Delmas makes his presence felt against the Patriots
Detroit -- The Lions would love it if safety Louis Delmas could play every defensive snap and practice every day but he can't.
The Lions can live with that as long as Delmas is able to play like he did Thursday night in a 40-9 preseason win over the New England Patriots.
In just two series, Delmas had a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery.
"Delmas played really well," coach Jim Schwartz said. "He gives us a spark whenever he’s in. He was feeling good pregame and we needed to test that out."
The Lions have been extra careful with Delmas in order to protect his surgically repaired left knee. Delmas played in only eight games last season and 11 the season before that.
Delmas rarely practices and did not play in the first two preseason games.
But he was thrilled to be out there against the Patriots.
"Great is an understatement to how it really felt," Delmas said. "It just feels good. It was a breath of fresh air to physically be out there with my teammates. Each and every day they practice and prepare for the game mentally and physically.
"I am not always out there physically but I am always out there mentally. To finally get out there physically with my teammates, it feels great."
Delmas said he was curious to see how his knee would feel in real game action as opposed to practice.
"I haven't had contact since the last game off the season last year and I definitely wanted to get out there and bang it around a little bit to see how it would hold up," Delmas said. "To be honest with you, it feels great. So I'm very happy."
Wide receiver Nate Burleson marvels at Delmas' ability to perform when he doesn't get much practice time.
"He's a football player," Burleson said. "There's certain guys that don't have to practice. I'm not one of those guys, I have to go practice my route. I have to go run and work on my craft. Delmas, he can go relax, chill, and come out and play at a very high level. It's just good to see him healthy. The good thing is he's not even 100 percent so I can't wait for him to get back full steam. He's gonna be a real big part of what we do on defense this year."
Some people have been concerned that without getting into games and practicing regularly, Delmas wouldn't be able to create the chemistry needed in the secondary, especially with new fellow safety Glover Quin.
Quin, however, was not concerned at all.
"I told you guys that when you play, you just go out and play the game, it doesn't take a lot to play with each other because you're just playing the game," Quin said. "So we came out and we were able to make some plays early. It was a good thing."
When Delmas came out of the game, he remained enthusiastic on the sidelines.
"I definitely think the younger guys look up to me and I know that once you get your first couple of snaps out there, it can be kind of shaky," Delmas said. "I just wanted to do my best to try to encourage the younger guys to get out there and just treat it like practice."
The Lions have all said they're a better defense when Delmas is playing. Delmas agrees with that.
"Anything I do or anything I'm a part of, I definitely feel that we have a better chance of having a positive outcome," Delmas said. "Am I taking all the credit? Definitely not. Credit definitely goes to the coaches who put me in the right positions to make plays and my teammates doing their jobs so I can make my plays.
"Do I feel that I'm out there and we have a bright future in succeeding to win? Yes."