The NFL lockout didn't prevent a half dozen Detroit Lions players from gathering for two workouts Monday, on what would have been the first day of the team's off-season program, the Detroit Free-Press reported.
Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who first worked out for nearly two hours with fellow lineman Cliff Avril and long-snapper Don Muhlbach, then joined offensive linemen Dominic Raiola, Rob Sims and Stephen Peterman for another hour-long session.
Vanden Bosch said his desire to be physically prepared for when there is football and to build on the camraderie the Lions established with their strong finish to the 2010 season is the motivation for the sessions. It's a refrain that undoubtedly will be heard from other players on other teams in the coming days and weeks.
"It's going to be a strange offseason," Vanden Bosch told the newspaper. "In the front of everybody's minds is the labor situation and the lockout, but in the back of a lot of people's minds is when we get back to football, we want to be a good team and we want to win.
"It's difficult to balance that. But I think everybody is at this level because of how competitive they are, and they're professionals, and once you get past the labor part of this offseason, everybody wants to win next year. If you can find that edge and you can take advantage of some of the little things, I think that will help."
Vanden Bosch said passing and other position-specific drills could come into play for the Lions at some point if the lockout lasts a long time.
"The most important thing right now is everybody is accountable to the Lions, to each other, to make sure they're in shape and physically ready to go when we do start up," Vanden Bosch said. "No. 2 is, again as this offseason goes, building that chemistry, building that accountability and trust in each other."