Jim Washburn on former DE Kyle Vanden Bosch: “There’s nobody like him … he’s special”

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In an extended interview with Midday 180 on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, former NFL defensive line coach Jim Washburn spent time reflecting on his career. Washburn praised some of the players he coached, admitted to issues he had with others and told stories of his 17-year career coaching in the league.

The one player that Washburn spoke highest of was former defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Vanden Bosch played five years under Washburn with the Tennessee Titans from 2005-09.

“He just came out and he’s just special,” Washburn said. “There’s nobody like him. I don’t care. You can say Walter Payton, Jerry Rice running those hills… they weren’t any more dedicated than this guy. This guy was different. He came out and had 12.5 sacks his first year (in Tennessee). Boy, I tell you what, he’s special.”

Vanden Bosch recorded 38.5 sacks during that five-year stint with the Titans, which included 12.5 sacks in 2005 and 12 sacks in 2007. Vanden Bosch signed with Tennessee after a middling four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals after being selected in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft.

“You know why? Cause there isn’t another,” Washburn said of the motor and drive Vanden Bosch had. “The scouts would come in and go like this ‘oh I got a kid at Stanford, he plays like Vanden Bosch.’ I said ‘don’t embarrass yourself. Why do you say something that stupid for? You make yourself look bad cause there ain’t nobody that plays like him.'”

Washburn didn’t try to take any credit for turning Vanden Bosch into the player he became with the Titans. He said he just let him do what he does best.

“I didn’t do anything but let him play,” he said.

Vanden Bosch finished his career with 58 sacks and 20 forced fumbles in 12 seasons before retiring after the 2012 season. He was named to the Pro Bowl three times in his career in 2005, 2007 and 2009.

15 responses to “Jim Washburn on former DE Kyle Vanden Bosch: “There’s nobody like him … he’s special”

  1. Vanden Bosch was also tough as nails, overcoming multiple torn ACLs in his career, back when medical science hadn’t quite reached the level it is today.

  2. 110% every play. I remember seeing him run down a runningback 30 yards down field or something crazy like that.

    In the infamous Calvin Johnson Catch game (where we figured out no one knows what a catch is anymore) KVB had 10 solo tackles. That’s unheard of in a game for a DE.

  3. Dude is a straight up beast.
    idFarkus says:
    Jul 7, 2017 3:55 AM

    He averaged less than 5 sacks a year, that’s special
    Youre good at reading stats arent ya???

  4. Good player, but you forgot to add in the part where Washburn convinced Jason Taylor to not accept the pro bowl invite so Vanden Bosch could go.

  5. KVB and Keith Bulluck will always be my all time favorites just for the reasons Washburn said. Relentless motor and kill or be killed attitudes. Hopefully someone will grow into that role with us sooner rather than later

  6. Yeah I loved Bullock too. My 3rd fave Titan. Way underrated. KVB was also a good one. He’s not saying he was the best player of all time. Just that he was the hardest worker he ever had & noone outworked him. KVB probably didn’t have nearly the same natural ability some of the best DEs had but he worked his way into a very good DE for Tennessee.

  7. As a Lions fan, I can tell you a few things about his playing days in Detroit.

    First off, he was signed to a pretty big contract as a FA to much fanfare. The head coach, Jim Schwartz, downplayed Vanden Bosch’s lack of sack production the previous few seasons, stating that he was awfully close to getting a lot of sacks (near misses) and was still getting a lot of pressures on the Qb.

    Year 1 – 4 sacks, 49 tackles. May not sound like a bunch of sacks, but he was a beast. He played super hard and was all over the place, making a lot run stops, a lot of pressure on the QB, and quite a few timely big plays (FF’s). He was also the team’s inspiration and coaches always pointed to him as a role model for how hard you should work.

    Year 2 – 8 sacks, 36 tackles. You’d be fooled into thinking he had a better season in year 2 by doubling his sack total, but he didn’t. He was CONSTANTLY exploited with screen passes, pitch outs, QB role outs and runs, and quick passes to his side, because he only did ONE thing – rush up the field like a madman the exact same way, looking to sack the QB.

    For all the sacks he got, he was exploited 2 or 3 times as often.

    Year 3 – 3.5 sacks, 28 tackles, 0 FF’s, 0 FR’s and only one pass block. He was over the hill in his final NFL season. He had pushed his body to the limit for a decade in order to be the best he could be, but now it was burned out, and there was nothing left to give.

  8. Also a Lions fan here. Loved what Jim Schwartz and KVB brought to this organization. And I really do mean that sincerely. They were faced with a mess of a team, and got it back on the right track. Added a lot of toughness, and a lot of heart.

    My favorite story: Back when tampering really was illegal, and you really couldn’t talk to players until midnight when Free Agency opened that day. Quoting KVB from an old article:

    “Coach Schwartz called me at 11:01 p.m. and said ‘I’m a block from your house, can you give me a minute?’ He said, ‘I could be anywhere (in the country) right now, but I’m coming to talk to you because you’re the guy I want.’ That meant a lot to me and set the tone for getting the deal done this morning.”

    …and if I recall correctly, I think there was some wine involved, too!

  9. “Coach Schwartz called me at 11:01 p.m. and said ‘I’m a block from your house, can you give me a minute?’

    Coach Linehan was on the phone with Nate Burleson at 11:01 too, I believe he was at his house as well! Say what you will about Schwartz, he knows how to recruit.

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