Throughout last year's offseason, one of the prevailing themes was that Kyle Vanden Bosch's motor never stops. He goes beyond 100 percent at all times, and in turn he forces his teammates to do the same. He is the kind of player that causes people to say, "If we had 53 guys like him, we would go 19-0."
A neck injury ended Vanden Bosch's season early in 2010, but he had surgery and quickly started rehab. Now he is to the point where all he wants to do is work out and get ready for next season. The NFL lockout threw a wrench in his plans slightly, as he and other players are no longer allowed to work out at the Detroit Lions' facility. He is not letting that get in the way of the progress he wants himself and the Lions in general to make this offseason, though. Vanden Bosch took charge and organized workouts that began on Monday, which would have been the first day of the Lions' offseason training program if there wasn't a lockout.
But with a lockout putting formal NFL activities on hold, Muhlbach and teammates Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril began their own off-season program instead. For an hour and 45 minutes at the Total Performance Training Center in Wixom, the three went through a lower-body workout, doing squats and sprints, leg presses and cone drills.
When the workout was done, Vanden Bosch, who organized the session and also serves as the team's player rep, joined teammates Dominica Raiola, Rob Sims and Stephen Peterman -- plus five Red Wings -- at Art of Strength in West Bloomfield for another hour of high-intensity core training.
Vanden Bosch, who is the players rep for the Lions, is aware that some view what he's doing as helping the owners. He really doesn't care, though. He is focused on having his best season in 2011, and more importantly, making sure the Lions' defensive line becomes the best unit in the NFL in 2011. Although the lockout means there is no formal offseason program outlined by the Lions, Vanden Bosch is making sure there is no dropoff in work ethic by organizing these workouts.
"The most important thing right now is everybody is accountable to the Lions, to each other, to make sure they're in shape and physically ready to go when we do start up," Vanden Bosch said. "No. 2 is, again as this off-season goes, building that chemistry, building that accountability and trust in each other."
If you've ever wondered why Vanden Bosch is considered such a great leader, things like this outline exactly why. While many players will undoubtedly use the lockout as a vacation, Vanden Bosch is using it to make sure he and his teammates are getting better every day. In fact, he has so much pull that Cliff Avril came up from Florida to work out with teammates in Michigan, and Rob Sims, who apparently owns a gym in Ohio, is doing the same. As more and more players join in on the workouts and the lockout persists, the plan at some point might even call for position-specific workouts/drills to take place. Jim Schwartz and the coaching staff may not be allowed to hold OTAs or anything like that, but the Lions seem to be in great hands with Vanden Bosch, who we might as well call Coach Kyle at this point.