NFL Europa Diary - Carlton Brewster, Part I


*Wide receiver Carlton Brewster is one of a handful of Green Bay Packers allocated to NFL Europa this spring.

Brewster is a starter for the Berlin Thunder, and in his team's season opener April 14, he caught seven passes for 95 yards to help the Thunder post a 15-3 victory over the Rhein Fire.

Berlin takes on Hamburg in Week 2 on Sunday in its home opener. The game can be seen on tape-delay on NFL Network at 11 p.m. (CT). will post periodic diary entries from Brewster about his experiences in Europe with his "springtime" team. Here is the first installment, in which Brewster discusses Florida training camp, German cars and his productive season opener:*

This whole season started with training camp for 3 1/2 weeks in Florida. The first week was pretty tough, just getting back into it. We had two-a-days every day. After the first practice we had a 40-minute break, then the second practice.

It wasn't that bad, but training camp of course is going to be competitive because you've got guys fighting for jobs. After the first week, it was like a breeze because it wasn't so heavy. They were shortening up practices.

We had three scrimmages. We'd do some seven-on-seven with a team, and then do it full team. Our first scrimmage was against Amsterdam, then we went against Cologne. Our third scrimmage was against Hamburg, and that was my breakout game. I had four catches, three touchdowns and over 200 yards.

I wouldn't say that got me the starting position, because I was doing pretty good in practice and things like that. We had eight receivers and it was hard getting everybody balls, but that set me apart from the rest of the receivers on our team.

We came over to Germany on April 2 and since then we've been staying at the Marriott Courtyard in the suburbs of Berlin.

The days are pretty full. I wake up about 7 or 7:30, eat breakfast. We have a quick team meeting, then specials teams meets for 15 minutes, and then we have position meetings for about 45 minutes or an hour. Then we go to our facility. Where we practice is about 30-40 minutes away and we practice about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. We eat lunch after practice, and then there are more meetings before dinner. After dinner you've got the rest of the day to yourself.

My Packers teammate Tim Goodwell was supposed to be my teammate here, too, but right now he's in Birmingham (Alabama) and he's getting treated for his back. He got a back sprain. I believe he should be with us in the next week or two. Last time I talked to him he was talking about getting his exit physical, so hopefully he'll be with us soon.

The people are nice here. Everybody treats us well. They know who you are. The food is a little different. It's not that bad, but they make American food for us at the hotel, so we haven't really been eating German food. I always eat American food. I'm used to that.

It seems like everybody here has a Mercedes Benz. If you see five cars, you're going to see at least three people with a Mercedes Benz. They have Mercedes Benz out here like we have Grand Am's in America. Everybody has one. Taxi cabs are Mercedes Benz. Semi-trucks. Everywhere you look is a Mercedes Benz sign, so that's a little different.

{sportsad300}The TV is different too. I don't know what's going on with sports in America - the NBA, the Draft, all that stuff. I'm lost. So I'm happy I brought some DVDs over here. I love all the American Pies. Stiffler, that's my guy right there. Martin Lawrence, I love him. I'm a big comedy guy, so I brought a lot of those type of movies over here.

They take their soccer very serious, I know that. I haven't ever seen so many soccer fields. Where we practice, I'm real impressed with the grass. It's very nice and they keep up with it. Right by it is a soccer school for kids, I think it's for ages 5 and up. It's crazy. Soccer is the No. 1 thing over here. We're going to a soccer game on Saturday, so I'll know how crazy it really is. I'm hopefully going to take a lot of pictures.

In our first game, statistically I did OK, but I'm very hard on myself. Every time I'm out there, I expect to go 100 miles per hour and I expect great things. I gave myself a C, C-minus grade, because I felt a couple routes I didn't run too well, and my blocking wasn't up to par like I wanted it to be. Hopefully the rest of the games this year I'll do better than that. But I'm happy we won. We came out on top. That's the most important thing right there.

There's no doubt in my mind I can keep putting up good numbers. Coach is being a little conservative. It was the first game and this was his first time being a head coach, so he didn't want to throw everything out there. I feel this week we've got a lot of things going on in the gamebook, so I feel like I can do something special this week.

I want to smash every receiving record here. That's my goal, to come out here and tear it up. Overall, it's about getting film to show everybody that I'm a good player, not only as a wide receiver but a good athlete as a whole and a good team player.

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