Packers’ Lucas making waves overseas

By Os Davis  |   Monday, April 10, 2006  |  Comments( 0 )

Green Bay Packers
Got something to say?

Sign Up and be the first to comment on this article!

While football season is sadly months away and gridiron junkies must slog through spring until training camps open, waves (okay, ripples) of optimism are currently in the making. In one obscure corner of the football world, a Green Bay unknown is playing the best football of his life. The best wide receiver in football today? Well, while the likes of Hines Ward, Deion Branch and Sharpie spokesman Terrell Owens enjoy a little baseball in easy chairs across America, moving up the depth charts with a bullet in Amsterdam is Chad Lucas.

Lucas has essentially been a journeyman since his senior year at Alabama State University ended in 2004. For a brief while, the undrafted Lucas was signed by the Tennessee Titans, but was released on July 21 before given anything resembling a serious workout by the team. Lucas moved on to play some summer ball for the San Jose Sabercats of the Arena Football League before the Pack gave him a shot in 2005; he played in a total of one game and never caught a pass. Green Bay then shunted him off to NFL Europe, where the Amsterdam Admirals selected him in the eighteenth round of the Allocated Player Draft.

The seemingly extremely underrated Lucas, meanwhile, has merely let the lack of respect slide off to play at such a torrid pace that the big boys can't help but to take notice.

Last weekend, Lucas followed up his two-touchdown performance of the previous game to bag no fewer than four touchdowns; the Lucas show set the NFLEL record for TD receptions in a game. The receiver finished with six catches on the day for 120 yards, including what would be the margin of victory in the Admirals' 38-31 win over the Berlin Thunder with a 50-yard on-the-run pass from Matt Hasselbeck backup Gibran Hamdan. Lucas' 24-point barrage pumped up his reputation as a clutch player: He now leads the league in scoring while recording only eleven receptions in four games.

Hamdan, now the league's passing leader and surely the front-runner for NFLEL MVP, demonstrated to just how much he'll owe Lucas a piece of the prize. On the Admirals' first drive, Hamdan found Lucas in the end zone for a short ten-yarder with a play similar to the four-yard TD the battery connected on in Week Three. Toward the end of the second half, the Hamdan-Lucas connection scored from nineteen out, while Lucas' surprising midfield sprint showed enviable speed.

This sort of playcalling, together with routes designed for Hamdan's Seattle Seahawks teammate Skyler Fulton, has earned Amsterdam a reputation for the capability of breaking games wide open via the passing game.

In what must be one of the great gigs of the sporting world -- visiting beautiful European (all right, German mostly) cities while far removed from heavy media scrutiny and collecting beer money for playing the American game Lucas has shown a heretofore undiscovered head for the game together with a burning desire to prove the doubters wrong.

Yes, training camp currently exists in the future tense only. Yes, playing NFL Europe ball produces many a small fish in a big pond. Green Bay Packers backers (not to mention the opposition) would be well advised to keep an eye on Lucas, however. This guy may be ready to make his big splash in 2006 back home, and he'll be able to tell the amazed that he'd been there all along, waiting for his shot.

And today, it says here, Chad Lucas is the top receiver in the game. Period.
Got something to say?

Sign Up and be the first to comment on this article! (0)

About Os Davis

Os Davis has taken a twisted route to get to in his nearly 17 years in professional writing, working in any number of capacities in the sportswriting, news reporting and film criticism worlds. In print media, Os has served as editor at a few publications, including Albuquerque's...
Article Tools Share!   |  RSS  |  Bleacher Report About Bleacher Report