Chicago coach Lovie Smith was not the only NFC North coach on the road Thursday night. While Smith was in Charlotte, N.C., to woo Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers, Detroit coach Jim Schwartz was visiting the home of Tennessee defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch.
Vanden BoschSchwartz was hoping to convince Vanden Bosch, a three-time Pro Bowler, to visit the Lions and be their premier catch in the 2010 free-agent market. Schwartz was the Titans' defensive coordinator in 2007 when Vanden Bosch put together a 12-sack season.
Vanden Bosch will turn 32 in November and is probably past his pass-rushing prime. But like defensive tackle Corey Williams, whom the Lions are close to acquiring from Cleveland, he would without question be an improvement upon the Lions' existing personnel. And without a salary cap, there is less long-term risk in signing a veteran player. To paraphrase Randy Moss, it's nothing but straight cash.
There is also some value to adding a veteran that Schwartz no doubt trusts and probably hopes can demonstrate the type of approach he is looking for in his defense and team. It's well worth the trip.