It’s all about seizing the opportunity when it comes.
Coaches often adhere to the doctrine of “next man up,” and in the unpredictable world of professional football, chances can present themselves without a moment’s notice.
And for Kansas City Chiefs safety Jordan Lucas, that opportunity is here.
Lucas, a former sixth-round pick whom the Chiefs acquired from the Dolphins on Aug. 31, was thrust into action following injuries to fellow safeties Eric Murray and Armani Watts in last Sunday’s victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he certainly made the most of it.
After not playing a single defensive snap though his first four games with Kansas City, Lucas was on the field for 67 percent of the Chiefs’ defensive plays, tallying six tackles (4 solo) and a memorable interception.
The pick itself – a diving grab at the goal line – was impressive in its own right, but it was Lucas’ 49-yard return in which he weaved across the field and avoided would-be tacklers that made the play stick out.
“I just felt like a kid again. It’s like I was in the backyard or in the park – just running around like when I was growing up,” Lucas said of his long return. “It feels great because as a player, all you ever want is a chance, and when you get it, you don’t want to blow it. You want to make the most of each opportunity, and I hope I did that.”
Lucas definitely accomplished that last week, but with injuries abound in the secondary, his number will likely be called yet again in Sunday night’s bout with the New England Patriots.
It’s something that Lucas, though still relatively new to town, feels ready to take on.
“There’s a lot that you have to prepare and study for,” Lucas explained. “As a new guy coming in, I was behind the eight-ball compared to some of the other guys, but at the end of the day, it’s just football. It’s Xs and Os and when you’re out there on that field – once you’re confident enough in the scheme – you just have to let loose.”
And while still fresh to the defense, Lucas has earned his fair share of experience on the field in other ways. He’s been a top contributor on special teams ever since he arrived in Kansas City, demonstrating a certain intensity that’s caught the eye of his teammates.
“He has energy and gives great effort,” said fellow safety Ron Parker. “He pays attention to the details and what’s going on in the meeting room. He can just go out there, fly around and play football – that’s what gives me confidence in him when he’s out there – just knowing that he’ll be able to make plays and know what’s going on.”
Lucas will have his chance to demonstrate those qualities on Sunday night as the Chiefs aim to preserve their perfect record.
“I’m just looking forward to being out there with the guys,” Lucas said. “You never want to make one game bigger than another – it’s just another opportunity where we can go out and show what we can do.”