I am speechless right now with people saying it was my best game of the year because I feel like all the games I have played have gone pretty well. But I guess the numbers for this one just stick out a little better than the rest of them. It felt good, especially since we won [to improve to 5-2 and remain tied with Berlin atop the NFLEL standings]. It wouldn't have meant anything if I had done all that and there was a loss behind it. But around here it was just about the same feeling as every week. I know I have to put all that behind me and get prepared for the game coming up this week.
Last week's game came down to the point where we thought that they had a chance to win [on a late field goal attempt] and when he missed the field goal we kind of called each other up and told each other, 'Hey, this is our opportunity here. They had the opportunity and didn't take advantage of it. It's time to step up and we need to go out there and make a play.'
We didn't want to hang our heads low, Coach [Peter] Vaas was still pumping us up at the time that they were going for the field goal, but we were looking at a [short] field goal. We were thinking that that was automatic, but I guess in this league there is no such thing as automatic.
Looking at my production, the first five games I wanted to try to pound the ball a little bit and try to do it that way. But after the fifth game I sort of changed it up and I am more trying to fill it and hit it up and just change a little bit. I have really gotten a feel for my blocking as the season has gone along, especially this past Saturday. I felt like [the blockers] were really on their Ps and Qs on Saturday. We were behind and the team kind of called on me. I felt like I stepped up to the call.
I kind of feel like the running game is our bread and butter right now on offense, but I can't really say that because when Coach calls a pass play the receivers are making plays when the other team has an extra man in the box and then that is the bread and butter. The last couple of games, the running game has been strong for the team. There is still room for improvement for us offensively because we are still waiting on the big plays from our receivers. We have great receivers and right now we are just trying to figure out which one is going to make some plays. Right now everybody is still catching one or two passes; we still don't have that main guy to step up and take that challenge.
Even though we are winning again, we are still making a lot of mistakes. But I feel like we have cleaned it up enough to continue doing what we are doing. We just need to take our time more, calm down and be more settled than we have been in the past.
As a team, it's basically the turnovers that we have to clean up. We are making a lot of careless turnovers, especially when we are tired. I think it is about concentration. When you get tired you have in your mind, 'I'm going to take this one off,' instead of just being smart and saying, 'Hey, I need to come out and rest for this play.' You are trying to be a man and say, 'I can do this and that.' But all in all you are kind of hurting yourself by staying in there. You have good teammates and good backup players that can come in and make plays behind you. So you just need to say, 'Hey, I need to come out and let the man behind me come in and get a series.'
We are looking at Amsterdam to come at us this week the same way they did in our first meeting. They came at us strong and especially knowing the situation with them a game back and them needing to win -- they are going to come at us real hard. They are probably going to give us their best game of the year. This is a road game for us and Coach Vaas has told us is that they haven't lost at home this season and that is the test we face this week. So we are going to have to prepare extremely well for this weekend's game and we are going to have to be ready to go in there and play.
Sometimes I feel like I am missing out on a whole lot that is going on back with the Patriots. Knowing that we are going to have a new offensive [coordinator] and stuff like that, I feel like I need to be there learning the system. But I don't really worry about what they are doing too much because I know what I am trying to do here. So I basically just try to focus on what I am doing here. I was going to have to play catch-up [in New England] anyway knowing that I was on the practice squad. The plays that I learned last year were kind of limited. So I know that in order to play this year I am going to really have to get in there and get into my playbook when I get back.
There are a few little things that I miss in everyday life having to live over here. I just miss the atmosphere, really. I miss just being at home, being by myself and being in my space. I miss that. I also miss a lot of the sweets and junk food that I used to like to eat at home. I've really had to change that. The chocolate here is very different. That's been a good thing, I guess, because it's kind of been keeping me away from all the sweets. I like to eat a lot of chocolate, cookies and candy bars. Over here they have different candy bars that I have never heard of so I really don't eat those.
As told to Patriots Football Weekly’s Andy Hart.