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 a 3-0 start to the season, scouting reports on a number of former LSU teammates that may be drafted on Saturday and a look ahead to what fans can expect this weekend in a game that will mark Berlin's first appearance on TV in the U.S. Last weekend Davey completed 19-of-27 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-31 win over the Cologne Centurions. Davey earned his second straight NFL Europe Offensive Player of the Week honor for the performance.
We did what we wanted to do last weekend. We came out fast offensively and the first quarter was an indicator of how the rest of the game was going to go. We just played well as a team. They moved the ball a little bit on our defense, but didn't really get into the end zone until late in the game. They turned the ball over early and we capitalized on it. It was just a good win.
It felt good to start fast and finish. I wouldn't necessarily say that it was just an offensive win, because at the end of the game the defense did some things to stop them from getting into the end zone for scores that would have made the game a lot more interesting. But from an offensive standpoint it was definitely good to go out and do what we set out to do which was to start fast and score points.
Most of the success we had in the passing game this week came through good reads. It was all the reads that we were going over throughout the week. They came up and tried to challenge me personally and our offensive line by bringing pressure and also by playing bump, man-to-man coverage. I don't think they believed that we could beat them out on the flank and take their cornerbacks deep. The first touchdown pass was a good long one which I think really set the tone for the rest of the game because it let them know that we were going to dictate the tempo of the game to them instead of them dictating it to us. I think from then on out things really got a little bit easier, especially for the receivers.
The success that we have had on some long touchdown passes early this season is something that this coaching staff here really wants. They really implement explosion plays, which is any pass that is over 25 yards and any run over 15 yards. That's our goal. Any time we have a matchup and we can take it deep, we try to exploit that matchup and take advantage of it. Our goal here is to get six explosion plays per game. We feel like if we can do that, we will be in good shape in a football game. Last game I think we had eight explosion plays so we were right on pace.
I think I really am getting better every week. We are still rotating, it's just that if a guy is in the flow of a game like last week and things are going well you don't want to pull him out because sometimes you lose something when a guy is doing well and you bring in someone who hasn't played yet. But we are still rotating. In terms of getting better each week it's just about getting comfortable with the plays that we are calling, knowing what's coming in next, knowing the situation, knowing what the coaches are thinking, knowing exactly what's happening on the play and what the defense is trying to do to you in every down and distance. That's mostly what I am getting a lot more comfortable with with our coaches.
That comfort is a combination of everything. As a quarterback you have to be accurate. You have to be emotional. You have to be a leader. You have to be the one to, as they say, rally the troops when things are going bad. But it's just basically about being on your game and winning. When that is happening everyone is playing well, we execute and when we get in the red zone we score touchdowns. Right now we have a 65 percent third down efficiency rating. That is pretty good and if we continue to do that we will win a lot of football games.
We haven't played our best game yet though. We haven't put it together in all three phases: offensive, defensive and special teams, yet. But to start out 3-0 and be right on top with Frankfurt is good. We still have a long way to go and have a lot more games to play. We definitely have to stay focused because if we start out 3-0 and then end up going 0-7, who will remember the 3-0 start? So we just have to keep it going.
I would expect the same things from our team this week as we have been doing – attacking. The offensive is definitely going to get after the defense. That's just our style of play and whenever the opportunity presents itself we will take shots down the field.
We are playing Rhein Fire this week. They are a good football team. They played Frankfurt last week and both teams were undefeated. Frankfurt beat them. So now they are 2-1 and I am sure they are hungry and ready to get back into the mix. I think they are a real dangerous team. They have a pretty good defense and a pretty good offense. It is a solid team all the way around. They have good athletes on both sides of the ball. It is going to be another challenge for us.
I hadn't really thought about people in the U.S. finally being able to see me on TV this week, but it will be nice. It will be exciting. I have started getting a lot of publicity over here in the papers and it is kind of strange seeing these stories that are written about me in another language. It's funny. It's cool though. They are really getting into football. Our attendance is going up gradually every game. So that's good.
The schedule is pretty much the same every day over here. I wake up at 7. We have meetings from 7:30 until basically 8:30. Then we get bused to the practice facility. We usually get there around 9:15 and then you get taped or whatever treatment you need. We are on the field by 10. We practice for two hours, have lunch and then come back to the hotel. If you have treatments you do them, then you have a couple of hours to get off your feet. Then we have meeting at 5:30 and dinner at 6:30. You do it all over again the next day.
It isn't too bad though. It doesn't get too monotonous. It's the same as when you are going through the NFL regular season. It's just a routine. I don't have anyplace to go at the end of the day, but it's OK. The hotel is my home right now. It takes some getting used to. It's definitely not home, but it's the closest thing to it that is possible right now. It's not a problem. And my girl is here right now, so it doesn't matter to me. It's as close to home as possible for now.
In terms of what is going on with the Patriots, I think the trade for Corey Dillon was a good move. I am sure Coach Belichick and Scott (Pioli) know what they are doing. But I don't really know much about Corey Dillon besides what I have seen on TV and how I have seen him play. I know he's a good football player and a good running back. That's basically all I need to know. But I thought it was a good move.
Most of the time things that you hear about guys when they are with other clubs…you can't really judge a man. His reasons for whatever has gone on are his reasons. No one has been there with him and knows his reasons for whatever has gone on. So basically when he comes in I am sure none of us will have any prejudged notions of him. We look at him as a teammate and someone that's coming to help us try to win another Super Bowl.
I played with all the guys that are top prospects out of LSU for this weekend's draft. I have thrown passes to both Michael Clayton and Devery Henderson. They are real good football players. Mike is probably the best blocking receiver in the draft. He's also a big-time athlete and a big-time playmaker. I think Devery is probably one of the fastest guys in the draft. He probably has a lot of upside because he's just one of those guys that you can give him a hitch and he can turn it into an 80-yard touchdown. So from that standpoint the NFL is always looking for speed. But they are both pretty good football players. I don't think anyone that picks them can go wrong. They are good character guys, which is big in the NFL, and they both can make plays. So I don't think anyone could go wrong picking either one of those guys.
Chad (Lavalais, LSU defensive tackle), I guess a lot of NFL people consider him undersized but he's 300 pounds. He one of those guys, what you would call a high-energy guy. His motor is always running. He's also a big character guy. He's real good and his motor never stops. That's the best way to describe him. He has a lot of energy and I think he'll make anybody's D-line or defense better just because of the type of person he is. Marquise (Hill, LSU defensive end), I think has a lot of upside. He's real big, 6-7. He has a very large wingspan. He's young but good. I think within the right scheme he could really develop into a good player.
People talk about the LSU pipeline to New England with guys like Jarvis Green and myself, but I think it's just that Coach (Nick) Saban he coached in the league with Coach Belichick and he knows a lot of people in the NFL. I think it's just that (the Patriots) know that if he says something about a player it's true. There are some guys that they just have that kind of relationship with and I think that's the kind of relationship that Coach Belichick has with Coach Saban. He knows Coach Saban's style of coaching and he knows what Coach Saban will put out. He knows that if Coach Saban recommends a guy he's not recommending a bad person. I think that's the biggest thing with the connection. I am sure that probably played a part in the Patriots drafting me. I'm sure Coach Belichick probably asked Coach Saban what kind of guy I was and that type of thing because I mean to be honest I had only really played one full season. I am sure that there were guys that played a lot more than I did. I am sure that relationship had something to do with it. I don't know how much or what role, but I am sure it had something to do with it.
As told to Andy Hart, Patriots Football Weekly