Bernhard Raimann felt like his first NFL start, which came last Thursday night against the Denver Broncos, was "rough." But the rookie displayed a veteran mentality to some of his early struggles, which included three holding penalties and one false start flag in the first half.
"Obviously it's extremely frustrating," Raimann said. "But then you just got to put your own frustration (and) yourself in the back seat kind of because at the end of the day, it's about the team. So getting frustrated during the game about your mistakes, it's not going to help the team.
"Really at that point you just play for the team, then after it you can be frustrated about yourself and gonna look over those mistakes one more time and get better next week. But during the game, it's all about the team."
The Colts expected there to be growing pains with Raimann, the No. 77 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, starting in Week 5. An ankle injury held him out of the Colts' Week 3 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and he was limited to four special teams snaps in Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans.
But the upside the Colts see in Raimann, the opportunity for him to develop by starting and the mentality he possesses earned him the start in Denver, and will continue to earn him starts moving forward.
"We just think he has the makeup, he has the physical talent — we like what we've seen so far," head coach Frank Reich said. "We understand, like a lot of our young players, it's a process. It's a process. So I think these guys — you look at Alec (Pierce) and you look at Jelani (Woods), they get better fast the more they play. So we're going to put him in there and we're gonna play. We feel like he's going to play winning football."
Raimann, though, isn't interested in zooming out and taking a 10,000-foot view of his development as an NFL left tackle. He said he approaches every game like he's a 10-year veteran, since being a rookie isn't an excuse to getting beat in pass protection or not executing in the run game.
So while the Colts may accept those growing pains as a part the process, Raimann doesn't view things that way.
"Perspective is tough," Raimann said. "This job needs to be done."
Wednesday's practice report