Our first loss of the season this week was heart breaking. It was a tough one to swallow. First of all, I think we were too relaxed going into the game. You could tell during the week last week that we weren't necessarily prepared for the game. It rained last week and during the practice we had an easygoing practice like we already knew what we were going to do. We knew what we had to do, it's just the fact that when we got out there on the field we didn't do it. We came out with the wrong mind frame that we were the undefeated team and I think we kind of let up. We seemed to go out there with big heads thinking that everything was just going to go our way. Amsterdam just came out and played a better game than we did.
That attitude was something that we talked about after the game. It's best to just go on and get this loss out of the way. Now we know how it feels and we know the situation that we are in. We are tied with Berlin and Amsterdam. We just know that throughout the rest of the season we are going to have to play hard. We know that we only have a couple of home games left and the majority of the rest are going to be on the road. We are going to have to really bring our A-game now.
Personally, I feel like I have been doing all right with the opportunities that I have been getting but there is still that doubt in my mind that I am not doing enough and what I think I need to do to get better. But when my number gets called I try to do my part to help the team. I've shown that I can pound the ball and run between the tackles. The first couple of games I did a good job pounding the ball. I just feel like everything that I did in the first couple games, now it needs to all come together as a whole. I just want to come out on the field and show all of it during the second half of the season.
One thing I still feel like I need to do a little bit better is my pass protection. And I have gotten on more special teams to try to help the team out and to get myself a better look as well.
]()Looking ahead to Hamburg this week, we are playing them for the second time this season. But that doesn't change anything for us. Everybody knows that Hamburg has a great team. We just caught them at the right time when we beat them in the first game of the season and then Berlin caught them when they were really trying to get themselves together. Now Hamburg is a team that everybody is kind of scared of because they have the weapons and they really have the defense that can step up and win the whole thing. We are going to have to come out and play extra sharp this week. There are only six games left so there is no time for slipping up now. We are just going to have to play hard the rest of the way.
We were supposed to go out yesterday to a soccer match as a team but it rained and only half of us went. We have been doing a few little things as a team to try and get out. We have been doing some promotions with the city going out to meet the people and passing out flyers and things for the games.
I enjoy those outings. I am always looking to get out of the hotel -- anything to get out of the hotel. I'd rather be out on the street doing something in the community than sitting in the room sleeping all day. And now that the fans know who we are the recognition is starting to pick up. When they see us they say, 'Cologne' and 'American football.' They try to sit down and talk with us. Most of the people that I've met, all they want to talk about is the Patriots. They have seen the Patriots play so that kind of makes me feel good knowing that I was with the Patriots last year.
On my own I go out to look at [the Cologne Cathedral, a giant Gothic structure considered one of Germany's most famous religious structures and a defining symbol of the Cologne skyline] every day. It's on the main strip here. It's one of the oldest buildings in Germany. It's right down the street from the hotel. I probably go out there almost every day and just sit out there and think. But I don't venture too far.
So far all I have learned how to say in German is 'Thank you' and 'You're welcome.' That's about it. I don't try to learn too much. Most of the people over here speak English. You just have to talk slowly to them. They can speak a little English, but just not as fast as we can. If you slow your words down though, they can pick up on it really quickly.
As told to Patriots Football Weekly's Andy Hart.