INDIANAPOLIS – Growing up in Germany, Bjoern Werner was used to having family members within a 20-mile radius.
Werner expanded his world by attending high school in Connecticut and college in Florida, and his soon-to-be long-term existence in Indianapolis is at hand.
Werner will be one of the most-watched of the 25-ish rookies and first-year players at the Colts' camp that runs from Friday through Sunday.
As he gets a dose of orientation today, the player who still speaks German at home with his wife, Denise, is sure to draw attention when he visits in the Colts' locker room.
"I'm always the joke wherever I go. I accept that role," said Werner on his first Indianapolis visit. "I'm not going to lose (the) accent.
"I know here all the people are going to create jokes about me, but I'm the type of guy that I can laugh at myself and I love when people try to do my voice. It doesn't sound even close, but it sounds funny."
The club's locker room is a close-knit bunch, and about 70 players have been on hand for the past four weeks in voluntary workouts.
Werner has fended for himself well prior to joining the Colts, and he will not be surprised if new teammates make old requests for him to display his accent.
"I always hear Arnold Schwarzenegger's thing. I bet the first three days I'm going to have to say all the quotes," said Werner. "It's just everywhere I go I have to do it, and I've kind of got used to it."
People having fun with him have used barbs like Germanator ("Every German player is, 'The Germanator.' I know three already," said Werner.), Von Striker, Bjoern Free and the Berlin Wall.
Werner historically engages in the wordplay but focuses on football.
Bjoern Werner's Career Statistics
He was a destructive presence that totaled 35 loss-tackles and 23.5 sacks at Florida State, helping the Seminoles to the ACC Championship and a rousing Orange Bowl win to cap a 31st consecutive bowl game appearance.
In the storied program's history, only Peter Boulware had more sacks in the first three seasons of a career than did Werner.
Werner, who also deflected a conference-leading seven of his 16 career passes in 2012, says he is driven and coachable, always willing to learn something new.
Chuck Pagano is fired up to have Werner arrive, and he knows his first-round choice has kept busy since being drafted.
"Oh, yeah, we're excited," said Pagano. "We know from watching the tape and the body of work and the evaluations from going down and working him out, I know he's going to be in great shape. He's been working his tail off.
"We call down and the equipment guys, the strength coach, the trainers are telling us, 'The guy is here around the clock.' He's got a high ceiling. Coming off a 13-sack season, ACC Defensive Player-of-the-Year, the sky's the limit for him."
Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher sees a smooth transition to the next level for Werner.
"I thought there was no doubt early on he had the ability to play on Sundays," said Fisher, who estimated Werner's motor and intellect function at the highest level. "When you really got around the work ethic, the instincts, the leadership he had on the team, I think he's a who if he stays healthy will play a long time in the NFL. I really do."