Courtney Upshaw cites personal reasons for being overweight

The Baltimore Ravens need linebacker Courtney Upshaw to step up in 2013-14 in the worst way.

courtney upshaw

Now that heartbeat Ray Lewis has retired and his assumed understudy Dannell Ellerbe jetted off to Miami, the highly touted 2012 draft pick out of Alabama has  got to get it together.

Upshaw is on deck to compete with former Denver Bronco Elvis Dumervil for playing time on the strong side.

As a rookie he showed up to camp out-of-shape and it appears that history is repeating itself.

The outside linebacker told the Baltimore Sun that he’s rocking the scales at 285 due to personal reasons.

“I’ve got to drop a couple pounds and get ready for the season,” Upshaw said. “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 stated that his weight gain has not changed the way that he feels.

“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.”

The Ravens defense has always been the model of flexibility, Upshaw has shown at times that he can be an asset in run support.

Rookie Arthur Brown is on the mend and Upshaw could potentially assert himself as a force inside within the Ravens hybrid defense.

Of course that is a purely hypothetical situation that assumes that Upshaw gets lean and makes a statement in training camp.

Video: Courtney Upshaw on his road to the NFL