Playing over his prescribed weight of 270 pounds was getting expensive for Ravens rookie outside Courtney Upshaw, drawing fines from the team of nearly $20,000 this season.
So, the second-round draft pick from Alabama did something about it.
Upshaw has dieted and exercised his way down to a much leaner weight of 266 to 268 pounds. He says he hasn't been fined since the fifth week of the season.
"I didn't even look at the fines," Upshaw said. "I just knew they were taking my money. That started getting me down."
Upshaw reported to training camp at over 280 pounds and initially flunking a mandatory conditioning test before passing it on the second try.
"Of course, I came in heavy," Upshaw said. "It was eating at night that was killing me."
In five starts, Upshaw has recorded 29 tackles, a half-sack and one fumble recovery.
"When I'm out there, I want to go through the game and I'm thinking, 'I haven't made a tackle yet,' and I want to get an assist here and there," Upshaw said. "It's motivation for me."
As the Ravens' top draft pick, Upshaw has set ambitious goals, but he isn't putting too much pressure on himself.
"When I'm out there on the field, I'm not even thinking about that," Upshaw said. "I want to make plays. I'm not out there just to be out there."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times