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Getting Comfortable in New Surroundings


The last time I started a football game was December 28, 1998 — the final regular-season game of the 1998 season, a Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. We won that game 24-7. But I haven't played much since. The Jaguars assigned me to the NFL Europe League, and I was assigned to the Berlin Thunder. But right now I'm in Tampa with the rest of the league's players for a three-week training camp.

I was very close to playing in Europe last year but things did not work out, because Jay Fiedler signed with Miami and I was the only other quarterback on the Jaguars' roster other than Mark Brunell. So this is my opportunity to earn the job as the Jaguars' backup quarterback and continue to develop as a player, and it's one I look forward to.

In my first two weeks in Tampa at the NFL Europe League training camp, things are going great. My new teammates on the Berlin Thunder are starting to come together as a team and it's been pretty exciting. My new head coach, Peter Vaas, has been very similar to Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville. I think they both have a desire to win and will do whatever it takes to win. Their practices are a little bit different but both have a strong desire for the game. Since joining the NFL Europe League my goal is to lead my team to victories and win the World Bowl, which is the NFLEL's equivalent of the Super Bowl.

I am very excited about living in Germany for the season. I have heard good things about Europe and I am looking forward to seeing it myself. I am also excited about meeting the people in Berlin and seeing a new culture. They have prepared us a little bit about the European culture but they haven't gone over it in detail. I'm sure they will help us more when we finally get overseas. I'm sure they will brief us more in Berlin. Leaving my family in Florida will be the hardest part of the whole trip. My wife and my kids will be in Jacksonville and I will be away in Berlin for two and a half months. That will be a great mental challenge for me, but I think I will be prepared for it. I will try to talk to my family as often as I can.

I will be in Tampa for a couple more weeks and my family has come down to visit me every weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing them when they visit this weekend. I would like to see them as much as I can before I leave Tampa. I am really looking forward to playing in Europe. I think we have the second best talent in the world trailing only the National Football League. The league is highly competitive and I think it is good for the future development of players and for me.

I'll write weekly through the end of the NFL Europe League season in late June … which I hope means right after the World Bowl on June 30. This should be fun.

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