After a three-week training camp, I'm in Berlin and only days away from my first game playing quarterback for the Berlin Thunder in the NFL Europe League. My nine-hour, overseas flight to Europe was good, but it was long. The whole day was pretty tiring, in fact. Thankfully, everything went really smooth and without any delays. Adjusting to the six-hour time change from Florida to Germany wasn't too bad, either. I stayed awake for the whole trip over here and until about 8 p.m. the next night, which kept me up for about 36 hours straight. I went to bed that night and woke up without any jet lag.
After we settled in the hotel, we got a tour of the city of Berlin. That was very nice. Then we had a couple of team functions. We got to see where the Berlin Wall was and a couple pieces that were still standing. There are a lot of historical sites to see here in Berlin. This will be a really interesting city to visit in the weeks to come.
Now that I am in Europe I haven't had a chance to talk to the other guys from the Jaguars except for James Watkins, who is a teammate of mine with the Thunder. I talked to the rest of the guys a bunch before and after our scrimmages in Tampa. Reggie Nelson, Paul Spicer and Jim Tarle are on the Frankfurt Galaxy, and Craig Miller and Troy Pelshak are with the Barcelona Dragons. I hope they all do well this season … except for when I play them!
Practices in Europe are a lot different than practices in Tampa. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the practice facility. It's a lot colder here. It has been raining and even snowing some, which puts a damper on some things. All in all, the practices have gone well, and hopefully we will be ready on Saturday when we start play at Friedrich Lugwig Jahn Stadium. It's a small stadium with only 20,000 seats — unlike ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville with 73,000, but it's a good stadium. It has a large track around the field. It will have the feel of a college game. It's going to be nice to play in that kind of environment again.
I am very excited about my first game this weekend against the Barcelona Dragons. We finally get the season going, and that is what we have worked for the past three weeks in Tampa during training camp. Barcelona will travel to our stadium for the game. With it being warm in Barcelona, hopefully the weather will be an advantage for us, like it is a factor when teams come to Jacksonville in the heat. I think overall we are ready and it will be a hard fought game.
Before the NFL Europe League season starts, I want to state again that my ultimate goal here in NFL Europe is to win the World Bowl. That is the only goal that I am shooting for. Hopefully we will be one step closer to that after the game this weekend. Wish me luck.