There might be eyebrows raised in Baltimore over Bryant McKinnie’s conditioning, but the veteran offensive tackle said he wanted to make sure everyone knows he’ll be ready by the time training camp starts.
“I’m going to show up at the weight I’m supposed to be and handle my business and get everybody off my back,” McKinnie told Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times. “I want to get this work done, come in at the right weight and shut everybody up. I’m only nine pounds away.
“I’m getting in shape. I’m lower now in my weight than any time last year. I think people got the wrong idea about why I wasn’t out there last week.”
Weight’s been an issue in recent years with the talented blocker, who ate his way out of Minnesota last summer, getting up to a reported 387 pounds.
But the Ravens paid him a $500,000 roster bonus in March when he pledged to general manager Ozzie Newsome that he’d participate in the offseason program and get in shape. Since then, he’s down to 354 pounds, and they want him at 345. That’s why he was held out of last week’s minicamp.
According to Wilson, McKinnie blamed late-night meals while “supervising recording sessions for his music label” for the weight gain.
“For people to say I had a weight issue my whole career, that’s just wrong,” McKinnie said. “That happened one year and that was after the lockout. I’ve still got bitter Vikings fans tweeting me. I feel like that’s uncalled for. It’s not like I’ve struggled with my weight every year. When I was with the Vikings, I didn’t let anybody beat me out.
“They just awarded it to somebody and then you saw they went and drafted somebody this year in the first round, [USC All-American offensive tackle Matt Kalil]. I feel like the Vikings fans are just bitter. They obviously follow me on Twitter, so I’m starting to believe that.”
McKinnie will spend the next six weeks in South Florida working out, in hpoes of dropping those nine remaining pounds.
He’s obviously motivated to prove some people wrong, and if he can get himself conditioned, the Ravens could benefit from him being the right kind of hungry.