Vollmer out to prove the path less trav­elled can lead to per­fec­tion

The Herald - Sport - - FINAL SAY - JOE CAL­LAGHAN

SE­BAS­TIAN VOLLMER is out to show that the path less trav­elled can lead to the ticker tape pa­rade that awaits Su­per Bowl win­ners in Phoenix on Sun­day.

The New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots’ of­fen­sive tackle protects quar­ter­back Tom Brady against the Seat­tle Sea­hawks bid­ding to be­come the first Ger­man to win a Su­per Bowl ring.

Vollmer, born in Dus­sel­dorf, did not take up the game un­til he was 14 but was spot­ted by Amer­i­can col­lege scouts when he played for Europe in the Global Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship in San Diego in 2004.

Af­ter a sec­ond round draft pick by the Pa­tri­ots five years later, he signed a new $27 mil­lion four-year con­tract with the team in 2012.

One of four Ger­man play­ers now in the NFL, along­side Bjorn Werner (In­di­anapo­lis Colts), Markus Kuhn (New York Gi­ants) and Kasim Ede­bali (New Or­leans Saints), there is ev­i­dence that the aborted NFL Europe League is still pro­duc­ing a le­gacy.

“I think I took an un­usual path to get here, I wasn’t re­ally ex­pect­ing that,” Vollmer, 30, stated.

“I feel like I just tried to work hard and try to get bet­ter and kind of ev­ery­thing else took care of it­self.

“I feel like ev­ery­one has a chance. I mean, I don’t think I’m any dif­fer­ent than any other young ath­lete. So, I’d say if that’s your dream keep on do­ing it and it might just work.”

Vollmer played in the Su­per Bowl in In­di­anapo­lis three years ago but the Pa­tri­ots lost out to Lawrence Tynes’ New York Gi­ants, the Scot win­ning his sec­ond Su­per Bowl ring.

The Ger­man wants to give his coun­try the Su­per Bowl ring they have craved – com­pa­triot Uwe von Schamann twice lost in a Su­per Bowl with the Miami Dol­phins in the 1980s.

“I never pic­tured, never dreamed of be­ing in the Su­per Bowl for a sec­ond time. It’s been an amaz­ing ride. That’s all I can say. I’m truly amazed at what has hap­pened to me,” he con­tin­ued.

“I do re­mem­ber the Global Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship. There were a lot of great play­ers I faced in that tour­na­ment..”

Vollmer is aware of his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as Brady goes for his fourth Su­per Bowl ring, some­thing only leg­endary quar­ter­backs Joe Mon­tana and Terry Bradshaw have achieved, and has the clos­est work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the passer.

He said: “Tom is def­i­nitely the kind of what you say is what we see. He’s true to him­self and he’s a very in­tense guy. He is hugely pas­sion­ate and likes to win.” 200 Ren­field Street, Glas­gow G2 3QB. email: sportlet­ters@the­herald.co.uk (please in­clude ad­dress). Tel 0141 302 7148-7157 / Fax 0141 302 7227 / sport@the­herald.co.uk

Deputy sports edi­tor James Mor­gan / As­sis­tant sports ed­i­tors Gor­don Stevenson, Jonathan Coates

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