Kyle Vanden Bosch winner of Lions Joe Schmidt Leadership Award

Posted by ttwentyman on January 18, 2012 – 6:53 pm

Kyle Vanden Bosch was on the phone with his agent at 11:01 p.m. central time the first minute of free agency in March of 2010 when he received a call from Lions coach Jim Schwartz.

Schwartz just so happened to be waiting outside Vanden Bosch’s gated community in Nashville and spent the next 3.5 hours in Vanden Bosch’s kitchen trying to recruit him to become the newest defensive end for the Lions.

Schwartz must have been a heck of a salesman because Vanden Bosch agreed to a four-year, $26 million deal shortly after the meeting to become the first piece in the Lions’ transformation from a 0-16 football team.

It wasn’t just Vanden Bosch’s talent Schwartz was after that night. It was also his work ethic and leadership ability.

The Lions were in need of a culture change and Vanden Bosch was an important piece.

“Kyle is a lead-by-example guy,” said Lions defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. “When teams turn it around there are certain guys in the locker room that you look at as being reasons why. Without Kyle, we wouldn’t have been able to turn around as quickly as we have.”

Vanden Bosch has been a captain since the moment he got to Detroit and has been just as valuable in the locker room and meeting room as he’s been on the field.

It’s no surprise Vanden Bosch is the recipient of this year’s Joe Schmidt Leadership Award as voted by his teammates.

The Joe Schmidt Award is presented to the player who has displayed outstanding leadership, drive and achievement on the field and it the locker room.

“Kyle’s leadership and energy and the way he carries himself is important for this football team,” said Lions general manager Martin Mayhew in an interview with sports radio 790 in Atlanta on Wednesday.

On the field, Vanden Bosch was second on the team with eight sacks and four forced fumbles. Vanden Bosch plays the game hard every snap of each game, practice and walk-through and his work ethic has rubbed off on his defensive line mates.

When he first arrived, Vanden Bosch was the only defensive lineman running 40 yards down-field to make a play in training camp. Now, you’ll see two or three of them hustling down-field to make a play.

Hard work is infectious.

Vanden Bosch took fellow defensive end Cliff Avril under his wing and Avril has become one of the best young pass rushers in the NFL with 11 sacks and six forced fumbles this season.

“Kyle took him under his wing and they worked out every day up in Michigan during the lockout,” Kocurek said. “Having Kyle around has been great for Cliff and everyone else in that meeting room and that locker room.”

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Kyle Vanden Bosch winner of Lions Joe Schmidt Leadership Award”

  1. By Richard Heyman on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    Man if there was ever a guy who was a leader on a team, that guy is Kyle VandeBosch. He has remade the Lion’s attitude, and is an excellent leader, and example for young spoiled college draftees. There is NO doubt that Kyle should be retained as a player coach or coach, when he decides to retire. I hadn’t realized that he got 8 sacks and 4 forced fumbles this year. Leaders aren’t made they are born, and Kyle is a great addition to the Lion’s 53 man roster. Just another sign of the brain trust of Swartz and Mayhew. The Fords took a long time to get it right, but they have finally done it, and I hope it lasts for the next 20 years!

  2. By Barry J on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    You’re awesome Ttwentyman- nice write

  3. By paul b. on Jan 19, 2012 | Reply

    Yes well said richard. I agree make him a player coach or coach when he’s had enough and wants to retire. I hope he well do that . And thank Kyle for all
    you have done to make our team better.

  4. By Eddie Hiller on Jan 19, 2012 | Reply

    I am glad for Kyle he has earned it. He has great work ethick and he believes in wining.

  5. By Kevin Kbakil on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    He a good player but he needs to play the run more effectively. He should have as many sacks as Avril, with Suh being doubled, but he’s effort and determination are unquestioned. The red eyes are not scary they’re weird, but I know football is 80% mental, 40% physical. Lmao

  6. By Detroit Lions #1 on May 2, 2012 | Reply

    KVB brings SOOO much to this D-line, he was a brilliant pickup! Glad Jim knew how to get to his house! Lol…

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