When the Ravens wrapped up their offseason training program last month, most players used the time to get out of town, visit with family and recharge before the start of training camp.
The second-year outside linebacker spent most of the last month in Baltimore, working to lose weight and get into shape before training camp. As he reported for training camp this week, Upshaw was noticeably leaner and said that he had “lost a lot of weight.”
“I can feel the difference and I feel good,” Upshaw said Wednesday.
During the break, Upshaw worked with teammate
Upshaw’s trainer said in a recent interview that Upshaw has lost about 20 pounds.
“I’m down, but still trying to get down,” Upshaw said. “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.”
Upshaw did not provide an exact weight when he talked with reporters after Thursday’s practice.
Upshaw’s weight became a topic of discussion during the team’s mandatory minicamp in early-June, where he acknowledged he was about 15 pounds too heavy. Upshaw was listed at 272 pounds last season, but was up to about 285 during minicamp.
Dealing with some personal situations back home in Alabama kept the former second-round pick from training the way he wanted, and Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the time that Upshaw needed to improve his diet.
Despite the weight gain, Upshaw still performed “very well” during the offseason practices, Harbaugh said.
“I honestly felt that I was doing well in practices,” Upshaw said. “Whatever the coach says to do, I have to do it. It’s only going to make me a better player, and make me move much better and more fluid.”
Upshaw had a similar struggle last year, as he failed the conditioning test at the start of training camp. He said he doesn’t need to take the conditioning test this year because he participated in enough of the voluntary offseason conditioning program.
Expectations are high for Upshaw heading into his second season. He played in every game his rookie season, starting nine, and finished the year with 55 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries. He was a quality edge setter in the run game and also displayed pass-rushing prowess.
“The mentality is to come in and improve on the things I did good last year,” Upshaw said. “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."