*Rhein Fire defensive back Therrian Fontenot will write a diary for Packers.com logging his NFL Europe venture. For his first journal entry, Therrian writes about his NFL Europe training camp experience in Tampa, Fla.
Fontenot In 2005:
Spent each of the season's first 16 weeks on the Packers practice squad before being promoted to the active roster on Dec. 30...Spent training camp in Buffalo after joining the Bills as a nondrafted free agent...Former running back, he made the switch to cornerback after his sophomore year at Fresno State...The Lawndale, Calif., product had a pair of tackles vs. Green Bay in the Bills' preseason win, Aug. 20.
uSaw action in the season finale vs. Seattle (Jan. 1), but did not record any stats.*
When I first heard I was going to Europe, I thought, "Wow, how am I going to do this?" I didn't know how my body was going to react to not having much time off after the Packers season was over and jumping right back into camp. But now, I don't even think about it. I just take it day-by-day and I'm excited because I'm getting better.
To me, I think our NFL Europe training camp is pretty similar to an NFL training camp. It's fast, there are a lot of good coaches and you always have someone pushing you. And we went right into it. I had a little time off after the Packers season ended, came down to Tampa, got a physical and the next day we strapped the pads on. Off the field, my suitemates are Gabriel Helms from Kansas City and Reggie Austin from Seattle. We all get along and we're all learning a lot from each other.
Adrian White, our defensive coordinator, is our defensive backs coach - I think he played in Green Bay (Editor's note: White played the 1992 season with the Packers). Since he was a player, like our Packers cornerbacks coach, Lionel Washington, he has a good understanding of the game and he doesn't try to force technique on you. He just lets you get out there and perform, so you can be out there and be comfortable and be in a position to make plays.
I started noticing my improvement at the end of the second week of camp. I started noticing things and Coach White started noticing also. We play a lot of cover-two and I started noticing how I was getting better at my re-routes and breaking on the slash routes. The first week, I was struggling making plays on the corner routes because my eyes were in the backfield and I wasn't really using proper technique. Then I started doing things the right way and using proper technique. That second week, I made an interception that I thought was pretty incredible. Right now I'm starting at left corner and I take a lot of reps.
We have a nice group of receivers on our team. From the first day we had one-on-one drills, they were already running their mouths, but we shut them up pretty quick. Our receivers challenge us, but the DBs have the upper hand, right now. In the scrimmages, I did get to play against (Packers receiver) Chad (Lucas) and Vince (Butler). It was funny, because it reminded me of practice this season. I knew their styles of play, so I had no worries.
I went shopping for a bunch of CDs and DVDs to take to Europe, because we were told that the electronics don't work the same. My plans leading up to our departure (Tuesday) are to talk to my family and just to get my mind right. I'm not really nervous about going over there. I adapt to things really fast. I'm just excited to go over there and see new things. I'm ready for a change.