As a former player for the Tennessee Titans and Arizona Cardinals, Kyle Vanden Bosch has a unique viewpoint on Sunday’s season opener between the two teams.
Vanden Bosch spent the first four years of his career in Arizona, making 20 starts and posting 3.5 sacks. He missed all of the 2003 season with a torn ACL.
But he turned into a star in Tennessee, where he made the Pro Bowl as a defensive end in three of his five years – 2005, 2007 and 2009. During his half-decade Titans tenure, Vanden Bosch recorded 38.5 sacks and 47 tackles for loss before eventually finishing his career in Detroit.
Kyle Odegard, Sports and Gambling Editor of Compare.bet, caught up to the 42 year-old Vanden Bosch this week to get his thoughts on both the Titans and Cardinals. The full interview can be found here:
Below are some comments Vanden Bosch had on Titans edge rusher Bud Dupree, defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons and coach Mike Vrabel:
• On Dupree’s return from ACL surgery: "From a personal standpoint — and every recovery is different — but just from my experience, I was OK the year following an ACL. But it was (really back to normal) two years after. For an edge rusher, there is so much bend and torque on your lower body, rotational movements with your knees. And I would see myself on tape the first eight games back, not even knowing it but backing away from piles, being really concerned with people falling into my legs. Those are things you only get over with time and with reps. Knowing the direction that preseason has gone and knowing how little hitting and contact there is during an offseason now for NFL players, it’s difficult to imagine that even if he’s physically fully recovered, mentally he’s fully confident in planting, on getting hit, on the contact aspect of it.”
• On Simmons: "He’s a monster physically. He reminds me of — I played with Albert Haynesworth in Tennessee and I played with Ndamukong Suh. (Simmons is) just so powerful. I don’t know that he’s super dynamic as a pass-rusher. I don’t know that he’s ever going to be an Aaron Donald, where he’s a double-digit sack guy. But he’s definitely a physical presence. Having said that, there’s only the special few in the history of the league that can get there by themselves. You need two dominant pass-rushers. While I think (Simmons) is a fantastic player and a difference-maker, if Bud Dupree is not back to where he was and adds the outside pass rush, I don’t know that Simmons himself will make a big difference."
• On Vrabel and the Titans' defense: "They definitely need to be much better than they were last year. I’m certain they addressed a few of their needs in free agency and the draft. I’m sure they’ve looked at everything possible scheme-wise to upgrade what they did last year. I do expect their numbers to be better, just from the simple fact that you have the benefit of not being in a dominant division. He’s winning games and getting to the playoffs, but when you’re a defensive head coach and your defense is not playing well, that does reflect on you."