Being the veteran leader on Detroit’s defensive line has its privileges. But for Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, the privilege of less work at practice is something the coaching staff has to force on him.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Vanden Bosch, who will turn 34 this season, was given time off last year to keep him fresh for Sundays, and the Lions were pleased with the results and have continued emphasizing keeping Vanden Bosch fresh in the offseason and will do so in training camp and the regular season.
“We cut him out of practice on Wednesday last year . . . just to take the wear and tear off of him,” Schwartz said, via the Detroit Free Press. “We did the same thing this off-season and we’ll have a plan for training camp. We saw good results from that. He had one of the best years of his career last year and he means a lot to us and we need to keep him going.”
Schwartz said that for players who have proven themselves as hard workers over long NFL careers, there’s no need to drive them too hard.
“I think Kyle has proved that to me, to you, to the fans, to the janitors here, I think everybody knows what kind of guy he is,” Schwartz said. “We’ve just got to do whatever we can to keep him on the field . . . things like that will help veteran players like Kyle Vanden Bosch.”
And having players like Vanden Bosch healthy for 16 games will help the Lions.