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NFL Europe Diary Week Two: Ray Ventrone

Ray Ventrone and the Cologne Centurions were victorious in their first game of the season against the Hamburg Sea Devils, 14-10. In week two of his NFL Europe diary, Ventrone talks about last week's win and what he thought about his performance.

Hey, everything is going pretty good. Our first game was the coldest in NFL Europe history but you know what? It didn't really seem that cold to me. Once we warmed up and stuff I was fine. I didn't even wear sleeves or anything. Your mind isn't even on how cold it is but it was a great way to start off the season with a victory like that.

That big hit I got early on in the game felt good. Their quarterback was staring down a lot of receivers, so I got an early break on the ball. We had four interceptions as a team and I think we're going to be pretty good on defense. I think we have a group of guys who are going to come out and play hard. Their quarterback came out and made a few bad decisions but we made him make some bad decisions too.

I think overall I played decent. You can always get better. It was just good to be back in a game atmosphere after two years off. I can improve everywhere. I made some mistakes and I'm going to correct those this week. I'm playing a few different positions on special teams that I'm not used to. I'm going to try and fix what I messed up last week on special teams. I blew some assignments so I need to work on that.

I wasn't involved in coverage as much because they were throwing a lot of deep routes. I guess that was their gameplan to throw deep on us but our secondary didn't do too badly against them. We shut them down pretty good and anytime you get four interceptions, you're probably going to win the game.

I had the one personal foul penalty late in the game for helmet-to-helmet contact and my coaches told me I should have probably just not hit the guy. I hit him after we got the interception and if you look at the replay I didn't hit the guy in the head, I pushed him in the back. I was really confused. When I saw they called a penalty on me I had no clue what was going on. The refs said I hit a defenseless receiver but I didn't think it was a personal foul. I was surprised.

I'm trying to play smart and within the rules of the game but I'm not slowing down. I'm going to come 100 mph every single play and just try not to lead with my head. I can't change the way I play.

I haven't talked with anyone from the Patriots since I was at training camp down in Tampa. I haven't talked to any coaches or anything since I'm been over here. I'm actually going to e-mail coach Brad Seely and coach Joel Collier to see if they watched the game and ask them what they thought. I talked to both of them before I left and said I would be in contact with them by e-mail.

They called me Bubba on the broadcast? I've had that nickname my whole life. When I was little, my dad called me "Bubba Big Head" because I had kind of a big head. Everybody just started calling me Bubba after that. It's been with me my whole life. I love the nickname though. It fits me because of my style of play.

It's been a lot easier adjusting now that I'm settled in. I'm starting to get used to the lifestyle here and how things are. My mom and my aunt are coming out on Friday and staying for a week. They'll get to see me play a game, so that's nice.

We're at home this week against the Amsterdam Admirals. It will be televised live on the NFL Network Sunday morning at 9:00 am Eastern time.

It's going to be a new look for the Patriots next year with everyone leaving. Adam (Vinatieri) and Tim (Dwight), those are great guys. That's the thing I think you get with the Patriots is they bring in great guys. They don't just bring in good football players; they bring in guys who have good character and who are going to be good teammates. Even with all the guys leaving, I think they'll continue to bring good people onto this football team.

As told by Ray Ventrone to Patriots Football Weekly's Tom Casale.

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