Eagles

Eagles

Dick Lucas, a starting end on the Eagles’ 1960 NFL Championship team, died Wednesday.

He was 86.

The Eagles announced in a story on their web site that Lucas died from complications of COVID-19.

Lucas is the third member of the 1960 Eagles to die in the past month. Timmy Brown and Pete Retzlaff, who are both in the Eagles Hall of Fame, died last month. Additionally, Tom Dempsey, who spent four years with the Eagles in the early 1970s, also died last month.

That 1960 Eagles team stunned Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr and the Packers 17-13 in the 1960 NFL Championship Game at Franklin Field to win the franchise’s last championship until Super Bowl LII two years ago.

After the game, Lucas talked about the win with the Boston Globe:

We never worried about the Green Bay passing attack, even if Paul Hornung could go all the way. So the defense was set to contain the running attack and that job was accomplished. We heard how Green Bay had the better line, but we never believed it. In other words, we believed in ourselves as a squad and it paid off. The two reasons for that confidence were (Norm) Van Brocklin on offense and (Chuck) Bednarik on defense. Both are wonders. The Dutchman, Van Brocklin, gives you the feeling everything can work out successfully. If he says it’s so, then it must be so. And the players all work the harder to make him a real prophet.

Lucas was a native of Boston and played at Boston College but settled in the Philadelphia area after football. He married the former Barbara Dunn of West Chester and settled there following his football career, working as a merchandising and sales promotions manager for Merit Oil Company until he retired.

 

According to the Eagles, Lucas was an Eagles season ticket holder and for years tail-gated before home games in the parking lot out of a rented RV. He also served as president of the Philadelphia Eagles Alumni Association and made numerous charity appearances on behalf of the Eagles.  

Lucas was originally selected in the 10th round of the 1956 draft by the Bears but spent two years with the Marines before making his NFL debut in 1958, when he played four games for the Steelers.

He spent 1960 through 1963 with the Eagles, playing in 38 games and catching 34 passes for 384 yards and six touchdowns. 

In 1961, He caught eight passes but five of them were touchdowns. That’s the most TDs in NFL history by a player with eight or fewer receptions. His five TDs were tied for second-most in the NFL in 1961 by ends, who weren’t yet called tight ends.

His final touchdown of the season was the 32nd TD pass of the 1961 season by Sonny Jurgensen. That stood as a franchise record until 2017, when Carson Wentz threw 33.

The Eagles honored Lucas during the 2017 playoff win over the Falcons.

Lucas is survived by Barbara, his wife of 59 years, along with two daughters, Dr. Karen Lucas and Andrea Lucas and a son, Brian Lucas, as well as four grandchildren.

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