Thursday, April 3, 2014
Dolphins scouting report: Delmas, Fox
By James Walker
The Miami Dolphins had a busy offseason turning over their roster under first-year general manager Dennis Hickey. But how good is Miami's newest free-agent crop?
We tapped into our talented network of reporters to get an in-depth scouting report on the players coming to Miami. This is honest feedback from the writers who covered the Dolphins' newest players up close.
We start Thursday with two free agents signed from the Detroit Lions last year: safety Louis Delmas and offensive tackle Jason Fox. Here is ESPN.com Lions reporter Michael Rothstein's take on both players:
Louis Delmas was always an intriguing player with Detroit. He had a lot of talent and became one of the emotional leaders of the Lions defense, but his main issue was staying healthy and being consistent. His knees wore on him throughout the final two years with Detroit, limiting him to essentially one practice a week during 2013, although he ended up playing in every game. He is a big hitter with the penchant for making the big play, but that got him in trouble at times. He knocked out his own teammate, Bill Bentley, with a hit during a game this season and his aggressiveness would sometimes cost the Lions with penalties. He is a high-risk, high-reward player. Through the first half of the 2013 season, he actually played well paired with Glover Quin, but he went back to some of his bad habits the second half of the season.
Jason Fox, who dealt with injuries throughout his four years with the Lions, had actually won the right tackle job out of training camp last season beating out veteran Corey Hilliard and rookie LaAdrian Waddle. By the end of the season, he may have been third on the depth chart behind both players after injuries derailed another season. In his four seasons, he played 13 games on the offensive line for Detroit and had injuries to his knee and his groin, among other places. He is the epitome of a talented player who could not stay healthy for more than a couple of games in a row.
Injuries seem to be the resounding theme. Delmas and Fox have the talent to contribute in Miami, according to Rothstein, but both players must overcome their lengthy injury histories in 2014.
I asked Fox about his prior injuries on Wednesday, and he believes his ailments are a thing of the past.
"I mean, I started 47 straight games at [The University of] Miami," Fox responded. "I had some bad luck early in my career, but that's over. I feel 100 percent healthy."