There appears to be a pattern forming with Courtney Upshaw in the NFL.
In the Ravens linebacker’s rookie season, he failed his first conditioning test after coming into camp out of shape. He dropped to below 270 pounds through the 2012 season and looked to be on the right track for 2013.
But Upshaw ballooned up to 285 pounds following some offseason “personal issues” that kept him out of the Baltimore training facility.
“I’ve got to drop a couple pounds and get ready for the season,” Upshaw told The Baltimore Sun on Sunday. ”My offseason has been kind of hectic. I had a personal issue where I had to handle that. Right now, I’m trying to get back into football shape.
“I was back and forth between Alabama and Baltimore, just real personal issues that I had to handle. Just trying to drop a couple pounds and get ready for the season.”
Upshaw had a solid, but unspectacular, rookie season for the Ravens, starting nine games at outside linebacker opposite Terrell Suggs and Paul Kruger. He’ll play in a rotation with Suggs and free agent acquisition Elvis Dumervil this season.
“I’m feeling good,” Upshaw said. “I’ve just got to look good. It’s not really a good look coming in heavy like the first year, but I’ve got to be a pro about everything. I’m trying to improve year in and year out in every aspect, and that’s even with the weight issue.”
Upshaw racked up 1 1/2 sacks, 60 tackles, seven quarterback hits and 13 quarterback hurries in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus. He ranked 31st out of 32 3-4 outside linebackers in Pro Football Focus’ “pass rush productivity” stat. He was much stronger against the run, ranking second in PFF’s “run stop percentage” stat.
Photo via Facebook/Courtney Upshaw