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John Harbaugh: Courtney Upshaw 'eats too much'

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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One day removed from a jovial meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, John Harbaugh was back to business Thursday for Baltimore Ravens organized team activities. The Super Bowl-winning coach took the opportunity to call out linebacker Courtney Upshaw.

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"He understands the defense exceptionally well," Harbaugh said, per the Carroll County Times. "He's working really hard, (but) Courtney's weight issue -- which he does need to lose some pounds -- is that he doesn't eat right."

Upshaw is up to 285 pounds after playing at 272 in 2012.

It's not unusual for a coach to take the chance publicly to get on a player early in the offseason. Harbaugh likely wanted to make sure his linebacker wouldn't rest on the laurels of winning a Super Bowl and wanted to nudge him out of bad habits sooner rather than later.

"Courtney eats too much, and he doesn't eat all the right foods," Harbaugh said. "He knows that's something that he's going to have to get a handle on or he's not going to be the best he can be. He's aware of it. We have everybody in our building involved in it. He'll be in fighting shape. I promise you that."

Upshaw said he is working to get back down to playing weight and cited personal troubles in Alabama for not being able to work out as much this offseason.

"I'm working, man. I'm working real hard," Upshaw said Thursday, via the team's official website. "It's anything to try to get me down. It's frustrating to not see my weight go down knowing I'm putting in all that work."

The Ravens signed Elvis Dumervil to start opposite Terrell Suggs, so Upshaw's importance isn't as glaring as when the offseason started. However, his increased playing time down the stretch last season and Harbaugh's comments indicate that Upshaw will play a major role in the success or failure of the revamped defense in Baltimore.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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