Lions' Delmas relishes being back on the field
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP)
Louis Delmas messed up an assignment in practice Monday morning.
The Lions safety didn't mind a bit, as long as he was able to stay on the field.
Delmas got a rare opportunity to get some work in as he continues to recover from a knee injury, and he was enjoying every minute.
''I made a mistake, because I was so excited to be out there,'' he said. ''I went up to the coach and told him that I had screwed up, because I was just excited to be on the field.''
Delmas isn't new at this game, having dealt with knee injuries for years, but the frustration of not having practiced since Aug. 8 was starting to wear on him.
''I love playing football,'' he said. ''I want to be on the field every day. I know that isn't always the best idea, but that's what I want to do. By today I was ready to try to sneak out there with my pads on, but they decided to let me practice.''
He didn't make it through the entire two-hour session - he spent the final hour with ice on his knee, but he was encouraged enough to set his next goal.
They both know that with the limited time Delmas has spent on the field thus far, they haven't built the chemistry needed to work together smoothly in the regular season.
That's not the only reason Delmas wants to be out there, though.
He wants to play because he knows that coach Jim Schwartz isn't likely to play any banged-up player in the fourth week of the preseason.
''I don't think there's any athlete who can go right into the season and be at 100 percent without playing any exhibition games,'' he said. ''You need that work at game speed to be ready.''
Delmas was reminded by reporters that he had done just that a season ago, playing well in the opener after missing all four exhibition games.
''Yeah, I did that last year, but I know that was mostly luck,'' he said. ''I don't want to try that again.''
Schwartz, though, doesn't agree.
He's said that he doesn't think it is crucial for Delmas to get on the field in the preseason, and he tends to err on the side of caution when it comes to preseason games.
The coach knew that Delmas was back on the field on Monday.
''You hear him the whole time,'' Schwartz said. ''It doesn't matter if we are stretching or doing drills. You don't even have to be on the same part of the field. You always hear him.''
So Delmas knows he's going to have to talk Schwartz and the defensive coaches to let him get onto the field. He'll be trying a little harder because of the opponent.
''You always want to play against Tom Brady,'' he said. ''He's like God on the football field, so you never want to miss a chance to face him.''
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org