Hola. Hey, sorry but I've been getting prank calls all day from guys on the team so I thought it was one of them. That's why I answered the phone that way. A couple of the guys were messing around with me.
Things are going well over here but he had a tough loss to Rhein last week. I don't think we played well enough to win the game all around. It wasn't one particular thing. We just didn't put everything together.
They only averaged like 3.0 yards per carry so we didn't do too badly against the run but they ran the bal 40-some times. We just weren't able to stop them in some key situations.
[One of the announcers called Ventrone the leader of the Cologne secondary.]
I try to lead by example on and off the field. I feel like we have a good group of guys in the secondary who work hard. During camp, I would say the competition in the secondary was the most competitive because we knew they were going to have to make a lot of cuts. I know we have guys back there who are hungry to play.
I'm not the kind of guy who is going to talk a lot on the field. When someone makes a good play though, I'll be right there to pat them on the back. I'm not like a big talker or anything like that. I just try and do the talking with my pads and my performance on the field.
Rhein went after me twice late in the game. On the first one we were in cover two and there was a tight end on the backside and our linemen are supposed to be seven yards off the ball. They had the safeties playing pretty close to the line to defend the run. They ran a deep over route from the other side of the formation and I didn't see it until late. I was trying to cut off the receiver and the ball was under thrown. The receiver made a good play on the ball. The one on the running back they singled me up and I guess I had pretty good coverage but I wish I could have the deep one back. I didn't have enough depth to make a play.
I think it's been an easy transition over here. I have some good friends now and it's a close team. We just need to come together this next week and put all three aspects of the game in place and make some plays. We've been in position to win every game we've played but just fell short the last two weeks. I think this week is a good opportunity for us to try and get a win.
In my free time I go to the spa here in the hotel. They have a really nice spa, which is convenient. It helps me with my body, recovering and stuff so I usually go down there every day. There's also a nice little city area here. It's kind of like a mini New York City. It has a lot of shops and stuff and a couple of American movie theatres too, so I check that out from time to time.
We play Frankfurt this week. They run a lot of different formations. Mostly a lot of one-back stuff. They mix it up pretty well. Their running back isn't really a power back, he's kind of a smaller back. He's shifty and has a lot of breakaway speed so we really need to contain him. They have some big receivers too, so they will be a challenge for us in the secondary. The game is on The NFL Network Saturday night at 8:00 pm eastern time on tape delay.
I e-mailed coach (Brad) Seely but our Internet has been messed up at the hotel, so I haven't been able to check my e-mail the past couple of days. I explained to him where I was playing on special teams and asked him if he's watched the films yet and if he did, what he thought. I basically gave him my positions and how they were coaching us over here and I wanted to see if he had any coaching points or any advice for me.
[Ventrone is trying to make the team as a safety. The Patriots have recently signed Eric Warfield, Mel Mitchell and Tebucky Jones – all of whom can play the safety position. These signings could affect Ventrone's chances of making the roster.]
I don't think you can sit here and start counting guys and counting roster spots because it distracts you. As long as you're playing as hard as you can, that's all you can do. You can't control anything else. Whenever I go out in the preseason, I'm going to have to play that much better and give it everything I've got. I love New England. I love everything about it and I don't want to play anyplace else. It's a great organization. I think everyone over here is trying to show every team in the league what they can do but I feel like I have a really good opportunity in New England. I'm just going to try my best when I come back and see what happens.
Most people call me Bubba. The ladies in my family call me Raymond. My girlfriend calls me Raymond. There are a few guys that call me Ray but most people call me Bubba. Even the coaches in New England call me Bubba. Coach Seely does and Coach Belichick calls me Bubba sometimes too. If Coach Belichick is calling me Bubba then I guess that's officially my name with the Patriots.
As told by Raymond "Bubba" Ventrone to Patriots Football Weekly's Tom Casale.