PackerReport.com will provide weekly updates of each of the Packers' progress during the spring league.
"The NFL Europe League is a great opportunity for our players, said Sean Howard, the Packers' assistant director of pro personnel. "The No. 1 benefit for young players is the chance to get quality reps on a football field in a game situation, something they may not get here, even in training camp. At the same time, it gives us as a staff an opportunity to really evaluate each player on film, in a game situation."
NFL Europe League clubs play a 10-game regular-season schedule beginning this weekend and concluding on Saturday, June 15. The top two teams in the standings will play for the league championship in World Bowl X, Saturday, June 22, in Dusseldorf, Germany.
One of the highlights of Kickoff Weekend is the first of several "Tribute to Heroes" events that will take place during the season to honor emergency services workers in the United States and Europe.
The Scottish Claymores will welcome former Claymore and ex-Packer Joe Andruzzi, and his three New York City firefighter brothers - Jimmy, Marc, and Billy - to their Week 1 game against F.C. Barcelona. The Andruzzi brothers were involved in the rescue operation at New York's World Trade Center following the September 11 terrorist attacks. Firefighters from Scotland's Strathclyde Fire Brigade will make a special presentation to the Andruzzi family.
Joe Andruzzi, a starter for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI, was an all-NFL Europe League selection with the Claymores in 1998 when he was with the Packers.
More than 3,000 Strathclyde firefighters, police officers and emergency service workers will also be on hand along with hundreds of members of the Scottish Armed Forces. A pregame tribute to America, entitled "United We Stand" will also take place.
The NFL Europe League enters 2002 after a noteworthy offseason, as the NFL entered into a historic partnership with F.C. Barcelona, one of Europe's leading soccer clubs.
In a three-year agreement, the NFL and F.C. Barcelona will work together to support each other's operations in Europe and the United States. The NFL will help to promote F.C. Barcelona in the United States, while the Spanish soccer giant will support the activities of the Barcelona Dragons and promote the NFL and NFL Europe League in Spain.
The first step in the association was the renaming of the Dragons as the "F.C. Barcelona Dragons." The team will open its 2002 home schedule in Week 2 at F.C. Barcelona's Mini Estadi, part of the club's renowned Nou Camp complex.
The Week 1 NFL Europe League schedule, including date, teams, U.S. Time & TV broadcasters:
Sat., April 13 Berlin at Frankfurt 1:00 p.m. (ET), FOX Sports Net Darrin Horton, Jamal Anderson
Sat., April 13 Rhein at Amsterdam 1:00 p.m. (ET), DIRECTV Dan Miller, Mark Carrier
Sun., April 14 F.C. Barcelona at Scotland 10:00 a.m. (ET), DIRECTV Nick Halling, Ray Roberts