Lacey, a free agent signing this offseason, is now getting a chance to play alongside Delmas during the offseason training program and says he is even more impressive in person.
“Anytime you play with a guy like that who’s flying around, you can get energy off of him,” Lacey said of Delmas. “When you are feeling fatigued or tired the guy is always there to pick you up. He’s a very, very high energy guy.”
Lacey said he plays a very similar style of game to Delmas and that's why he's enjoyed watching him over the years. Delmas doesn’t shy away from contact and neither does Lacey. In fact, it was Lacey’s physical style of play that impressed Lions general manager Martin Mayhew in free agency.
"It's rare you talk to a corner and ask him, ‘What do you do best?' and he says, 'Tackle,’” Mayhew said of Lacey at the NFL league meetings.
"That's what Lacey told me when we sat down to talk. I like the way the guy plays. He's very physical. He's a really good zone defender. He has been a starter and started in big games and made big plays in big situations."
Lacey, 24, signed a one-year contract with the Lions this offseason after starting 27 games for the Colts over the last three seasons playing primarily left corner. He had 72 tackles and one interception in 15 games last season.
The Lions have proclaimed the starting cornerback position opposite
Regardless of whether he wins the spot, however, Lacey’s skill set gives the Lions options.
“The competition (for a starting spot) is open, but I wouldn’t mind getting inside and playing some nickel, too,” Lacey said. “I think my tackling can help the team and I’m going to come ready to tackle and I'm going to come and compete.”
The Lions could certainly use an experienced player like Lacey as either a starter on the outside or inside at the nickel after the pass defense let them down at the end of last year.
“Coming in having played some of the tough Sunday night battles with the Patriots and have those big games with the big crowds and things on the line, I think that helps a lot,” Lacey said.
“In any career you want endure a challenge and you want to possibly be that piece that can help a team take the next step. Whatever the role might be, I want to come in and play that.”
It’ll be months before Lacey’s true role is defined, but it’s good to have players that don’t mind mixing it up a little bit and giving the Lions options in the back end.