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NFL Europe Diary Week 6: Raymond Ventrone

[Last week Bubba informed us that his girlfriend Katie was visiting and he was going to ask her to marry him.]

It went awesome. She was completely surprised and actually said yes. It was really nice. I took her to the Cologne Cathedral. It's a historic place here in Cologne and she was really excited. She cried and was really surprised. We're getting married next summer so now we're just looking for a place.

Katie teaches fourth grade at a local school. I met her in Boston. She lived right below me in the apartment I moved into so that was convenient. We're really excited about the whole thing.

[The Cologne Centurions dropped to 1-4 after to losing to Berlin last week 24-13. They trailed 17-0 in the fourth quarter and rallied to cut the lead to 17-13 but Berlin put the game away with one final score.]

We had another tough loss. We were down 17-0 and started making a comeback. It looked like we were actually going to win the game once we started getting on a role and then we let up another big play.

Going into the last game, we still had a shot to make it to the World Bowl but now we're out of it. This will be the first week when some guys may take the attitude where they'll just start thinking about themselves but I'm not going to take that attitude. The ultimate goal of playing on any team is you want to win. It's a league where you're trying to develop your skills and get better but if you're getting better, the team is getting better. That's how I look at it.

[Ventrone finished with six tackles and two special teams tackles against Berlin.]

I actually played, in my eyes, my best game so far against Berlin. I was playing my game. That's how I'm used to playing, flying around and making tackles. I finally got back to how I'm used to playing. I played like that in college and high school and it finally felt good to get back into rhythm. I feel like I'm going to have a good final five games coming up.

Not playing a lot the past couple of years, I feel I was playing too hesitant early on. I finally got my game back against Berlin for some reason and I feel really comfortable in what I'm doing now. I made a few tackles on special teams and I feel comfortable in my assignments in those aspects.

I think I'm doing really well in coverage. I'm reading the quarterback well and I'm getting good breaks on the ball. I've been in pretty good position on a lot of plays. Our secondary has been playing pretty well. I think were actually first in NFL Europe against the pass.

The one thing I still want to improve on is I want to play great all the time. I want to be as consistent as I can be and I think the next five games is a good way for me to show more consistency.

I'm not used to losing, so this is tough. You always want to win. I haven't lost since high school. In college we won and then I came to the Patriots and we won here. It's tough. You get to the point where what does the coach say to a team that's 1-4? You just have to continue to work hard and get better. Even if we don't win our last five games, this has still been a great experience that's helped me out a lot but I feel like if we're able to win some games down the stretch, it will make this experience even better.

My Internet is still down. It's been tough getting in touch with people. I'm going to sit down with the coaches when I get back and talk about how I played over here and get their thoughts. I feel like I'm improving and I think they're probably seeing that too. We watched the tape of our first game against Hamburg because we're playing them this week. I played pretty well in that game but I feel I've improved a lot since then, so I'm anxious to get back on the field this week.

We play Hamburg Sunday at 10:00 am on the NFL Network. We have a good feeling about what they're going to try and do because we've already played them. It's just been a few mistakes in every game that's kept us from winning. We need to get over that hump.

I'm going to try and make a few big plays this week. I need an interception, so hopefully I'll be able to snag one this week against Hamburg.

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

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