DAVIE, Fla. -- Organized team activities are not made for hard-hitting players like Louis Delmas.
On Monday, Miami's new starting safety flew to the football and zeroed in on receivers coming across the middle, only to pull up early due to non-contact rules in the spring. After repeating it several times, Delmas grew frustrated and jawed with offensive players about what could happen if this were a real game.
"He is 100 miles an hour with everything he's doing," Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said of Delmas. "But he's a very, very perceptive guy on the field. He sees formations quickly. He communicates very well. He understands mistakes.
"Sometimes you have to reign him in a little bit, but that's a good thing. We rather have that problem than having to get him going."
Delmas knows he won't get to show his full array of skills until the pads come on in training camp and the preseason. The Dolphins signed Delmas to a one-year contract to bring an intimidating presence to the back end of the defense. Delmas is known as one of the NFL's fiercest hitters. He's knocked out opponents, as well as teammates while torpedoing to the football. The Dolphins will try to emphasize the former, not the latter.
Delmas says he's both healthy and happy this spring. Injuries have been an issue for Delmas in recent years, particularly his knees. He has missed 13 games the past three seasons and missed a lot of practice time with the Detroit Lions.
So far there have been no sign of injuries or slowing down in OTAs. I asked Delmas about his health on Monday.
"I'm great. I haven't missed a day of training. I haven't missed a day of practice," Delmas responded. "So I'm feeling good right now, the best I've felt my last four years of football. I'm very excited about this year."
The key for Delmas at this stage is to make the most of mental and verbal reps. He is pairing with fellow safety Reshad Jones as Miami's last line of defense this year. Delmas was communicative Monday with his teammates and is already showing his personality.
"I think it took Louis about three minutes to get comfortable in the building," Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. "He's an energetic, passionate guy. One thing that we noticed the way he plays on tape before we signed him is he plays fast and he plays football the right way. He's decisive."
Delmas, a South Florida native, is looking forward to playing for his hometown team. He's loose, relaxed, and if he performs this season, it's possible Delmas could be part of Miami's secondary beyond 2014.
"I'm having fun. This is not work," Delmas said. "This is an environment that I can get up each and every morning and enjoy coming to. I'm very thankful for the opportunity."