Courtney Upshaw needed to lose weight if he wanted to hear less from Ravens coach John Harbaugh.
According to his trainer, a lighter Upshaw will report to training camp. Upshaw’s trainer, Troy Jones, told the Baltimore Sun that Upshaw had dropped around 20 pounds, down from 295 pounds prior to minicamp to around 275 pounds.
“Courtney has been very consistent and has dropped about 20 pounds,” Jones told the Sun. “He’s been very dedicated. He has a great work ethic. He’s a quiet guy. When Courtney makes up his mind, he doesn’t hesitate. He’ll pass the conditioning test. Courtney is very explosive.”
Harbaugh will be watching closely to see if Upshaw, a second-year linebacker, has made a stronger commitment to conditioning. During minicamp, Harbaugh called out Upshaw about his eating habits.
“Courtney eats too much, and he doesn’t eat all the right foods,” Harbaugh said in June. “He knows that’s something that he’s going to have to get a handle on or he’s not going to be the best he can be. He’s aware of it. We have everybody in our building involved in it. He’ll be in fighting shape, I promise you that.”
In only his second season, Upshaw will be part of the rotation at outside linebacker behind Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs. After a slow start due to weight problems as a rookie, Upshaw got in better shape, played all 16 games, made nine starts, and contributed 60 tackles and 1 ½ sacks.
The Ravens know Upshaw has talent. But Upshaw’s hunger, that is his hunger to become a better player, will be partially reflected in how well he takes care of himself. Reporting to training camp in improved shape would be a good place to start.