Herbert "Whisper" Goodman
Tuesday, veterans reported to mini-camp in Green Bay, but Herbert "Whisper" Goodman was not among them. He wasn't in town, in state, or even in the country. Goodman is overseas, playing in NFL Europe where he is the starting running back of the Scottish Claymores.
The Claymores are 1-1 this season after thumping the Barcelona Dragons 45-17 in the season opener, and then falling to the Rhein Fire 13-10 in Week Two. Goodman has played a major role in both games, racking up 94 and 96 yards rushing, respectively. His 203 total yards rank him third in NFLE.
Although busy preparing to face the Frankfurt Galaxy this weekend, Whisper took time out of his schedule to call Packers.com and provide an inside look at the NFLE experience:
Goodman: "So far, so good. I'm getting an opportunity to start and carry the football on a regular basis and that's something that I haven't done for two years. It takes some getting used to, but all of this has been an adjustment.
"The NFLE is a little different than the NFL. The competition is as good as I expected, but of course it doesn't quite compare to the NFL.
"We're 1-1 right now, but we've got a good team and we should be 2-0. We're strong on both sides of the ball and the offense and defense respect each other a lot. It's a passing league and we've got a good passing game. That's great for me, because if they have to stop the pass it just gives me more room to run.
"So far I'm running pretty well and using my blockers. Other than fumbling, it's been a solid performance. The highlight has been being able to start every day and showing my team here and the Packers at home what I can do.
"There are a few guys on the team that I know from the Packers -- Hurley Tarver, of course, Robert Arnaud, London Dunlap, to name a few. Everyone gets along here. There are a lot of jokesters on the team and that's good to have.
"I had to breakdown my nickname for people who didn't know me. They asked me why I was so quiet and I told them about how my college coach called me 'Whisper' because I'm so soft-spoken. They said it suits me.
"The Claymores fans are pretty similar to Green Bay fans, they're really loyal and supportive. When you get drafted you get a fan club, kind of like a host family. I have a nice fan club of four people who have been very friendly to me.
"The actual stadium we play in is pretty good, but practicing is a different story. In Green Bay we do most of our practices indoors at the Hutson Center. Here we practice outside and we practice in the morning so it's pretty cold and wet. I'm not a weatherman so I don't know what the temperature is, but nine times out of 10 it's cold rather than hot.
"The weight room is small, but there's enough equipment to get the job done, bench press, leg press, you can get your workout in.
"Mondays are our off-days and I've tried to get out in the community. One week, Tony Ortiz and I coached some kids in a flag-football game. Last Monday I went to a school and talked about football.
"They're definitely still learning about the sport. Over here 'football' is soccer and the closest thing they have to football is rugby. The teachers had to pass out little information booklets to give the kids some of the basics.
"I tried to explain that in rugby you pass the ball backward, in football you can pass the ball forward or hand-off. The kids had a lot of questions. They asked what a penalty was and how many points a touchdown is worth.
"I asked them how many of them had heard of Brett Favre or the Green Bay Packers. I think maybe six people raised their hands and that included some teachers. It was fun though, they were an inquisitive group.
"I'd never been to Europe before so this is all new to me. Everyone here takes taxis and trains and they drive on the wrong side of the street. I'm kind of used to it by now, but there are times when you're riding on the bus and it turns into the 'wrong' lane and you kind of have a panic reaction at first.
"The thing that happens most though is that I go to get in someone's car and I walk up to the right side, which is the driver's side here. They always laugh and ask me if I'm driving.
"We haven't had too many chances to go on any trips, but we did go see a castle that's in the movie Braveheart. That was impressive to see in person. It's incredible how people used to live.
"Our hotel is in Glasgow and it's nice. They feed us well, too. Monday though, we're on our own. I haven't really had any European food, but I did go to this pretty elegant Chinese restaurant.
"I had sweet and sour chicken. I also had something that I thought was chicken, but when I was finished eating it they told me it was duck. It was the first time I'd ever had that and it was pretty good. Most of the time when I'm hungry at night I just go get pizza.
"That's one of the hardest things about being away from home. Most of all I miss my family, but I do miss the food there. You can't get a salad over here, their dressings are all different.
"I'm happy to be here though. I'd rather be here today than be taking a physical in Green Bay. I don't miss that at all.
"Besides, the experience here is two-times the experience of mini-camp. I'm eager to let Green Bay see what I can do and I can show them a lot more by playing here than I could show them at mini-camp.
"Right now I just have to take it one week at a time and keep playing hard and making the most of this opportunity."