*Wide receiver Jamal Jones is among the record 18 players the Packers have allocated to play in NFL Europe this spring. Just like the rest of his teammates, Jones is looking to impress his coaches on both sides of the Atlantic and earn a spot with the Green and Gold in 2005.
These 10 games in Europe will be Jones' first with the famous 'G' logo on his uniform, as he joined the Packers as a member of their practice squad during the 2004 season after a preseason run with the St. Louis Rams last summer.
The former North Carolina A&T Aggie is eager to get on the field and get the season underway Jones and the Galaxy will be in Berlin Saturday to kick off the NFL Europe campaign. Jamal is set to team with fellow Green Bay receiver Sam Breeden in Frankfurt's starting lineup.
The following is the first installment of Jamal Jones' 2005 NFL Europe Diary:*
This is my first trip to Europe, and even though we've been here for a week now, I'm still trying to get my body adjusted to the six-hour time difference from our training camp in Florida. I'm almost there, but it's definitely a lot better than when we first got to Frankfurt.
Training camp was cool. It was kind of hard because we had eight receivers at first but a couple of them got hurt early so were kind of short at the position. It was kind of hard going through camp and running all the drills with not that many of us healthy.
But once I got back into football shape and my legs got under me, training camp went by kind of fast. I'm in good shape now and ready to go into the game.
I didn't really have much trouble adjusting to the offense here, because I've played in a lot of different offenses in my football career and this offense with the Galaxy is not overly complicated. Learning the formations was really the hardest part of it, but the plays are really to the point.
The trip over to Germany from Florida was by far the longest plane ride I've ever been on. I slept the whole way, but the seating was tight since it was a full flight. I slept most of the time, but it wasn't the most comfortable flight I've ever had.
The hotel we're living in is a little bit out of the city, about 10 minutes away from downtown Frankfurt. I've been downtown and seen a few sights. We had a team function at the City Hall and met the mayor. I haven't been through the city much yet - I've been pretty much just practicing and resting.
Like some of the players who have come over to Europe before told me, the food is a little bit different than what we are used to in the U.S. Some meals are good and some meals aren't, but we've always got McDonald's and Burger King close by just in case. Some of the food hasn't been my favorite, but I can't complain too much about free food.
I'm really excited about getting out on the field in front of the crowd this weekend. This will be my first game that counts in the standings since college, so I'm really looking forward to it.
Of course I want to win games, but I really want to be consistent in my performance. I want to have good stats and look good on film for the coaches back in Green Bay to see what I can do in game situations.
The reason I'm over here is to get game experience and show what I can do in live action rather than just in practice. I think I'll do well over here and come back ready to get back to work in training camp with the Packers and go into the season playing well.
I'm sure I'll enjoy getting to see some of the cities around Europe as we make our road trips during the season. I'm going to check the places out after the game or when we have a little free time when we get into the cities, but I'm over here with the one goal in mind to focus on my football performance.
I'm here to do anything and everything - special teams, offense, whatever they ask me to do. Every time I step on the field I'm hoping to make a good impression, and that starts this Saturday in Berlin.
Fans looking to get a good look at Jones and the rest of the Packers' allocated players will get their chance as the Galaxy's game at Berlin will be televised live on DirecTV Saturday, April 2 at 10:00 a.m. (CST).