Time once again for the Lions Congregation! First off, let me welcome Joe from the Side Lion Report to the panel – glad to have you sir!
The hot topic this week was of course Brian Cushing cheatingwinning the Defensive Rookie of the Year on the re-vote. Several readers asked via email what our thoughts were on this subject in regards to Louis Delmas. Addressing the subject is this week’s panel:
Al of The Wayne Fontes Experience
Phil Zaroo, Sports Editor at Mlive and Highlight Reel author
NetRat of The NetRat.com
Joe of the Side Lion Report
Blades Boyd formerly of the Church of Schwartz
Joshua (DetFan1979) of Roar of the Lions
Al: In the discussion? Sure.
Should have gotten a few votes? Yes.
Deserve to win it? No.
Delmas had a nice year, and was a vastly improved player by the end of the season. But he played for the Detroit Lions, who were out of the playoff picture by the end of September. Sorry to say, most any year end award tends to favor players on contending teams. I’m not saying the Houston Texans (Cushing’s team) are great shakes, by any means. But they were in the playoff hunt all season, and that what counts in the minds of the voters.
Unfortunately, that’s the way of the awards world.
Out of the players who received votes, Cushing, Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd. Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews III, Washington linebacker Brian Orakpo, and St. Louis linebacker James Laurinaitis, I will say Delmas compares more than favorably. I wouldn’t bet against him having the best career, or at the very least, a comparable career.
There’s one more issue worth mentioning about Delmas’ ROY candidacy. his stat line, which is where voters who didn’t get to see Delmas play look first, was especially lacking. Much of it was due to the abysmal defenders surrounding him, and Delmas really didn’t ramp up his game until the second half of the season.
Delmas had 94 tackles and 2 interceptions.Not bad, right? But Delmas’ numbers just didn’t stand out when compared to the rookies who received votes. Cushing got himself 4 INT’s, along with his 134 tackles. Byrd played for a bad team, but had 9 picks Orakpo had 11 sacks from an important position, defensive end. Laurinatis accounted for 120 tackles. Matthews didn’t have great overall numbers, but his 10 sacks for a playoff team definitely stand out.
Louis Delmasis going to be a very good player for a very long time. But he won’t get the notoriety he deserves till the Lions starting winning more than they lose. The Lions decade long lack of NFL relevance had more to do with Delmas not getting even one ROY vote than his play.
Phil:I’m fairly shocked that Louis Delmas didn’t get a single vote for AP defensive rookie of the year. He had a very strong rookie campaign.
The argument, of course, is that he was part of a historically bad defense — a point that cannot be denied. Writers have a tendency to belittle an individual performance when the group’s performance is so awful. I think that mindset is fair to an extent.
There’s also an argument that his individual performance is all the more impressive simply because he had little to no help. Would JairusByrd have fared as well with the Lions defense?
Look, nine picks is outstanding. Delmas had just a pair. But while Byrd got the ball back to his offense, Delmas actually SCORED three
touchdowns! What would YOU rather have, picks or picks returned for TDs? There’s a discrepancy in number of tackles — Byrd’s 45 to Delmas’ 94. Some might argue that Delmas had so many more tackles because Detroit’s defense was so porous. He had far more opportunities to make tackles.
Ultimately, I wouldn’t expect Delmas to have won the award. For him not really to have been considered is disappointing, though not necessarily surprising.
Remember, these are the same people who voted for Brian Cushing to win the award AGAIN, even after discovering he’d tested positive for a banned substance.
NetRat:Yes, I do think that Louis Delmas should’vebeen considered for the DROY. He was able to score points by all the means possible (for a defensive guy). He was able to be as vocal as he wanted without getting shown up by the opponents for doing it. He showed leadership that most rookies wouldn’t dare show. But, he was never on national television, and even local television was blacked out most of the games, so there was really no way for those voting to see him play. The Lions certainly never gave anyone who isn’t a fan cause to watch them on the Sunday ticket. So, with lack of an audience there wasn’t much of a chance for him to win.
For a list of the re-votes, go tohttp://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2010-05-12/results-nfl-defensive-rookie-year-revote
Joe:Without a doubt, Louis Delmas deserves to at least be in the discussion for the Rookie of the Year. When it comes to play-making ability, his talents match any of the other rookies that are up for the award. Jim Schwartz didn’t call him his best defensive player for nothing. For a rookie to come in and be the only dominate player in the secondary says a lot about a rookie’s abilities.The rookie of the year is about more than just tackles, interceptions and forced fumbles. When it comes to play making on the field, Delmas matches Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews Jr., Jarius Byrd and anyone else who deserves a vote. Especially when it comes to making plays on the field that are game changing.
Blades:Should Delmas be in the the running???? Absolutely. Will he get a single vote??? Probably not and I don’t think it’s fair. Delmas, in my opinion, was the defensive rookie of the year. If you look at what he did on the field, (INT’s for TD, forced fumbles, etc) he was the most dynamic rookie player in the NFL in my opinion. I mean can imagine how bad the Lions defense would have been without him??!?!?!??!
That being said, the reason he won’t get a vote is because he plays for the Lions. Plain and simple. When you are on the forth worst defense in NFL history, in all fairness, you don’t deserve to get a vote from their viewpoint. They may be right…
DetFan1979: Blackouts. Lazy Journalism. Lack of Exposure. These are the reasons that Louis Delmas was not considered for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Add one more: Poor talent around him. Football is a team sport, I get it. The Lions had the 4th worst defense. BUT – does that mean the Lions defense couldn’t have been highlighted by an outstanding rookie? Heck no!
Cushing had the Texans Dline (including “Super” Mario Williams) in front of him. DeMeco Ryansin the LB corps with him. Oh, and those pesky performance enhancing banned substances. Byrd had more INTS but was far from a force at all in the run game — it wasn’t just that Delmas had chances to tackle, but he made the tackles. You can only make the plays you can make. He didn’t get to choose to have a shoddy dline applying no pressure allowing pass catchers all day to get uncovered. Matthews had the sacks — as a pass rushing specialist on a playoff team defense.
No, when you look at the tape of the individual performances (even just go youtube highlight clips for gosh sakes) Delmas shines as a truly outstanding rookie safety who just kept getting better. Fumble recoveries, a safety, INT”s for TD’s (including the electric 100+ yd TD return to keep Detroit in the Arizona game).
What the voters needed to ask themselves was this: If the Detroit Lions were a playoff team, and Louis Delmas had the same exact performance, but a lot more exposure — or was on a higher profile team — would he have garnered the award? In looking at it that way, I think the answer is unequivocally yes — especially in light of Cushing’s situation. That Delmas didn’t get a single vote is a testament to the fact that the national media will NOT pay attention to any Detroit player for any awards until Detroit starts winning — fair or not.
Still don’t agree with me? Name a team who wouldn’t take Delmas over one of their starting Safeties right now? To me, that says it all.
Do you have a question you would like to see the Lions Congregation answer? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org See you next week!!