The Amsterdam Admirals' Chad Lucas was named to the all-NFL Europe first team earlier in the week, and his explosive receiving skills will be on display during Saturday's World Bowl championship game (11 a.m. CDT, NFL Network) against the Frankfurt Galaxy.
Lucas is one of five Packers players on the championship teams' rosters. Three play with Lucas for Amsterdam: fellow receiver Vince Butler, tight end Tory Humphrey and safety Atari Bigby, and the other is Frankfurt defensive tackle Jerome Nichols.
To be sure, chances are none of these guys are going to become perennial Pro Bowlers in the NFL or be the next Kurt Warner — NFL Europe's leading passer while playing for Amsterdam in 1998 — but that's not to say they can't provide a little help to a team that's trying to bounce back from a dreary 4-12 campaign.
Leading that list is Lucas, who led NFL Europe with eight touchdowns in the 10-game season. Half of that total came in one game, a 38-31 victory over Berlin in which he caught six passes for 120 yards.
Granted, Lucas posted his numbers playing against NFL Europe talent. At the same time, he posted his numbers playing with NFL Europe talent.
At 6-foot-1 and 201 pounds, Lucas has the type of size coach Mike McCarthy desires for his version of the West Coast offense. And now he's got some experience under his belt. He spent last season on the Packers' practice squad, but practice as just a guy is one thing, starting 11 games and practicing as the guy is another.
"I've been more consistent now than I probably ever had been in my career. I'm proud of that and I want to keep that up for the reminder of this season," Lucas told Packers.com last month. "If I can keep it up, I don't know what might happen. I just want to continue to what I'm doing and then carry it over to Green Bay. That's a big part of what this league is about — coming over here and gaining confidence. Hopefully, I'll take the confidence I've gained and be able to bring it back with me."
Will that size, experience and confidence translate to the NFL? Who knows, but with a Packers receiving corps that consists of three underwhelming veterans, two rookie draft picks and a few other youngsters trying to play second fiddle to maestro Donald Driver, Lucas at least has a shot of breaking into the top four-receiver rotation.
Another player who could help the offense is Humphrey, a 6-2, 257-pounder with good hands. He caught 19 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown. Those numbers might not sound like much, but Amsterdam had both of the all-league wide receivers, so there's only so many balls to go around.
Packers offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski has said he intends to incorporate the tight end more into the offense, and with backup David Martin likely to get injured the next time he rolls out of bed, the Packers could use some depth.
Like Humphrey, Bigby spent last season on the practice squad before being activated for one regular-season game. He led the Admirals with 61 tackles and had one interception. Bigby is an inch taller and nearly 20 pounds heavier than Marviel Underwood, who the Packers drafted in the fourth round in 2005. They could battle for the final roster spot at safety, with the winner being the better special-teams player.
Nichols is the other Packers player voted to the all-NFL Europe team. He posted a league-high six sacks, though you have to think that kind of production couldn't possibly carry over to the NFL, where he'll face infinitely better offensive linemen. Still, the Packers need all the pass-rush help they can get, and the 6-3, 303-pound defensive tackle is an intriguing prospect.
Former Packers Marco Rivera and Bill Schroeder are NFL Europe alums, as are Warner, Marcus Robinson, Dante Hall and Jake Delhomme. Maybe Lucas or Nichols will be added to those esteemed lists. If nothing else, if the NFL Europe players can push a veteran or provide special-teams help, then that would just be out of this world.
Lawrence is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.