Lucas getting opportunity at quarterback

With Jay Fiedler sitting out the first few days of training camp because of his recent hip surgery, Ray Lucas is getting most of the repetitions at quarterback. It's a chance for Lucas to show what he can do with the first unit and to reinforce the Dolphins' confidence in him as a backup.

Lucas is well aware of the opportunity he has been presented, and has every intention of capitalizing on it.

"I've got to open people's eyes and show people why they brought me in here, to show that they didn't make a mistake in bringing me here," Lucas said. "God forbid, if Jay ever goes down, the guys here won't think, (oh no) Jay's down. They'll be like, we've got another guy to come in and get the job done.

"It's not like I'm competing against Jay. I know what my role is, it's just a good opportunity for me to get reps with the (number) ones that I wouldn't have gotten if Jay was healhty."

Fiedler was healthy throughout last season and, as a result, Lucas saw almost no action outside of a couple of third-down situations where he was brought in to give the defense a different look.

Coach Dave Wannstedt has said the team's isn't likely to employ Lucas as a third-and-short quarterback this season, but there's no telling when or if they'll need Lucas to come in Fiedler in case of an injury.

Which is why Wannstedt also recognizes the importance of Lucas getting extra work early in training camp.

"This is great work for Ray," Wannstedt sd. "Selfishly, it's good for us. How many times do yo go through the whole season where your backup doesn't have to play. If he can gain the confidence within himself and the confidence among the players, I think that's all good."

Blessed with great athletic ability and a strong arm, Lucas already has shown during his NFL career he can be effective. Remember that the Jets hardly skipped a beat when Lucas replaced an injured Vinny Testaverde a couple of years ago.

But showing again what you can never hurt anyone.

"It's unfortunate how I got to be out there, but opportunity doesn't come along very often and I've got to go out there and make the best of it.

"I've got to open somebody's eyes. What did I get last year, eight plays? I've got to make sure they know why they kept me and make them want to keep me a little bit longer."

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