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Porter wins in Europa debut

Editor's Note: Texans quarterback Quinton Porter is spending his offseason playing in NFL Europa for the Cologne Centurions. He will be checking in periodically with a player diary about his expieriences.

We won our first game in Hamburg and victory is always sweet. There are certainly a lot of areas we need to work on offensively. We are still getting used to being on the field together and getting to know how each of us reacts to certain situations throughout a game. Much of that will have to be cleaned up throughout the season if we are going to be World Bowl contenders. In all though, it is apparent to me that we have a very competitive group of guys who know how to win.

It was a bit different for me to be sharing time at quarterback, as is mandated by the league, but it was certainly not an overly negative experience. Eric Meyer played well and we both had opportunities to contribute to our winning effort. I think that it is a benefit for the team to know that we have two quarterbacks who can lead and have success. Later in the season I'm sure there will be times when I'm not playing well and he will pick up the slack and visa versa.

I'm sure many people are wondering what the atmosphere was like over here on game day. In a word: different. It was not unlike what you see on in the states when they broadcast soccer matches.The 20 to 25,000 fans in the stadium (one third of what Reliant frequently brings in) sounded more like 60,000. Fans are allowed to bring foghorns, whistles, kazoos, pretty much anything that makes noise to the games, and they take advantage.

{QUOTE}The headsets in our helmets were not working well, which added to the confusion on the field and no doubt played a large part in the two delay of game penalties we had. Fans are also allowed to smoke cigarettes which replaced the smell of popcorn I am accustomed to back home. In general the fans in Germany seem to take pride in their fanaticism and express it without pause throughout the game, different from the typical four-person suburban family out for a nice afternoon at a Boston College football game who sing all the words to "Build Me Up Buttercup" perfectly when the band strikes it up. The fans here are fun to play for, and better to win for.

Our first game was interesting to say the least, and was a great win for this team. Initial wins are always a great service to the rest of the season. However, like most football games, some guys got banged up and are nursing various physical issues. Mental focus will also be crucial as teams can often fall into comfort zone traps after wins that lead to underperformance. With at least nine more games left, the season is very young and it seems as though longevity will be the deciding factor at the end.

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