*Amsterdam Admirals wide receiver Chad Lucas will write a diary for Packers.com chronicling his NFL Europe experience from training camp to the end of the season. This week, Chad writes about the past month at NFL Europe training camp in Tampa, Fla.
Lucas in 2005
After spending much of the season on the practice squad, Lucas had a two-game stint on the 53-man roster, making his NFL debut at Atlanta (Nov. 13), and didn't catch a pass. Inactive for the following contest vs. Minnesota (Nov. 21), he returned to the practice squad later that week.*
I first found out that I would be going to NFL Europe in late December. Some of the Packers personnel guys told me that it would be a good experience for me and I would get more playing time and then come back and try to make the team next year. At first I was a little bit skeptical about traveling to Germany, but then I realized it would be a good experience because I'd probably never go to Germany otherwise. Plus, I'll get to play a lot more, so I think it will be a good experience for me.
I got a call from someone with NFL Europe, who told me I had been drafted by Amsterdam. We got down here the day before the Pro Bowl. My roommate is (fellow Packers receiver) Vince Butler, which is cool because we're able to help each other out learning plays and stuff like that. But when we go to Europe, I will have my own room. It's basically the first time in football that I'll have my own room and my own space to do what I like.
We have been practicing now for several weeks. A basic day stars with a 6:30 a.m. wakeup. We eat breakfast at 7:00 and we're on the field by 8:30 for the first practice, which ends at 10:30. We have a break between practices and then we're back to the second practice. After that, you get to rest a little bit. Then you're on to meetings for the rest of the night. We've had one day off since we've been here. On that day, we just relaxed and me and a couple teammates went out for a while, but really just wanted to catch up on sleep.
The biggest difference between the Packers and NFL Europe training camps is that here we only have 35 minutes between practices. They give us bananas and Gatorade and you try and stay in the shade as long as possible before heading back onto the field. My body had to get used to that.
We've played in four scrimmages, all against other teams. They try to limit the plays. They just want to get guys out there and see what they can do. The scrimmages are similar to Packers Family Night against Buffalo. We practice against the other team and then scrimmage against them at the end of the session. I have been playing well in the scrimmages. Now, I just want to keep improving at the same pace and take it to the next level.
Other than Vince, we also have a couple other Packers on the roster - Atari Bigby and Tory Humphrey. It's good because while we are competing with each other, we all have the same goal and that's to make the 2006 Packers roster.
I've learned that you have to perform consistently everyday. I knew that before, but I'm really realizing it because I'm playing a lot more and I'm more of a focus than I was in Green Bay. The expectations of me are higher.
We leave for Europe tomorrow. I am just getting things together before our team meeting tonight. We were told that the ketchup, hot sauce and barbeque sauce is a little different than in the U.S., but that's about it. It should be exciting.