Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. A few days ago, we looked at No. 77 Nate Solder, and a few days before that it was No. 80 Danny Amendola. Because today marks 76 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 76, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer.
Born in Kaarst, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Vollmer stands with fellow tackle Nate Solder at 6-foot-8, taller than any other player on the Patriots’ roster.
After four years at the University of Houston, Vollmer was not invited to the 2009 NFL Combine. However, he got something better: a private workout with legendary former Patriots’ offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. Vollmer impressed enough in his big opportunity to be drafted by the Patriots with the 58th overall pick that spring.
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Vollmer exploded in his sophomore season, marking himself as one of the NFL’s best tackles. He made the Associated Press 2010 All-Pro Second Team, meaning that he was one of the four best tackles in the entire league that season.
Despite breaking his right leg in October of 2013, Vollmer started 15 regular season games last year. He also deserves recognition for starting in Super Bowl XLIX and helping to power the Patriots to the Lombardi.
During that rough month of September in which the Patriots’ status as contenders was questioned, Vollmer was one of the poster boys for the offensive line’s struggles. But if weren’t for the improvement of guys like Vollmer, the Patriots wouldn’t be sitting pretty in June as reigning Super Bowl champs.
In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 82 Josh Boyce, No. 84 Brian Tyms, No. 85 Jake Bequette, No. 86 A.J. Derby, No. 87 Rob Gronkowski, No. 88 Scott Chandler, No. 90 Zach Moore, No. 91 Jamie Collins, No. 92 Malcom Brown and No. 93 Jabaal Sheard.
There’s no player wearing the Patriots’ No. 75 jersey right now, so this series will take a break tomorrow. But be sure to check back on Musket Fire on Sunday morning as we celebrate 74 days until Week 1 by profiling No. 74, rookie defensive end Trey Flowers.