Deon Lacey knows cold. Like so cold you worry that your fingers might not make it through the game attached to your hands.
The young linebacker spent two years with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.
Coming from Hueytown, Alabama, it might as well have been Siberia — and certainly felt like it at times.
“The coldest game I played in was like negative-26,” Lacey said late Thursday. “That was a good experience. You've got that adrenaline rush, you don't feel it. The most snow I played in my last season. We played Ottawa. That was the most snow I played in. I'd say it was up to your ankles. Sometimes they had to get the plow out and scrape the field. Had to click your heels in between plays so you won't slide anywhere. It's crazy.”
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Lacey might soon be trading his snow boots for sandals — for good. He has an excellent chance to make the Dolphins’ 53-man roster, which would justify signing with them this offseason. Lacey will learn his fate by 4 p.m. Saturday, the deadline for teams to make their cuts.
At least a half-dozen teams pursued Lacey when he decided to make the jump to the NFL, and he picked the Dolphins, in part, because of the success Cameron Wake has had here. Wake is another ex-CFL’er, and the two players talked before Lacey decided on where to sign.
“I asked him how it was,” Lacey said. “Fortunately, my last year, his defensive coordinator was defensive coordinator from the last year. It seems crazy. Kind of had a connection with that.”
Lacey was undrafted out of West Alabama but got a tryout with the Cowboys. He ultimately was cut, but Lacey’s football career didn’t end there. He agreed to play in Canada, a place he knew “absolutely nothing” about before.
Three years later, he was one of the league’s best players. Lacey in 2016 tallied 114 tackles, seven sacks and three interceptions. He was also a force on special teams; if he indeed does make the Dolphins, he’ll have to be the same here.
“I feel like I'm enthusiastic,” Lacey said. “I can be electric at times, when I'm given the opportunities. I like bringing the heat.”
And living in it too.