Ravens tackle Bryant McKinnie wasn’t allowed to practice when training camp began because the team thought he was too heavy, a development that didn’t come as much of a surprise given McKinnie’s past history of waiting until camp to start getting down to his playing weight.
That it wasn’t a surprise doesn’t meant that McKinnie appreciated the attention paid to his waistline. McKinnie thinks that people spend too much time thinking about and asking him about his weight, blaming the focus on people thinking he has a serious weight problem because he showed up at almost 400 pounds to one Vikings training camp instead of seeing him as the husky man in control of his weight that he believes he has become.
“I don’t know why this weight thing is following me back every year,” McKinnie said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “I reported overweight one year, and now it’s a constant thing. The thing about is when people see me they feel I lost or gained weight. It’s not an issue. I’m not like a big, huge guy. I’m not fat or sloppy. People will see me and they’re like, ‘Oh, you lost a lot of weight.’ Actually, I didn’t. It’s just every time I’m overweight, whether it’s five or 10 pounds, people assume I ballooned up like crazy.”
McKinnie can make it very easy for people to pay attention to things other than his weight by reporting to camp at his prescribed weight — 346 pounds this year, a number the tackle says he’s close to hitting — instead of needing a day or two or more on the sideline before he can practice. That makes it something people notice in a way they wouldn’t if the only report about McKinnie at the start of camp was that he took part in practice with his teammates.