Lions say their workouts are best in the league

The locked-out Detroit Lions seem to be making the best of their


About 30 players went through conditioning drills at Detroit

Country Day School on Wednesday morning for a third straight day.

Then, several of them went through an additional strength-training

workout later in the afternoon at Athletic Republic near the

Pontiac Silverdome.

”This has probably been the best-organized and well-attended

player-led workouts of anybody,” defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch

said between workouts.

Offensive guard Rob Sims agreed.

”You see what people are doing on SportsCenter, but we’re

really working,” Sims said while wearing a sweat-drenched shirt in

Auburn Hills after his second workout of the day. ”It’s going to

be good for us.”

NFL players can’t use team facilities during the lockout, but

the locked-out Lions are getting some help.

Detroit Country Day School and Athletic Republic officials said

they’re not charging the players to use their facilities.

”I’m not worried about making a few hundred bucks off these

guys,” Athletic Republic trainer Michael Knight said after putting

Vanden Bosch, safety Louis Delmas, Sims and several other players

through a unique workout with ropes and kettlebells. ”This is a

dream come true for me.”

Matthew Stafford said he stopped signing his closing papers for

a dream home in suburban Detroit to join his teammates for the

third of a four-day minicamp set up by him, Vanden Bosch and center

Dominic Raiola.

”I’ve got to be here to make things go,” Stafford joked after

walking through a 2-minute offense with teammates.

Stafford said it was easier for him to make it than others, who

flew to Detroit from all over the country.

”It’s a positive sign,” he said. ”A lot of guys made

sacrifices to be here.”

Receiver Nate Burleson was glad he made the trip from


”It’s been good to run routes and catch balls,” he said.

”Gaining a little bit of chemistry with our point guard, which is


Vanden Bosch said the minicamp of sorts has created excitement

that has been missing this spring.

”By the end of the season, you get sick of everybody, but it

doesn’t take long and you miss them,” he said. ”It’s good to see

everybody. I’m encouraged by the conditioning and shape that

everybody is in.

”It looks like we’ll be ready to pick things up once we get

back to work.”

As the lockout approaches its 10th week, though, no one knows

when the league and the players will have an agreement to get out

of the courts and on fields.

”I don’t think our lawyers or their lawyers know for sure when

this is going to get resolved,” Vanden Bosch said. ”It would be a

travesty for everyone involved if we miss football games.”