"I don't know how much of a compliment that is, but that's damn sure a big compliment to me," Delmas said after practice Tuesday.
After the organization re-signed Delmas to a two-year contract this offseason, it spelled out a very specific practice plan for Delmas with everything geared toward getting him ready for Week 1 vs. Minnesota. He did not participate in the offseason training program or mini-camp and has had regular days off and even his reps within practice closely monitored during training camp.
"I think it's a great plan," said Delmas, who missed eight games last year with a knee injury. "I think it's keeping me healthy. The most important thing is the first game of the season and I definitely think I'll be ready.
"The coaches and the organization know my situation and they are doing whatever they can to prevent what happened last year and I think they've done a great job with it."
Delmas is a veteran player entering his fifth year in this defense and that's made this process a little easier. He knows the scheme and his responsibilities within it and the practice time he's missing shouldn't be as big an issue with him as it might be with others.
He does, though, have to get used to a new playing partner in
"One thing about Glover, he's an athlete and a ball player," Delmas said. "Those don't come around very often. Once you have that type of caliber guy, he's very easy to play with. He's at the right place at the right time and he's going to help me make plays."
Delmas said he's unsure if that will start Friday when the Lions host the Jets for the preseason opener.
"I'm preparing like I'm playing, and if not, I'll cheer my team on," he said.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said the coaches will make decisions on availability for Friday's game on Wednesday night.
"We'll probably have some guys that we'll hold out," Schwartz said. "Other guys we'll just wait and see where they are. Generally it would be nice to have all the guys available, but we'll make the best decision on that.
"I think there are certainly benefits to being out and playing and working with the other players on defense to find some rhythm and continuity that way. That's not different than
Delmas says he feels good and there's the temptation to let him do more, but the team is steadfast in sticking with the plan, in part, because Delmas will never change the way he plays the game and the Lions would never ask him to.
"If I can make a play and make it look good, I'm going to make it look good," Delmas said. "If I can punish somebody, I'm going to punish somebody. That's always been the way I played and that's the only way I know how."
Delmas is feeling good and looking fast and he says he's on an upward trend. It appears the plan for him is working so far. The Lions just hope it stays that way.