Several second-year Steelers players reported to camp significantly lighter than they were as rookies, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Outside linebacker Bud Dupree, last year’s first-round pick out of the University of Kentucky, dropped 20 pounds and now weighs 254 pounds.
“No carbs,” Dupree said with a smile, according to ESPN.
Fellow outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo and tight end Jesse James also dropped about 20 pounds.
“I think what you’re seeing is, a lot of times guys come into the professional ranks thinking it’s a big man’s game,” Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin said. “But more than that, it’s a highly conditioned game. These guys are showing you they understand the level of conditioning is much more important to what they weigh. All second-year guys have done a lap around the track. Their weight is reflective of that.”
Tomlin said he’s not worried about Dupree playing at a lighter weight.
Dupree, who said playing at a lighter weight will allow him to play with more energy and remain on the field longer this season, also told ESPN that he relied on boxing training with noted pass-rush trainer Chuck Smith to stay fit.
Dupree said he’s way ahead of where he was as a rookie.
“Conditioning-wise, and playbook-wise,” Dupree said.
“My No. 1 thing is speed,” he told ESPN. “I have to make sure people know that’s my threat. I have to have counter moves (to complement speed).”