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August 04, 2008

Lucas Q&A: "A blessing in disguise"

Cornerback Ken Lucas took questions from reporters today about the broken nose he suffered from a punch by teammate Steve Smith last Friday. Lucas had a bruise under his left eye and said he'd need surgery, but didn't provide details on the operation. He said he expected to be back in practice in two or three weeks.

Here's a transcript of the highlights of Lucas' interview:

Q: How are you?

A: "I feel pretty good today. It's just good to be back out here with my teammates. I'm just trying to get prepared for this season coming up. Everybody is positive right now and that's a good thing."

Q: When will you be able to return to practice?

A: "Probably in two or three weeks, depending on the surgery. We're still waiting on the doctors to tell us the timetable on when I'll have the procedure done."

Q: What do you think about what happened:

"I feel like what happened was a blessing in disguise. It's something that has brought this team closer together. You all may say I'm crazy for saying that. But I really think it's bigger than me and Steve.

"Me and Steve have talked, man to man and one on one. We still have some more talking to do as far as the descrepencies of what we feel like are the issues between us. But we're going to handle it as men.

"As far as this incident holding the team back, I don't think it's going to do so. I think it's only going to make us better and bring us closer as a team (as we) work toward the ultimate goal of winning this tropy this year.

Q: Tell us about your conversation with him.

A: "That's between me and Steve. There are a lot of things that have been brewing for four years now. I can't possibly tell you what the issues are in this one conversation (about) what has happened in four years.

"Sometimes when emotions get involved, you do stupid things, and unfortunately that's what  humans do.

"For me, to be a Christian, I have a forgiving heart and I'm willing to move forward to help this team win this year."

Q: Has he apologized?

A: "Oh absolutely. I think that was a big step for this team to be able to accomplish the goals we want to accomplish. I felt like if I didn't forgive him, it would divide this team up and we could pretty much throw this season away. I'm a competitor and I hate losing. I felt like I had to do that in order to give this team an opportunity to perform at a high level and perform as a team this year.

"I have to admit it's tough as a human. But it's bigger than me and Steve, like I said. Where I get the courage and the grace to do so, I know it doesn't come from me. It comes from God. So I just give all the glory to God for how I'm handling the situation right now.

Q: Could you talk about your teammates greeting you Saturday at the stadium and what that meant to you?

A: "When I came over to the stadium, I wasn't coming over there to get a warm welcome. I was just coming over there to be a part of the team and not separate myself from the team. But, lo and behold, it was very overwhelming for how they responded to me. It felt pretty good.

"Sometimes you can view things as a gift or a curse. I look at this as a gift. We have the team, what it takes to win the Super Bowl this year. This is something I only thing will bring us closer.

"For those guys to come and hug me and say, `Man, we're glad to see you over here,' that felt so good to me. Sometimes it takes adversity to really know how much you're appreciated or how much people really care about you.

"If I could take it back, I wouldn't. It's a learning process. Trials and tribulations only make you stronger as a man, for me and Steve. I'm sure he regrets the actions he took, but I would be less of a man if I didn't forgive him. I go to Bible study, just like he does, every week. For me not to be able to forgive him, then I'd just be wasting my time going to Bible study. I just think it's bigger than us.

"I have forgiven him. I have moved forward. I have shook his hand and looked him eye-to-eye today. We have discussed some things. We still have some more discussions, some more things to talk about as far as what can we do to go out there and co-exist on the same field, the same team and be productive and help this team win this year.

"Only two men can do that, and think we have what it takes for us to do so."

Q: Why do you think this has been brewing between the two of you for four years?

A: "Because he's an ultra-competitor and I'm a ultra-competitor, and we both hate losing. He expects to catch every ball and I expect to defend every ball. When you have those two types of individuals, then something has to give. Sometimes when it's 100 degrees out there, you're sweaty, you're tired, you're frustrated, sometimes emotions get involved.

"If he could do it, and if he'd had a calmer head, I'm sure he would have made better decisions. I don't fault him for that.

"There are times when maybe I want to hit somebody, but I control myself. I tell some of my other teammates, `You have to keep your composure.' Typically, people do crazy things they regret when they're emotional, and I think he just got too emotional at the time, and that's it."

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on August 4, 2008 at 01:25 PM | Permalink

Comments

Great to hear the Lucas is handling this situation with grace and maturity. I'm very impressed with him after reading this interview.

Posted by: jk | Aug 4, 2008 1:35:42 PM

Lucas really impressed me here, as Smitty did with his statement, this will be a positive for this team.

