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A reporter at the NFL owners meetings asked Head Coach John Harbaugh how important it was to see tackle Byrant McKinnie before reportedly picking up his $500,000 roster bonus on March 16.
“It was how much less that we saw of him that was really important, how little of him that we saw that we [used to] put value on him,” Harbaugh joked.
The point is the Ravens are watching McKinnie’s waistline after he reportedly got out of shape last offseason.
And Harbaugh is happy with the initial report.
“He had done a good job, he’d been working in the offseason, he’s training,” Harbaugh said. “He’s in the same shape he was in when he left. We want to improve that from now until the start of next season.”
Harbaugh said it’s going to be really important to see what McKinnie does between now and when the offseason program starts on April 16th.
They want him to participate that throughout the strength and conditioning program, football school and organized team activities that run into early June so “he gets in the kind of shape he needs to be in,” Harbaugh said.
“I’m talking about weight wise to finish his career the way he wants to finish it and go on with his life, quality of life wise,” he said. “And he’s capable of doing it.”
After the lockout last offseason, there were reports that McKinnie weighed in at nearly 400 pounds upon his arrival at Minnesota Vikings training camp.
He was released and the Ravens took a chance in signing him, partly because fellow former Miami Hurricanes Ray Lewis and Ed Reed vouched for him. The three would run together after practices to try to get McKinnie in shape.
He continued to shed weight and the Ravens now list him at 6-foot-8, 360 pounds. McKinnie ended up starting all 16 games and was a part of cutting down the sacks and helping boost the run game in Baltimore.
Now the Ravens are making sure he’s not regressing this offseason, and would actually like him to take further steps forwards in the second year of his contract.
“This guy’s got good body composition. It’s not like he’s a big, fat guy. He’s a big guy,” Harbaugh said.
“We still want him to be able to move a little better and get a little quicker. He’s committed to that, he’s excited about attacking that and it’s a big goal of his.”