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Safety Louis Delmas is a hometown South Florida kid living out a dream. In his sixth NFL season and first with the Dolphins, Delmas brings enthusiasm and passion to everything he does. Even Coach Joe Philbin pointed out, “it took him about three minutes to get comfortable in the building.”
But it wasn’t an exuberant personality that brought Delmas back to South Florida where he attended North Miami Beach High School. It was the way he hits, the way he plays safety, the way he usually finds himself in the middle of the action. Big plays? That’s his calling card. That’s what drives him. But injuries have slowed him. That’s why this is such an important season: Louis Delmas has plenty to prove.
Occasionally this season, I will sit down with various Dolphins players and play 10 questions. It’s an easy way to get to know these players a little bit better. And I figured what better person to start with than this likeable young man with a warm, infectious smile.
So last week, just after a two-hour practice, Delmas tossed his helmet to a teammate, found some shade near the practice field and, without hesitation, said “fire away.” Of course, I happily obliged.
1. You grew up in South Florida. You played high school football here. This is your home. What does it mean to you to play for the Dolphins?
LD: I feel like I’m on an all-star team right now. Any individual who grows up and bleeds any sport wants to play for their hometown team. I’m going to cherish this opportunity and take full advantage of it. I was a big Dan Marino fan growing up because every kid wants to play quarterback. It was a special time being a kid growing up in South Florida.”
2. You are 27 years old. You played five years for the Lions before coming here. Have we yet to see the best of Louis Delmas?
LD: Definitely not. Definitely not. No way. No chance. I’ve had my ups and downs in my career. I started off very well and then I hit a down point. I’ve had setbacks. Last year was better. I’m 27, but I’m just getting younger, getting younger all the time. Deep down, I just know the best is yet to come.
3. In 2009, you became the first rookie in NFL history to return an interception for a touchdown, a fumble for a touchdown and record a safety. What can you possibly do for an encore?
LD: Just keep capitalizing on the other team’s mistakes, keep myself motivated, keep myself ready to pounce. There are a lot more records to break and, if I can just get around the ball, there is no telling what I can accomplish in this league.
4. OK, let’s dream a little. One play. One moment. One game. Tell us what you are dreaming.
LD: It’ll be the Super Bowl. It’ll be overtime. It’ll be down to the last two minutes. The opponent is driving for a score. They go in my direction. I can see it happening right in front of me. I wait for the perfect moment and then break on the ball. I catch the ball and return it 103 yards for a touchdown. The crowd goes wild. The Dolphins win the Super Bowl! That by itself would be great, but to know I had the winning play, man that would be something special.
5. The Dolphins have had five straight non-winning seasons. When you look at this year’s team, what do you see?
LD: I see hunger. I see guys who are very motivated to succeed. I see guys who are motivated to change the mindset of the fans, of the coaches and each other. I know the statistic of five straight seasons without a winning record. We don’t like the statistic. I don’t like it. We want to go out and win a lot more games and change how everybody looks at this team.
6. What’s the one thing you would like people to know about Louis Delmas?
LD: That Louis Delmas will always be Louis Delmas. Fun. Exciting. Unpredictable. You never know what to expect, but I sure hope to leave you with a smile on your face.
7. How would you describe the way you play?
LD: With reckless abandon. I’m like a wrench. Sometimes you use me to tighten up a bolt. Sometimes you use me to fix an entire house. Sometimes you use me to put a screw in the wall. I’ll do whatever it takes to win. I love contact. I love hitting. I love knocking the ball loose. I love making plays.
8. Tell us what you are like away from football, your passions?
LD: The one thing I love just as much as football is fishing. If I could, I would get on my boat on this two-hour break we have between lunch and meetings. Yep, I’d go fishing and I’d love it. It’s so peaceful out there. It’s my passion. I’ll go deep-sea fishing. Bass fishing. Any kind of fishing. Once you get that first bite, it’s like I’m running down the sidelines trying to score a touchdown. It’s that exciting for me.
9. You signed a one-year contract with the Dolphins. Tell us what it would mean to you for this to be your final stop?
LD: It would mean everything in the world to me. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want this year to be my final stop. I want to play a long time and I’d love to play here. But I know I have to prove myself first. I’ve been around. I was in Detroit for five years. But this is like a new beginning for me. I want to surround myself with players just like these teammates on the Dolphins. I love the hunger here. I love that my teammates want to win as much as I want to win. As long as you play with that hunger, you can always look in the mirror at the end of the day.
10. Finally, when you finish your career, what do you want the fans to say about Louis Delmas?
LD: First of all, I hope that’s not anytime soon. But when I do finish, I want people to know all about the name on the back of my jersey. That name means more to me than just football. Every time I make a tackle, every time I speak to my teammates, every time I speak to the media or every time people see me on the streets, I want them to know that Louis Delmas is a great person and a great football player. I don’t think that’s asking for too much, do you?
(On Thursday, AC in the AM takes a close look at receiver Brian Hartline).
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.