Lions’ lineman Vanden Bosch is crazy like a fox

Veteran defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch has helped invigorate the Detroit front four.

It takes a lot of work to appear insane.

It helps if you’re clever, or downright smart.

Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Detroit Lions defensive lineman noted for his enthusiastic play, has those traits. And though he may appear to be an out of control beast as he chases opposing quarterbacks, there is a method to Vanden Bosch’s madness.

In a recent radio interview, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers shared his impression of Vanden Bosch.

But even though Vanden Bosch seems like a madman on the football field, he’s actually a very smart man. In college at the University of Nebraska, he was Academic All-Big 12 for the three consecutive years and finished with a 3.82 GPA.

With the Huskies, Vanden Bosch was also a member of the Innocents Society, the Chancellor’s Senior Honorary at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Membership in the Innocents Society is based upon “superior academic achievement, unparalleled leadership, and selfless service to the University and community.”

With those kinds of smarts, Vanden Bosch is far from a meathead football player, he’s a well-spoken (despite Rodgers’ assessment) man with an intellect.

At Nebraska, Vanden Bosch earned a degree in finance in 2000, before being selected in the 2001 NFL Draft in the second round by the Arizona Cardinals. He was coveted for his tremendous strength – in college he added 40 pounds of muscle to his frame and was named the top weight lifter on campus three times.

The muscular lineman spent four seasons with the Cardinals, but it was with the Tennessee Titans where he emerged as an NFL impact player. In five seasons in Tennessee, Vanden Bosch made two Pro Bowl appearances, and in 2005 he finished fourth in all of the NFL with 12.5 sacks. When he became a free agent after the 2009 season, the Lions inked him to a $26 million, four-year deal. The move reunited Vanden Bosch with Jim Schwartz, who had been his defensive line coach with the Titans.

So far, the move has proved to be a smart one for Vanden Bosch and the improving Lions. The veteran defensive end has fit in well with younger players like Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley on the talented Detroit line.

With the Lions making the playoffs for the first time in over a decade in Vanden Bosch’s second season in Detroit, his antics look far from crazy, instead they seem downright genius.