On Sunday, The European League of Football announced that the former Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Björn Werner is now a co-owner and sports director for the Berlin Thunder. The 31-year-old has been very involved in helping the game of American Football grow since his retirement from the NFL at the beginning of 2017. Additionally, Werner has been present at many of the Thunder’s game’s this season and has been impressed with the level of enthusiasm the city of Berlin has shown the team.
The Berlin Thunder finished the European League of Football’s Inaugural season in last place of the North Division, missing the playoffs, and ending the year with a final record of 3-7. Despite the rough first season, Werner can hardly wait to join the players and coaches in this new endeavor, stating
“I’m sure 2022 will be a lot of fun for us. I will do everything in my power to win many games.”
After leaving Germany to go to the US at age 15, The Berlin native attended college at Florida State University from 2010 to 2012, where he appeared in 14 games as a true freshman before taking over as the starting left defensive end. In his 3 seasons at FSU, he’d rack up 99 total tackles, 63 solo tackles, 36 assisted tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks, 1 interception, 9 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 touchdown. He’d be named a unanimous All-American, First-Team All-ACC, and ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2012.
Werner was selected in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft and was picked 24th overall by the Indianapolis Colts. He’d play 3 seasons with the Colts from 2013 – 2015 before signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016 and ultimately retiring from the NFL in January of 2017. He ended his NFL career with 81 total tackles, 58 solo tackles, 23 assisted tackles, 6.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, and 5 pass deflections.
After retiring from the NFL, Björn Werner has done a good bit to help grow the game of football internationally, including serving as a commentator and analyst for NCAA and NFL games on German TV as well as co-hosting the podcast “Football Bromance.” Additionally, he started a non-profit organization called Gridiron Imports to help create opportunities for American football players worldwide.
Werner appeared on the Pat McAfee Show in June to chat about how he got started with the game of American football, getting himself from Germany to the US, NFL Europe, and some stories from the Colts Locker room. View Pat’s full interview with Björn Werner below:
Björn Werner is undoubtedly a fantastic addition for the Berlin Thunder’s front office and the European League of Football as a whole. It will be exciting to see how hands-on Werner is with the team and how he helps them progress into the European League of Football’s 2nd season.