Written by Steven Wilson at 3:50 PM EST | Twitter: @stevenjwilson11
Despite a near-flawless 37-0 rout of the San Diego Chargers last week and the team’s third win in a row, starting safety Louis Delmas knows that the team still has room for improvement.
“It’s still a small glimpse,” Delmas said after practice this week when asked about the team’s recent big win. “Every win or loss doesn’t seem as good or as bad as it is. We definitely still have a lot of things to improve on. We’re going to go back to the drawing board and hopefully improve for the upcoming games.”
The Dolphins face Delmas’ former team this week in the Detroit Lions, and as he knows, an offense that can put up points in a hurry. No. 25 and the rest of Miami’s secondary will have the vaunted task of trying to slow down Calvin Johnson − one of the game’s best receivers.
Although it will be a tough task, one could argue the same for the Lions offense.
Miami is currently ranked third in scoring defense (18.9 ppg allowed), third in total defense, first in yards allowed per play (4.7), second in passing yards allowed per game, fourth in sacks per outing and third in opponents completion percentage.
It’s no wonder this defense is playing with so much confidence right now.
“We pride ourselves on that,” said Delmas. “We want to be one of the better defenses out there and we pride ourselves each and every practice to try to get that accomplished each and every way. This past game was just a small glimpse of how good we really can be.”
Although he’s battled his fair share of injuries over his six seasons, the 26-year-old is one of the best safeties in the game when healthy. According to ProFootballFocus, Delams ranks 13th this season among safeties in pass coverage. He has allowed just 34-percent of targets to be completed to his man when he is the main defender.
When asked if the eye-popping defensive numbers have surprised him this season, Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle simply said, “Not really. I just think we’re just building on consistency. If we can continue to be consistent, we’ve got some talented players and they’re hard-working guys. I’ve got great respect for these guys. They’re courageous. We pride ourselves on the fact that, when we do put our tape on, we see the things that we preach and that they know what reflects being a Miami Dolphin defensive player is.”
One of those factors that separates this team from others around the League is hustle.
“There were some great shots of it in the game the other day – swarms,” continued Coyle. “There was a play at the end of the game where we had nine guys in on the tackle on a minus-yardage play with about four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Just guys swarming to the football. I don’t think they’ve surprised me. I think we’re hungry and we’ve got to keep on getting turnovers and keep on eliminating big plays, and we’ll have a chance.”