Lockout'11: Lions would be in good hands

March, 10, 2011
3/10/11
10:45
AM ET
It's probably worth your time to listen to this podcast of Detroit Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who spoke this week with the Tennessee Titans' radio network. I think it will help you understand some of the intangibles the Lions picked up when they signed him as a free agent last season, as well as illuminating the key team role he could play this offseason.

[+] EnlargeKyle Vanden Bosch
Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesDetroit Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch has been a leader of the defense in the midst of a possible lockout.
Vanden Bosch said he has organized group workouts for Lions players in the Detroit area if a lockout takes place. (During a lockout, all conditioning and any other player contact would be banned at team facilities.) They could range from lifting sessions to 7-on-7 drills, he said, and presumably would include drafted rookies if a lockout extends that long.

"We've taken some big steps," Vanden Bosch said. "We ended last season on a high note. We need to continue to take those steps. Regardless of the labor situation, my responsibility, as a captain and a leader of this team, is to make sure we're moving forward."

Players from many NFL teams have made similar plans, but given the Lions' meandering leadership in recent years, I wonder if anyone else would have taken charge this offseason the way Vanden Bosch has. There is no doubt he was a big part of the Lions' elevated defensive line play before injuring his neck last season, but I remain convinced that Vanden Bosch's top contribution was adding a new level of intensity and leadership to the defense and locker room.

"Anybody that's been around Kyle Vanden Bosch understands why I was at his doorstep last year," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said last month at the scouting combine.

If there is a lockout, Vanden Bosch will be busy organizing Lions team events. But he said he could also make time for a wrestling match against New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott, who recently made a TNA wrestling appearance. In 2008, you might remember, Vanden Bosch organized "KVB Birthday Brawl" with NFL players and TNA wrestlers in Nashville. The event raised $90,000 for charity.

"There's no question I'd win," Vanden Bosch said. "Bart Scott, I guarantee you he can get on the microphone and he can definitely out-talk me. But if it came down to just pure wrestling, I'd whoop him."

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