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NFL Europe Going Well For Nall


Three games into the season, Green Bay Packers second-year quarterback Craig Nall is pleased with his performance leading the Scottish Claymores in NFL Europe.

At least, for the most part.

"I think I'm doing a pretty good job," Nall said Thursday from his hotel room in Scotland. "But there have been a couple times where, I don't know, maybe I've lost focus or something.

"I mean, I know that sometimes you're just not going to make the play. But there have been stretches where I know I'm better than what I've shown."

Despite any self-perceived lapses, Nall is proving himself capable of leading an offense.

His 565 yards passing on 38-of-69 completions leads the league, and his three touchdown passes tie for the NFLE best.

But the number that frustrates Nall is in the win-loss column, where the Claymores are only 1-2 and losers of two straight.

"We seem to be moving the ball well enough to win, but we're just not doing well in the red zone," Nall said. "Overall, I think I'm managing the game well, there are just a couple plays here and there that I think could be the turning point. I just have to make those plays more often."

This weekend Nall and the Claymores will look to get back to .500 when they face the winless Berlin Thunder (0-3), a team they dismantled in a record-setting 62-31 victory to start the season.

Nall suffered a sprained ankle in last weekend's loss to the Rhein Fire, but expects to play Sunday.

When he does, he'll be under the watchful eye a Packers teammate, ninth-year NFL veteran fullback William Henderson, who will be providing analysis for the FOX Sports telecast (available to U.S. audiences on DirecTV).

Although Henderson hasn't yet seen Nall in person this spring, he said that game film tells the story.

"Craig is doing a pretty good job right now," Henderson said Thursday.

"It's fun to watch him because he's adopted so many of Brett Favre's techniques. And when you throw like Brett and act like Brett -- in terms of getting out of the pocket and throwing on the run -- it might not always be the most fundamental way to play quarterback, but it's fun to watch."

Earlier this week, Packers GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman also praised Nall's performance and noted the quarterback's improvement from the 2002 preseason.

"He's playing faster," Sherman assessed. "I think he's making pretty good decisions for the most part. He's had quite a few dropped balls on him, which hasn't helped his completion percentage."

As positive as the NFLE experience has been for Nall on the field, it's been just as good off of it.

In his limited free time Nall has squeezed in one round of golf, visited the monument of Sir William Wallace, and has plans next week to venture to Loch Ness.

Even the weather, notoriously unpredictable in Scotland, has been pleasant.

"People told me that I'll see four seasons in one day over here, but I think it's only rained three times since we've been here," Nall said.

And for a guy who spent game days last season holding a clipboard, nothing beats the feeling of competition.

"That's the best part," Nall said. "There's just a different attitude and intensity in the huddle in games than in practice.

"The guys on this team are battling really hard, fighting to win ... Pretty much everyone here is just starting his career or trying to find his place. A lot of times, that's where you find the most genuine people, when they have nothing to lose."

The Scotland-Berlin game kicks off Sunday at 9 a.m. CT, televised in the U.S. on DirecTV.

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