Just as the regular season draws near, Courtney Upshaw is suggesting he's on the verge of showing his best form.
The rookie linebacker, the Ravens' top pick in this year's draft, weighed in at 271 pounds.
"It's been a long time coming. I'm feeling good. I look skinny, right?" Upshaw said with glee.
"I knew that's why they wanted me to lose the weight. I'll be well-conditioned when I'm out there, last longer in the games."
Coming out of Alabama where he posted 8.5 sacks last season in helping lead the Crimson Tide to a national championship, Upshaw could've carved out playing time with the first unit. The Ravens lost linebackers Jarret Johnson to free agency and Terrell Suggs for at least the first six games of the season as he recovers from an Achilles tear.
But Upshaw was saddled with shoulder problems. He missed practice time during training camp with it and then re-injured it in the preseason finale last week.
"The shoulder was kind of giving me problems but I don't (excuse) that for the way I played," said Upshaw, who will be behind the linebacking tandem of Albert McClellan and Paul Kruger.
The preseason didn't sit well with Upshaw. Coach John Harbaugh sounded under-enthusiastic at one point when asked about his progress.
Upshaw insists he has a new focus, evident by his comments on Twitter a few weeks ago:
-- "Can't sit back and wait on things to happen I got to make happen I'm all in I'm trying to be great"
-- "From here on out I'm approaching everything I do in a way where when I'm done I know no one out worked me on and off the field"
The source of his angst? The Ravens lacked sacks and pressure on the quarterback.
"Just thinking back to the preseason game and not getting sacks and stuff like that I just want to go out and be a better player and help the team," Upshaw said.
"I want to get sacks. That's my goal. Being drafted, coming in, it feels like a lot of people was doubting my pass-rush skills so I do want to get to the quarterback."