Posted by: matt | Aug 4, 2008 1:38:41 PM

In the words of that dumbazz fantasy football commercial....can ya'll say "CHAMPIONSHIP"!!!!

Posted by: chris | Aug 4, 2008 1:43:18 PM

I gain alot of respect for Lucas and i was glad that he forgiven Steve for what happen i truely believe this team had just gain something that as missing since the 2003 squad a team that is close like a family.

Posted by: Telling It Like It Is | Aug 4, 2008 1:44:57 PM

Ken Lucas for President!!! Mabye he can put an end to the war on terror! Seriously though, this guy just became my new hero.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Aug 4, 2008 1:45:31 PM

Same here, Lucas is handling it well for his sake, the team and Steve. Smith was no doubt in the wrong, I think he's handled as well as possible. Hopefully the lessons learned for Smith will stick and we can all move on.

Posted by: Dean | Aug 4, 2008 1:46:11 PM

Let me just add that there is a greater responsibility for these players than just winning football games. Obviously, Ken Lucas is with that program. Is Steve Smith??

Posted by: SYRPIS | Aug 4, 2008 1:50:34 PM

I think Steve Smith most certainlyl is.

Posted by: Matt | Aug 4, 2008 1:55:38 PM

Syrpis,

Concerning your comments on the other post:
Must we sink to name calling? How do you feel I am "All too Common"?
Am I to believe that you have never made a mistake that you are greatly sorry for? Have you never done something that made you ashamed of yourself. Have you never repeated a mistake in the spur of the moment, even though you knew better?
Why does he have to be a thug punk?
I'm sure he would describe himself as having been such, at one time, but he says he wants to move on.
Even with all the good he's done, will you never allow him to be more than what he was. He seems to want to be a good man. He has taken steps toward that, although he has recently fallen. He now says he is ready to get up and continue on that journey. Are you willing to support and help him? Or do you think he should just stay in the mud where he placed himself?

If I remember correctly, you posted as to be a Christian. If that's correct, how many times are you prepared to forgive your fellow man?

Posted by: rawjem | Aug 4, 2008 2:01:59 PM

I think this is definitely going in the right direction. SYRPIS, stop trying to crucify Steve Smith will you? The man was wrong, he admitted that and gave an apology. Just let him at least TRY and gain that respect back before you go bashing some more.

Posted by: Henry | Aug 4, 2008 2:02:56 PM

"Sometimes you can view things as a gift or a curse. I look at this as a gift. We have the team, what it takes to win the Super Bowl this year. This is something I only thing will bring us closer.


Don't you mean "think" not "thing"?

Posted by: Yeah? | Aug 4, 2008 2:06:43 PM

Wow, it kind of sounds like Steve beat the nice into him. Sometimes the only way to move forward is to just to get it all out. It seems like they both are taking this as an oppurtunity to learn and to better themselves as people. If you look for the good in bad situations, this is an example of where to find it.

Posted by: Robby | Aug 4, 2008 2:07:54 PM

If Ken Lucas and the other teammates have forgiven Smith, then why do all of you backseat drivers still hold a grudge?

Posted by: matt | Aug 4, 2008 2:08:02 PM

Rawjem, I see you for who you are and what you are saying... no explanation was needed. That is why I called you common. Yes I am a Christian, just like you, Smith and Lucas. I don't see you calling Smith a hypocrite though. Is that because you are on his bandwagon yourelf? And yes, I'm calling you a Christian. Deal with it.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Aug 4, 2008 2:13:20 PM

Very interesting series of comments from Lucas. It was always blown off as a non-big deal, but Smitty and Lucas were jawing from day one. May supposedly be "all in good fun" and "in the spirit of their competitive natures," but that kind of dislike brews and builds. Yes, one would hope it wouldn't come to this point to reach a resolution, but if there is one, that IS a positive to come out of a VERY negative situation.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Aug 4, 2008 2:17:40 PM

Let me repeat a sentiment you are grossly overlooking... there is a greater responsiblity here than just "moving forward" and winning games. If Smith can get past his ego, he will hit all media outlets whith a SINCERE and CANDID apology. He lost $400,000 to games suspensions, and that should be emphasized publicly. He should double that amount on his own accord and donate women's shelters or something of a similar nature.

Most importantly, he should continue counseling. Now it's sucker punching teammates. When his body no longer let's him be in the limelight, what will his mood swings do for him then? Will he be suckerpunching his wife and children, or worse?

