Second-year LB Courtney Upshaw came to practice on Wednesday looking much leaner than he did at minicamp.
At minicamp, Upshaw was said to be around 15 pounds overweight, so he worked hard to change that. During the break between minicamp and training camp, Upshaw stayed in Baltimore to work with teammate Bryan Hall. Upshaw decided to work hard to lose weight instead of going home or going on vacation, like the rest of the team did. He came into practice with very nice results being shown.
"I can feel the difference and I feel good," Upshaw said.
While at minicamp earlier in the summer, Upshaw was told by Coach John Harbaugh that he needed to lose the few pounds that he gained after the Super Bowl victory. Upshaw has been said to have lost around 20 pounds since minicamp in June.
It is not sure what the exact weight for Upshaw is, but he will figure it out on Thursday, before the team begins their first full practice of the summer.
"I'm down, but I'm still trying to get down. Honestly, I might not be where they want me at tomorrow, but I'll be close. I'm waiting to get on the scale myself," said Upshaw in an interview on Wednesday.
Courtney Upshaw needs to lose all of the weight he can if he wants to compete with Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil.
"The mentality is to come in and improve on the things I did good on last year. I'm just trying to earn my spot on this defense and get some playing time. I have to go out there and show that I'm ready to compete," said Upshaw.
Courtney Upshaw had a very well-done 2012 season. He ended the season with 55 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and two fumble recoveries. He capped it all off with a Super Bowl XLVII victory in February.
If he wants to compete with Dumervil and Suggs, Upshaw will most likely need to develop a better way of getting at the quarterback for a sack. Suggs and Dumervil are projected to be one of the NFL's deadliest pass rushers, so Upshaw will need to show that he can get after the quarterback just like they can. If he can do that, he will probably get a larger chunk of playing time.
Upshaw was important to the Super Bowl team last season, especially in the Super Bowl. At one point in the Super Bowl, he knocked the ball right out of LaMichael James hands, forcing a fumble that was recovered by the Ravens.
Overall, Courtney Upshaw was one of the best Ravens' rookies in recent years, and hopefully he continues to do what he does, because the Ravens could use his skills, even though they already have guys like Dumervil and Suggs.
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED...
A gallery of Super Bowl XLVII pictures, which includes the hit on LaMichael James is here.
An interview with Courtney Upshaw before Super Bowl XLVII is here.