Lions say their workouts are best in the league
The locked-out Detroit Lions seem to be making the best of their situation.
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 Seattle.
''It's been good to run routes and catch balls,'' he said. ''Gaining a little bit of chemistry with our point guard, which is Matt.''
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.''