He has the opportunity to serve a greater purpose than trying to make himself a legend here. If he's half as decent as Lucas (or even less decent than what rawjem has proclaimed himself to be) than he will do something other than read off a script. It is that simple.
No judgements about him going to Hell here... just stating the facts.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Aug 4, 2008 2:20:59 PM

Wow.

All I can say is Ken Lucas is the kind of guy I want introduce my kids to. With his comments today, he shows what it means to be a man. Well done Ken. I tip my hat.

Posted by: Ben | Aug 4, 2008 2:22:05 PM

The problem is everybody gets to see these athletes go to work and form their own opinions based on their actions. Steve is totally & completely wrong for his actions. However if the man apologizes and stands up for it then people need to let the story die. How do all these people who have turned on the man at a low point in his life act on thier jobs? The man is not perfect and has a serious issue to deal with but he is still a human being. Often times athletes & celebrities make excuses for this or that, at least he accepted the blame for it. If God cut us off as quickly as people do for our mistakes then the whole world would be lost. Steve Smith should be remembered for all the good he has done and not for the moments of wrong. His story should be used to teach character instead celebrating his mistake.

Posted by: CEREBRUM | Aug 4, 2008 2:34:16 PM

Ok, I respect Lucas for forgiving Smith and moving forward for the good of the team to put this incident behind them all....but I am wondering if Lucas ever apologized to Smith as well.

Ever since the fight happened, all you have heard from the media is how this was completely all Smith's fault while members of the staff told a different story that Friday night at training camp. According to more than one of them Lucas went too far, and according to at least one "Lucas got what was coming to him" (which I think was a STUPID thing to say - no one can ever say anything to you that would give you the right to touch/hit them).

Lucas just sounds WAY too much like an innocent choir-boy who was the victim of an un-provoked drive-by in this Q-&-A for me....but hey, as long as they are making progress and doing whatever it takes to get themselves and the team past this and focused as a team on winning games, who cares what the heck I think!

Good on Lucas, though, for his tremendous faith in action and ability to move on! For that, I am impressed as well.

Posted by: Easy | Aug 4, 2008 2:36:19 PM

Syrpis
Thanks for letting me know the Christian in me shines through.
I may be sluggish today but I'm not following your comments. Smith has been doing a lot in the community over the last few years. I'm sure he will continue to do so. If he said 1 thing and did another, yes, he'd be a hypocrit in my eyes. If he makes a mistake, admits it, and vows to do better, that makes him a man.
On another note: Lucas' words show him to be a man of a high caliber. May God bless him and all involved in this mess.

GO PANTHERS!!!!!

Posted by: rawjem | Aug 4, 2008 2:42:20 PM

I don't think these two will be inviting each other over to dinner. As Lucas said, both are ultra-competitive. But I really have a new respect for both men after reading how they've handled the post-fight situation: Smith, by reaching out to everyone and acknowledging a terrible lack of control of his emotions, and Lucas, by being as forgiving as he is. Incredible. This could have divided the team, but I don't detect that. The way these two have responded afterwards will make this team even more unified. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Posted by: bosotomos | Aug 4, 2008 2:46:16 PM

By the way,

Just wanted to thank Sypis, Procton, matt and a few others for getting me through the off season. All though you guys catch alot of flack, you kept things interesting during the deadest time of year. I'm serious, thanks!!!!

Posted by: rawjem | Aug 4, 2008 2:54:09 PM

I am very impressed with the way both of them have handled this. I knew things had been brewing for awhile and things had been said. It was only a matter of time. Combine it all with the SC heat and the intesity of their practice and it just got to be too much. They are both human and do not claim to be perfect. They have both chosen to take the highroad now and I commend them both.

That being said, as much as I hate it, this should be Steve's last 'chance'. We do not want to be known as a team of thugs.

Posted by: Curious1 | Aug 4, 2008 3:06:24 PM

SYRPIS,

Your comment on Smith giving his money to charities is ridiculous. He is already involved in many charities and who are you to tell someone what to do with their money? Do you give 50% of what you make to charities? No, didn't think so, but you are asking Smith to.

I know they are opinion, but you do come off as 'holier than thou' sometimes.

Posted by: Mine | Aug 4, 2008 3:07:38 PM

i may be totally off base here, but does it not take two to tango. I feel as Lucas had some part in the incident and while he has publicly forgiven steve and publicly criticized him for his temper, should he not be looking at himself and assessing the dynamics of his attitude? I know steve did not just go off and slug him one for nothing. While i feel bad for the guy, he shouldn't be a glorified hero, because whatever was said I am sure I would not have wanted my kids to hear.

Posted by: thomas | Aug 4, 2008 3:11:09 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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