The Detroit Lions took a cautious approach with Kyle Vanden Bosch on the practice field last season and it paid off when he was needed most.
Vanden Bosch, who had to recover from neck surgery following the 2010 season, was probably the team’s most consistent lineman and participated in all 16 regular-season games. The Lions want to make sure the defensive end, who will turn 34 during the season, is durable again this season.
To that end, coach Jim Schwartz has a plan for him in practice again this year, according to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free-Press.
“We cut him out of practice on Wednesday last year ... just to take the wear and tear off of him,” Schwartz said. “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.”
It’s not unusual for teams to rest veteran players on Wednesdays during the season. That’s when first- and second-down work is done. During a regular week, that means players have three consecutive off days to rest their bodies and wind back into shape. Practice is important but for a guy like Vanden Bosch conditioning is the key and he’s always in top shape.
“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. We started this last year and everything else, it really has nothing to do with the new standards and the new rules, but things like that will help veteran players like Kyle Vanden Bosch.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
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