Lions head coach Jim Schwartz flew to Tennessee on the first day of free agency in 2010 to make an in-person pitch to defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch to join the Lions. Not only did the Schwartz need some veteran talent along his defensive line, but he needed some veteran leadership in the locker room, too.
Vanden Bosch has provided both over the course of the last three seasons and was given the Joe Schmidt Leadership Award for a second consecutive year by his teammates.
The Joe Schmidt Award is presented to the player who has displayed outstanding leadership, drive and achievement on the field and in the locker room. This award is given in honor of former linebacker Joe Schmidt who was named All-Pro in eight of his 13 seasons (1953-65), earning 10 consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl. He served as captain of the Lions for nine seasons. From 1967-72, Schmidt compiled a 43-35-7 record as Detroit’s head coach. Schmidt was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973.
Vanden Bosch has been a mentor to players like Cliff Avril and Willie Young over the last three seasons, and is also one of the most respected veterans in the game.
On the field, Vanden Bosch has recorded 120 tackles, 15.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles since signing a four-year deal before the 2010 season.
Before he arrived in Detroit, it was rare to see defensive lineman chasing running backs 40-yards down the field in practice. A week after Vanden Bosch arrived, it was rare not to see one. That’s just some of what he’s meant to the Lions over the last three seasons.
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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 6 Comments »