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NFL Europe Diary Week 10: Raymond Ventrone

Hey, I'm doing well. One more game and I'm out of here thank God. It's finally setting in a little bit and I'm ready to come home. I really enjoyed my time over here but I'm excited to get back in my own country. Especially now that I'm getting so close, I'm dying to get back.

It was a great victory for us last week. It was nice because the defense wasn't on the field very long. Our offense controlled the ball for 42 minutes. If we could have pulled out a couple of those close games early in the year, we would be right in the mix of things but it's nice that we're ending the year on a positive note.

We have our huge rivalry game to close out the season with Rhein. It's really big over here to beat Rhein, so the game means a lot. They ran the ball pretty well on us last time but I think we have a decent gameplan in this week, so hopefully we can just execute better than we did last time and make some more plays and create some turnovers. I think us and Rhein both lead the league with 22 takeaways, so I think which team can create more turnovers will be a key part to the game.

[Rhein starting quarterback Drew Henson was injured a couple of weeks ago and is questionable for this game.]

Well, we heard Henson was practicing so we're preparing for both him and Timmy Chang but with two good defenses this could be a low-scoring defensive battle. Our offense has been playing better the past few weeks, so hopefully we can continue to get production out of them to take some of the pressure off us.

Things went really well for me over here. I've gotten some good playing time and experience. I think that's going to really help me when I come back. I'll be in football shape and just ready to get back in the mix in the NFL and hopefully be able to contribute to the Patriots. It's been a great experience for me. Everything has been good. I've been able to meet some good guys over here that I'll be friends with for the rest of my life. It's been a great football experience just to get on the field and play again.

The best non-football thing about being in Germany was being around the people I had to deal with. The hotel people were great. Everyone was willing to help us out and come to our assistance when we needed it. The set up over here was great. It was convenient getting around the city. It was nice. It was a really good city to be playing in.

Like I said last week, I've been looking at my notes from last year's camp and just trying to freshen up on some of those things. Hopefully when I get back I'll be able to pick things up again quickly and get comfortable with our defense again.

The first thing I'm going to do when I get back home is call my fiancé. I'm really excited to see her. It's been hard being apart the past couple of months, so I'm excited that I'll be close to her again. We're getting married July 6 of next year, so we're excited about that.

I feel like if I said I wasn't going to make the final roster, I wouldn't be confident in my abilities and myself. I shouldn't be playing if I don't think I can make the team so I would say yes, I'm hoping to make the team this year. I'm going to do everything I can to make it, I can tell you that.

I just want to thank you for doing this every week and putting in the time and effort to talk to me and let everyone know how I'm doing over in Europe. I want to thank everyone in New England who has really supported me, and everybody who has followed me and watched my games. I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this entire experience: my family, my fiancé, my friends and all my fans. I just want to say thanks; I really appreciate all the support.

*As told by Raymond "Bubba" Ventrone to Patriots Football Weekly's Tom Casale.
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