Mark Nzeocha is keeping a German-language diary for the German fans following his progress in the NFL. For our non German-speaking readers, here's a translation of his first diary entry for Sport1.de:
I am Mark Nzeocha of the Dallas Cowboys. That sounds really nice and I have realized by now that my dream has become reality.
I am proud to be the fifth German to make it to the NFL and I'll use this SPORT1 diary to share my preseason impressions and progress with you. The ultimate goal is to get a spot on the 53-man roster, and I'll do everything I can to achieve that."
Two weeks of camp in California
"We've been here for about two weeks now and I'm enjoying every second of our camp here in California. We have a great atmosphere out here and I felt at home with the team from day one - which isn't too hard given that I was a Wyoming Cowboy before.
You realize immediately that you're now part of one of the biggest NFL teams. Everything is organized perfectly. We have an entire hotel to ourselves. Weight room, locker room, practice fields: everything was put together specifically for us.
I get along really well with the other rookies, but veteran players like Dez Bryant are also very cool. I can't imagine that this is the norm for all teams. Everybody is very helpful - and not just with football-specific stuff. There are some big stars here, but everybody is treated the same way and nobody acts like a star. They'll come up to you and greet you with a casual "Hey, what's up?"
The only problem I'm dealing with is that I still can't practice with the team and remain on the "Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.". As you know, I tore my ACL in October while playing for Wyoming. The knee feels excellent now, but I also trust the coaches and trainers. The Cowboys are looking after me, and when they say I'm ready, we'll get cracking.
I can feel that they have a plan for me and don't just want another body on the field as fast as possible. But once you're out there, you have to give it 100%, there won't be any excuses anymore."
A day at training camp starts at eight in the morning
"Even though I'm not practicing with the team, I can't complain about being bored. Our first meeting starts at eight in the morning and is a 30-minute special teams session. That's followed by 90 minutes of separate Offense/Defense meetings.
We go out onto the practice field for the first time at ten. These walkthroughs are where we go over the plays we discussed in the morning meetings. After lunch we usually have a break until three in the afternoon. Then the first real practice starts. Not practicing with the team, I mostly do strength and conditioning work, but also specific linebacker drills.
After dinner we have another session of meetings which usually last until ten in the evening. That's a pretty tough schedule, and I can tell you that I have no problems falling asleep at night.
I have been assigned the No. 53 jersey, which is super cool because it's a real linebacker number [Nzeocha had previously been assigned the 47]. One of my best friends, Alex Borgs, also wore that number in Wyoming, so that's a good fit for me.
I wasn't able to join the team on their trip to San Diego as I would have lost two days of conditioning and rehab. But I want to play in the last two preseason games in Dallas.
Until next time,
Mark Nzeocha working with an athletic trainer with his pads on pic.twitter.com/D80tybUPqP— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 15, 2015