The three-week-long training camp for NFL Europe held in Tampa has finally come to an end. I thought I did really well during training camp. I still have some areas to work on, but I think I'm headed in the right direction. Now I'm looking forward to a good season in Europe.
I thought I played well in our scrimmage with the Scottish Claymores on Saturday (April 7). It was our final game action before our departure to Europe. It was a game-situation scrimmage with all of the coaches on the sidelines. Our goal was to score touchdowns or field goals, and if we got stopped on third down, we punted. It was a pure game-situation scrimmage. Our team did very well. I think I got two-and-a-half drives in before my time was up. When I was in there, we scored two touchdowns and before I got pulled we were about to score again. On the opening play of the game, my coach called a go route and the Claymores' defense tried to play bump and run with only one safety, but our receiver, Dwaune Jones beat him clean off the line. With him wide open, I hit him and he went in the endzone with a 70-yard touchdown reception. It was a great way to start the day.
My coach, Peter Vaas, recently stated that I will come back to Jacksonville a better player, and there is no doubt in my mind that I will come back a better quarterback. His belief in me has helped my attitude and my confidence. That is the reason I am here — to gain experience and to continue my development as a quarterback. Coach Vaas has helped me to feel that much stronger about myself. In my situation with the Jaguars, I don't think it matters what I do over in Europe to help me get the backup quarterback role in Jacksonville. Right now it's pretty set with Mark Brunell at one, Jamie Martin at two and I'm at three. The only way for me to get the No. 2 job is to come into training camp in Jacksonville in July and play extremely good football and outdo Jamie. My gained experience in NFL Europe will help me to do that.
The last couple of days in Tampa I spent with my family. We went to the zoo and went swimming in the hotel pool. I just tried to spend some quality time with them. We went to dinner last night, and they head back today. Today will be the last time I get to see my family for two-and-a-half months. This morning we'll take a bus from our hotel in Tampa to Miami and then sit in the Miami airport for about four or five hours before our flight. Then we will get on the red-eye fight, which is about a nine hours into Frankfort, Germany. From there we will catch another flight to Berlin. So that will be a long day.
When we get to Europe we get a tour right away. Then I want to sleep and catch up on the days of travel to get here. But I am looking forward to visiting the city of Berlin and seeing where I will be living for the next two-and-a-half months.
Well, that will do it from Tampa … the next time I talk to you I will be in Berlin.