Over the course of the next few months Patriots backup quarterback Rohan Davey will chronicle for the readers of Patriots.com his experiences playing this spring with the Berlin Thunder in NFL Europe. Today's installment has Davey's thoughts on the decision to play in the NFLEL and his initial days in the league's training camp in Tampa, Fla. The NFLEL regular season kicks off on April 3.
Since the Super Bowl I have just relaxed. I went home for a little bit and then came back up to New England. I threw and worked out for two weeks. Then I came down here to Tampa for camp. Since I have been here we have been in passing camp for a few days and we just started two-a-days.
I was given the option to go to NFL Europe for the spring. It wasn't anything like, 'You have to go here.' It was something that was presented to me as an opportunity to come over here and actually get some game film, get some game time, run a team and do the things that basically I haven't been doing for two years. So I mean I was excited.
My philosophy on that is, I respect Coach Belichick and Charlie [Weis] so much to where if they thought enough of it [going to Europe] to present it to me and if it's something that they feel will make me a better quarterback and a better football player, then I respect them enough to say, 'Well if they think this is going to help me, then I also think it will help me and I am going to do everything I can to get the most out of this opportunity.' So I really can't say that they didn't want me to go. I definitely can say that they presented it to me as a way to better myself. It wasn't a tough decision. I thought about it for a couple of days and then I let Coach Belichick know that I was going to do it.
I thought about the fact that I would be rolling straight from one season to the next, but once again this is just an opportunity and I have to take advantage of it. It's going to be kind of like football year round for me, literally. It's football year-round already if you are not here because you are going through offseason workouts and stuff like that, but this is literally football year-round.
I am not too worried about missing anything in New England during the spring or not being around the offense. I know the offense. I've been in the offense for two years. I am not worried about that at all. I just need to hone up my skills and get some game time, the speed that you can't get during practice and to win. That's the bottom line.
To be honest with you, experience of living and working with all the different guys here is not bad. You focus on what you need to do and you get it done. So I mean whatever else is going on around you as far as the facilities and the accommodations and stuff like that, that's really second tier. It's a little tough with everyone coming together from all over the place here. You only have a three-week window before you play your first game. So it's tough because you have to come together faster. You don't have the luxury of being together and going through passing camp and mini camp and then going to training camp. Right here we have to come together faster. That's going to be the key for us, whoever comes together faster is going to be the one that has early success when we get over to Europe and start playing. So it is different in that way, but I think it also brings us closer together because we are trying to find out more about each other since we have such a short span.
The system we are running with the Thunder is similar to the system in New England, so it's not a big change for me. Not only am I working with fellow Patriots allocates, but there are also guys that you went through recruitment with and guys that you went through the draft with and guys that you worked out with when you were coming out of college. So there are a lot of familiar faces. But it's also good to have guys here like [Chas] Gessner and Mike Malan and guys like that that you know.
I definitely think that I have caught up and made up a lot of ground in my development in my two seasons in the pros and now there shouldn't be anymore talk about technique and arm motion and whatever the negative things were. Now it's just basically to go in when I get the opportunity to play. And that's it.
I'll think about the possibility of being the backup in New England next season when I get there, but right now my focus is making sure I polish up on my technique and making sure that I'm am doing everything I possibly can to get better and make sure that I am doing everything for Berlin to win a championship.