Louis Delmas is the REAL Defensive Rookie of the Year!
January 14, 2010
He came, he saw, he conquered!
Despite the recent Houston linebacker, Brian Cushing, almost unanimously running away the Defensive Rookie of the Year trophy with 39 votes, Detroit’s Louis Delmas deserved it more.
How did the voters on the panel repay him for his outstanding efforts? Zero votes! Nada…Zip. He didn’t even receive a consideration. Not even a nod or a pound.
The runner-up was Buffalo’s safety Jairus Byrd who was second with six votes. Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews received three votes and Washington linebacker Brian Orakpo got two votes.
Delmas also didn’t make the Pro-Bowl as an alternate. Even after becoming the first rookie in league history and second player ever to score on an interception return, fumble return and a safety in one season. He also registered 79 tackles (54 solo) and scored more defensive points than any rookie in the NFL in 2009. Yet still, his only individual accolade would come early in the season when he won September’s rookie defensive player of the month award.
What more did he have to do? Suit up on offense too and play the whole game? Him not even receiving just ONE vote is unfair.
Although the whole world knows that the Detroit Lions are nothing to brag about as they finished the season with another pathetic overall record, 2-14, Louis Delmas gave fans something to rave about. After being selected with the first pick of the second round by the Lions in the latest NFL Draft out of Western Michigan University (Go Broncos!!), Delmas hit players harder than a 80’s Tyson blow!
Like the time when he laid out the loud-mouthed Chad Ochocinco. Or the time he went helmet-to-helmet with the great Adrian Peterson. And I almost forgot about the tried to knock the lights out of the Green Bay Packers’ tight end Jermichael Finley on Turkey Day (which he was later fined for).
The dreaded up 5-11, 202 pound, Florida native let his presence be felt from day one. He didn’t even take it easy on teammates even in training camp as he sparked a light brawl after leveling running back Aveion Cason in a drill when he tried to step into his office (aka the goal line).
Bobby Boucher is what I like to call him…
His toughness and leadership drove him into frenzy this season. At times, I think his quest for winning and wanting to be the best at his position sometimes pushes him over the edge and sometimes paints him in a bad light. Like when Detroit News reporter, Tim Twentyman, described him after the 31-24 loss to Arizona.
Twentyman said: “Rookie safety Louis Delmas couldn’t hold back his following Detroit’s 31-24 loss to Arizona, the team’s 12th loss this season. Delmas tossed his chair aside and was visibly upset when reporters approached him in the locker room after the game. He asked reporters why they were coming over to talk to him after another (expletive) loss.
Veteran tackle Jon Jansen, whose locker is a few down from Delmas’, quickly came over and wrapped his arm around the rookie. Jansen whispered something in his ear, as did a Lions official who was nearby.
Delmas paused for a moment, turned to reporters, apologized, then granted an interview.”
But what fans don’t understand is that Delmas may be looking at the situation as ‘Hey, this losing is only weakening my chances for being considered the best.’ He wants to be placed in the same sentence as Troy Polamalu (Pittsburgh), Ed Reed (Baltimore), Brian Dawkins (Denver) and Bob Sanders (Indianapolis) and he has no problem saying it!
“I look at Polamalu and that’s where I get my hairstyle from. I look at Ed Reed for ballhawk purposes — he’s a beast out there. To be put in the same category, I’d be excited,” Delmas told the Detroit News after the Lions loss to the Cardinals. He had just returned an interception after gaining 101 yards for a touchdown.
Since his days as a Bronco, I have personally witnessed Delmas progress into this devastating athlete that he has become today. I can remember one game in particular in his sophomore year, my freshman year, in which the Broncos played the Eastern Michigan Eagles. Despite being down for almost the entire game, Delmas took over in the final quarter which propelled his team to a victory. He also recorded fourth interception and returned it for 28 yards in that game.
Since that game, I have been convinced that he would be a star. Never have I personally saw a safety dominate in the fashion that I have seen him dominate and to be able to do the same in professional football as he did in college is unreal.
At times, I think professional sports are too fixated on wins and losses when it comes to awarding individual accolades. When a player is on a winning team and has decent stats, than he is billed as “Mr. Everything” but the second that team starts to lose than they are placed in the same category as any average Joe.
While this is unfair, this is what I think happened to Louis Delmas this season. Playing on a losing team has rewarded him with losing results but in my opinion, No. 26 for the Detroit Lions is still the REAL Defensive Rookie of the Year!
*This column can also be viewed in the Western Herald on Thursday, January 14, 2010!