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Utah Utes football: Tony Bergstrom not troubled by new coaches

Published: Saturday, Aug. 6 2011 8:18 p.m. MDT

Kyle Whittingham and Tony Bergstrom speak at the Pac-12 Media Day. (Pac-12 Conference) Kyle Whittingham and Tony Bergstrom speak at the Pac-12 Media Day. (Pac-12 Conference)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah right tackle Tony Bergstrom has a wide range of interests. The senior is a chemical engineering major who enjoys waterskiing, tennis, ice fishing, hiking, genetic research, biology and medicine.

Bergstrom's variety of experiences extends to the football field as well. The All-American and Outland Trophy candidate has had three different offensive line coaches — Charlie Dickey, Blake Miller and now Tim Davis — since beginning his career with the Utes in 2008.

While some players might complain about having to learn something new each time, Bergstrom isn't one of them. In fact, he thinks it's great.

"You get to learn something new from each one," he said while noting it's been quite beneficial. "I kind of have an idea of what a lineman should be based on what I've learned from all three of them."

Tony Bergstrom (Keith Johnson, Deseret News) Tony Bergstrom (Keith Johnson, Deseret News)

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham isn't surprised.

"Fortunately for us, we've had three quality guys in here, which has made that not as rocky of a road as it could have been," he said.

The techniques have been similar, Whittingham explained, with no dramatic differences in how the coaches have taught things. While there have been a few changes and minor nuances along the way, he said the basic structure of the position hasn't changed a whole lot.

The toughest thing, Whittingham continued, is adjusting to the personalities and style of teaching by the coaches.

And, of course, the differing verbiage.

Davis, who joined the Utah coaching staff in January, acknowledged it isn't easy. However, it's something Bergstrom handles well.

"The great thing about him is he's got a great attitude and he understands football," Davis said. "What he's learned over time is how to play the game and when you learn how to play the game its Spanish vs. Portuguese, Portuguese vs. French. That's all it is. It's the same words only they're said in another language."

Bergstrom's understanding of the game, he continued, has made the adjustments easier.

"He's had three different coaches and he's handled it all extremely well," said quarterback Jordan Wynn. "Every coach coaches different. You've got to get used to that. So for him to handle that, it's pretty amazing."

Bergstrom, though, doesn't consider it a big deal. The 6-foot-6, 315-pounder shrugged it off before joking about his newest position coach.

"The challenge has been just keeping up with coach Davis' tempo," Bergstrom said. "They've all had a good tempo, but the dude is just juiced all the time, just jacked out of his mind all the time. It's great. It's fantastic."

After representing Utah at Pac-12 Media Day in Los Angeles and completing summer classes, Bergstrom's focus is on the task at hand.

"All I'm doing is football now," he said. "My wife gets annoyed with it, but other than that we're good."

Bergstrom is helping set the tone on and off the field for the Utes.

"He's a leader," Wynn said while praising his teammate's work ethic. "He anchors the o-line. He's an experienced guy. He's got the most experience."

And in more ways than one.

email: dirk@desnews.com

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