When reports surfaced that Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz traveled to meet with Kyle Vanden Bosch the moment that free agency began last offseason, I was under the impression that he was simply looking to bring a familiar veteran face to Detroit.
But what we’ve all been finding out over the past year is that Vanden Bosch isn’t just a high work-ethic guy on the field, he’s also a highly committed team spokesman off the field. We saw that he was willing to go all out — all the time — in practice, pre-season, and in the regular season, but now we’re also witnessing his desire to go all out as a team advocate in the middle of the free agency.
The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett got a few quotes from KVB as he entered the Lions’ headquarters with several other veteran players:
“I don’t know who we have interest in,” Vanden Bosch said. “There’s a couple of linebackers I played with in Tennessee that are free agents, and they’re both good players and good friends. It’d be nice to have them.”
But I don’t think that Vanden Bosch is only interested in seeing a couple of old buddies join the team so that they can relive the glory days. He’s willing to reach out to anyone:
“But any way I can help this team. That’s, honestly, my role when I came here was to be a football player and help this team win games that way, but it’s also — I made a vow that I would do anything I could to help this team out. So if I can make a phone call or meet somebody when they come in that might make a difference, that’s what I’m going to do.”
I don’t usually put too much stock into things like “clubhouse chemistry”, but here’s a real example of a guy doing whatever it takes to help out the organization. The Lions are gaining national attention for there improvement, but I’m sure it’s still a hard sell to get free agents to commit to the (formerly) downtrodden franchise. I would be willing to bet that having a respected veteran vouch for the team’s turnaround would aid in luring free agents that are looking to join a team that’s ready to win now.