No one seems happier for the return of safety Louis Delmas for this upcoming season than Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz.

"I was really happy to get Delmas back," Schwartz told reporters during the NFC coaches breakfast at the NFL League Meetings on Wednesday. "He's the leader on our defense. When he's on the field for us he's a difference maker. I think I've said a lot of times that when we're good on defense it's because we play with Louis Delmas' personality."

Delmas is one of the best young safeties in the league when healthy and the Lions are a much better defense with him on the field.

The team's 26-23 victory over the Eagles in Week 6 last season speaks to his impact. After missing the first four games of the season, Delmas had seven tackles, two tackles for loss, an interception and defended two passes in the win. He should have had a sack, too, but fell prey for a pump fake by Michael Vick.

"We missed him on the field last year." Schwartz said of the eight games played without Delmas in 2012. "Missed him at practice. We missed his energy. We missed his ability to range and make plays and to overlap.

"You guys saw what a difference it was when he came back for that Philly game. It was a shot in the arm. Not just making tackles and things like that but making interceptions and knocking passes down. That excitement was contagious."