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True Brit

ENGLISH wide receiver

made an impressive NFL Europe League debut for the Scottish Claymores, scoring two touchdowns against the FC Barcelona Dragons.

In NFLEurope.com's weekly Inside the Huddle feature, McCready talks about Scotland's Week 1 victory and a tricky road trip that lies ahead for the Claymores.

McCready was the first Brit to win a Super Bowl ring when he was a member of a New England Patriots team that upset the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI in February.

Now, McCready, who grew up in England before moving to the United States when he was 15 years old, is back in the United Kingdom and has made an outstanding start to his career as a Scottish Claymore.

During Scotland's 45-17 thrashing of the FC Barcelona Dragons at Glasgow's Hampden Park, McCready caught 5 passes for 79 yards and scored on touchdown receptions of 4 and 26 yards.

"It went really well for me and for the whole team in Week 1," McCready said. "It was a good opening day performance because everybody seemed to know what they were doing and executed very well.

"It was fun to be playing the game again after all those weeks of training camp and practice. It was also good to produce such an impressive performance in front of our own fans - they were great and they made an awful lot of noise.

"We felt confident going into that game and felt we would be able to do some of the things we wanted to do. We gelled quickly in training camp and we were looking forward to matching up against a different opponent in a game situation. I think that showed in the way we played.

"It was the total team performance. Every phase of the game played really well - offense, defense and special teams - you can't ask for more than that."

For McCready, the 2003 NFL Europe League campaign represents a return to his roots. The talented wide receiver was born and raised in the London and played amateur football in the UK before emigrating to the States, where he grew to become a star at the University of South Florida.

"It's nice to be back on this side of the Atlantic," McCready admitted. "I'm really enjoying being back in Europe, especially playing pro football at the same time.

"A lot of my family members were able to see me play on Sunday and it was fun for them to see me score two touchdowns. It was great to play in front of them again."

While McCready and his Claymores team mates are in buoyant mood following the Week 1 action, their feet are firmly on the ground as Scotland now faces a difficult two-week stretch on the road against the Rhein Fire and Frankfurt Galaxy.

"We know we're not a good team until we can win games on the road," McCready said. "Our schedule is going to ask us to prove we're a good team because we face two teams in Germany in the next two weeks.

"We're not even thinking about Frankfurt right now - we're putting everything we have into facing the Fire this weekend so we can then head to Frankfurt with a 2-0 record.

"I think we're a team capable of winning on the road. We have a lot of very focused players on this team and this next game is going to be a big test for us."

McCready is also staying very focused at the moment and refuses to look too far ahead to a time when he will return to the Patriots.

"The more experience I get here in NFL Europe, the more it's going to help me when I return to the Patriots," McCready said. "But I'm not even thinking about the Patriots now - I'm enjoying my time over here and my main goal is to win a World Bowl with the Claymores.

"I'm not going to worry about all that other stuff until I have given my all to the Scottish Claymores."

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