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Herbert "Whisper" Goodman Diary


Herbert Goodman

After losing three straight games to fall to 1-3, the Scottish Claymores have rebounded by winning back-to-back games in NFL Europe to sit in a tie for third at 3-3.

Two weeks ago the Claymores defeated the Amsterdam Admirals 16-13, before handing the Rhein Fire its second loss of the season 17-7 last weekend.

Continuing to lead the Claymores' ground attack has been Herbert "Whisper" Goodman, who ran for 105 yards on 22 carries at Amsterdam and accumulated 95 yards on 26 carries versus Rhein. With 360 yards rushing for the season, Goodman ranks third in NFLEL.

Although noted for his quiet nature, Whisper has been seen delivering passionate pep-talks to his teammates in recent weeks, which was just one of the topics he mentioned when he made his third call to to continue his inside look at NFLEL.

Goodman: "Things are starting to turn around for us. We've won two games in a row and we're right back in it.

"The Amsterdam game was a do-or-die for us and we got a close win there, then we played at home against Rhein and just executed our game plan and came out on top.

"Against Amsterdam I finally broke the 100-yard mark rushing after having a couple games over 90 yards. I really don't care about stats, and during the game it's the last thing you think about, but it still feels good to look on the stat sheet afterward and see that you crossed the 100-yard mark.

"To have finally done that over here was a big relief, but I just want to do whatever it takes to help the team win. If I have a big game running the ball and the team loses, I'm upset. But if blocking 20 times a game and carrying the ball only five times would help us win, then that's what I want to do.

"You have to put the team first.

"That's one of the reasons I'm trying to be a leader over here. I'm not really known for being a vocal guy, but I have two years of experience in the NFL and a lot of my Claymores teammates are free agents still looking to make the team.

"Being a leader is a challenge I've tried to accept. When I go back to Green Bay, I'm not going to be the guy that's yelling at the team in the locker room, but here I have to step up.

"Coaches deliver speeches to the team every day. That's part of their job and they have to do it, but sometimes a player saying something can have a bigger impact within the team because they are in the trenches with you. And because of my experience, a lot of the younger guys on the team come up to me and ask me questions.

"Kofi Campbell is our third-string running back, but he's been taught to carry the football a different way than we carry it in the NFL. He wasn't taught to keep the ball in his outside arm, away from the defender, so that's something we've talked about as running backs.

"I've tried to help out him and other guys on the team in every way I can, because in a game situation little things can be the difference.

"One of the things that's different in NFL Europe from the NFL is the media attention. Before games and at halftime they bring a TV camera into the locker room, but after the game the media don't come into the locker room like they do in the NFL.

"For the most part reporters try to talk to you before you leave the field, unless you have a really big game and they bring you up to a media room. But even then, instead of having a lot of media like for an NFL game there might be two or three cameras and a couple people with tape recorders.

"It's really not even comparable.

"We're at home again this weekend playing Amsterdam. That's great because when we go on the road fans get pretty loud when the opposing offense has the ball.

"They blow these horns over here that are pretty loud and obnoxious. There might not be as many people in the stadium, but they definitely make it loud.

"Hopefully Amsterdam will be the one dealing with all the noise this weekend.

"Just the other day I posed for an advertising photo with some kids. I guess the first kids into the stadium are going to be getting those horns for free. So for the picture the kids lined up from tallest to shortest and pretended to blow on their horns while I covered my ears like they were really loud.

"Afterward, I talked to some of the kids and signed some autographs and then I threw the football with them, let them run some routes.

"Spending time with the kids is one of the things I like most. They don't always know a lot about American football, but they are always really interested to learn and really happy to see us.

"Some days when we're running after practice the kids like to come up and run along next to us.

"Hopefully they'll be making a lot of noise for us this weekend because we really need another win. The coaches changed the game plan a bit and I think if we execute it we'll win.

"The important thing is for the offense to keep playing well. In this league, you really have to win it with offense. If it's going to be a shootout, then you have to put points on the board.

"Our defense has been doing a great job of getting turnovers, but we can't go three-and-out when we get the ball back.

"I think we're building some confidence now. Guys aren't just looking to settle for three yards on every play anymore.

"Guys are starting to think that every play can be a first down. That's the attitude we need to have."

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