feel-good adventure but an all-consuming occupation. You have to wonder if he’s capable of embracing his new reality.