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BBAO: Lions add boxing regimen

We're Black and Blue All Over:

The hand-to-hand combat training craze has made its way to Detroit, as John Niyo of the Detroit News explains. While some teams have hired mixed-martial arts (MMA) specialists, the Lions have offered structured one-hour workouts with a Detroit-area boxing pro on every Wednesday of the offseason. About half of the team's players have participated.

Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch considers boxing a perfect supplement to traditional offseason training because it emphasizes blocking punches, a skill all defensive players need when attempting to shed blocks. And if nothing else, Vanden Bosch said, the sessions have broken up the Lions' offseason weeks.

The Lions open their mandatory minicamp Wednesday.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • The Lions are pleased with the investment they made in tight end Will Heller last season, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.

  • Lions coach Jim Schwartz is happy with the progress of his rookie class, according to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.

  • Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said there is no indication the team plans to complete a multiyear contract extension anytime soon, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

  • Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop said "I want to be out there badly" but isn't rocking the boat about his backup status, according to Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com speaks with Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers about using defensive end Cullen Jenkins as an outside linebacker in minicamp. Capers: "I think he can have production, whether it's inside or outside. I think he can win his share of one-on-ones and we can move him around. If he can stay healthy, I think he'll have good production for us. We know that he can handle it. We moved him around last year, he's a smart guy, he has a background of rushing outside on the edge. He's got good movement for a guy his size, and he can certainly be a physical guy if we put him out on the edge."

  • Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry has some hearing loss after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome last year, according to The Associated Press.

  • The Minnesota Vikings' ownership partners have refinanced the loan they took out five years ago to purchase the team, writes Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal. (Subscription required.)