Courtney Upshaw blames “personal issues” for being overweight


Last year, the Ravens’ top draft pick, outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, got off to a disappointing start when he failed a conditioning test in training camp. This year, Upshaw is out of shape again.

Upshaw told Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun that he weighs about 285 pounds, well over last year’s playing weight, and that he hasn’t been able to work out as much as he’d like because he has had personal problems.

I’ve got to drop a couple pounds and get ready for the season,” Upshaw said. “My offseason has been kind of hectic. I had a personal issue where I had to handle that. Right now, I’m trying to get back into football shape. I was back and forth between Alabama and Baltimore, just real personal issues that I had to handle. Just trying to drop a couple pounds and get ready for the season.”

Despite being in less than stellar shape, Upshaw says he has a positive outlook on the season ahead.

“I’m feeling good,” Upshaw said. “I’ve just got to look good. It’s not really a good look coming in heavy like the first year, but I’ve got to be a pro about everything. I’m trying to improve year in and year out in every aspect, and that’s even with the weight issue.”

Upshaw needs to get in shape and stay in shape to avoid being a rare Ravens draft bust.

57 responses to “Courtney Upshaw blames “personal issues” for being overweight

  1. What kind of personal issue is an excuse for being unprofessionally out of shape two years in a row, other than falling in love with a candy bar?

  2. I hope I believe him. he was a likable player last year and a good defender.

  3. Life is a never ending journey of ‘personal issues’.

    Courtney please become a man and work thru these issues while you are also taking on the difficult task of not eating like you are mentally challenged.

    O yea, and you will have to exercise for an hour or 2 a day……In the other 22 or 23 hours of your day you might try reading Undaunted Courage.

  4. I checked his listed weight on at 272 so losing 13lbs isn’t a matter of pushing the panic button but I thought he came in and even finished a little pudgy.

    I wasn’t impressed with his overall play as a rookie, felt he underperformed overall but he did force that fumble on Lamichael James in the SB so it bailed him out on a very average rookie season a little in my mind. This man is supposed a true roughneck/tough guy and I wonder if that personality intimidates some players/coaches from really laying into him.

    ALL that said…..I have to respect the fact the guy goes from a National Title in NCAA direct to a Superbowl win. I might be feeling my life at that point and do a little extra celebrating as well.

    If he doesn’t have a great year it should at least be decent due to the supporting cast, we may not see a breakout till year 3 as a result. I can live with that as long as he doesn’t fall off. I know fans have a militant mind about athletes, but I dont and respect the fact this guy partied it up the last few months due to his b2b championships at two different levels of sports.

  5. Not to worry. He’ll just switch from chewing up hamburgers to roethlisburgers.

  6. i understand mr. upshaw. i’ve been dealing with personal issues myself for the last 15 years. my weight has ballooned by roughly 70 pounds since high school. if i could only get through them…..

  7. And to think the dysfunction that is the Jets passed up on this guy to go for the lazy, low motor Quinton Coples?!?! What a mess of anorganization from top, down…

    It wasn’t too long ago all the fans that ONLY eat at what the media feeds them praised the traditionally well run Ravens’ draft and jumped all over the Jets for passing up on the likes of this scrub and SD’s Ingram.

  8. You mean the not uncommon recent Baltimore busts? Top picks since 2009? Sergio Kindle, Jimmy Smith, Courtney Upshaw. Not looking too hot as of late, Oz.

  9. Another early round draft bust drafted by the great and wonderful Oz. Sooner or later he’ll get called out for them.

  10. he said it its about being a professional at all times…I’ve been around a few athletes here and there during the offseason and most of them really take their diets seriously…I know Courtney is a southern boy and he probably goes home and eats everything, thats cool at 23 if you’re running every single day but if you’re not a dude with that type of frame could go well over 300lbs quickly…if he tears something you’ll have to wonder if it was because of this.

  11. Maybe a relative is sick and he’s been sitting bedside, unable to workout and eat the way he wants.

    Maybe he has a medical condition and the meds have made him gain weight or zapped his energy so he can’t work out as hard.

    Who knows, athletes are people too, and life happens to everyone.

  12. Not time to panic about the extra weight. He’s 12 pounds over the weight he checked in at the combine. At his size that’s a few hard workouts and a good dump.

    But the personal issues are a little concerning when they are used as an excuse. Lenbias post is right on. Life is full of them. You will have to continue to improve your skill while dealing with them your whole life.

  13. As Bud Grant once said it doesn’t take athletic talent to stay in shape, it takes dedication. Without dedication all is lost.

  14. I’m shocked!! It must be very difficult to deal with “personal issues” when you work only 6 mo out of the year and get paid more than a family MD.

    No surprise here when he was out of shape at the combine, last year and now. I guess he’s been dealing with personal issues since he left Alabama

  15. Not being a ravens fan, I’d love to see him be a bust. But as most commenters already state, grow up and be a man. Life is one long string of personal issues after another. Unless its a medical reason, push away from the table. Mr Upshaw, if you’re really interested in losing the weight, contact me.

  16. Once is a mistake. Twice is a trend. Guy apparently doesn’t understand this is his job.

  17. Since Adalius Thomas left, they’ve really struggled to get a dominant starter at OLB to play across from Suggs Suggs. Paul Kruger left (and was overpaid), Sergio Kindle was a bust, and now Upshaw may eat himself out of the starting lineup.

  18. There’s something about being a Raven and going back and forth to Alabama that doesn’t seem to mix.

  19. he was great in the playoffs, but if I am ozzie, this is the second Bama player we’ve picked high that could not control his weight. Might want to keep that in mind in the future

  20. It’s not a good look, but at least he’s owning up to the fact that he needs to change and get better. That’s a big step.

  21. The thing about personal issues is, it’s very easy to dismiss them as long as their somebody else’s.

    When they’re our own issues, we tend to take them a lot more seriously.

  22. He was out of shape at the combine. Out of shape last year and now again this year. Seems like he”s just an out of shape bust who will never be much of a pass rusher. Maybe he can be a factor in the run game.

  23. Unless he does change to the inside and baring any injury he’ll only play when T-sizzle or Doom get tired.

    Then again, maybe he’ll play when the “jump ball” and “check down” and “hail mary” passes have run the score up out of reach.

  24. The guy was ranked as the #2 run-stuffing OLB last season.

    Is it a good thing that he’s not in great shape to start the off season? No…definitely not…but let’s not overreact and start calling bust for a player who performed extremely well in the role he was drafted for (replacing Jarrett Johnson).

  25. I have a hard time having sympathy for him. Obviously I hope whatever personal issue he is going through works out the best for him, but I, like many readers here, have a full-time jobs that span year round. When personal stuff comes up, we don’t just take 6 months off work. Unless Upshaw has some offseason job that nobody knows about, it would seem that his only professional responsibility would be to find a couple hours a day to hit the gym and eat responsibly. Hard to imagine he can’t make time for that, considering most normal people find ways to make time for an 8-hour work day despite whatever they are going through.

  26. Mr. Upshaw welcome to Harbaugh Hell.

    Ask former fatty Mr. Mckinnie he actually came in this year in shape after his stint.

  27. That’s why they signed and over paid Elvis dumervill. To think some ravens fans were saying upshaw was going to play in the middle this year.LOL Ozzie knows best Sergio kindle, Cody, jimmy smith etc…Ozzie is great when his guy falls into his lap like Nata did, but he is far less impressive drafting later in the 1st round, and early in the 2nd as some of the above picks indicate.

  28. A guy falls down the stairs (Sergio Kindle)before ever putting on a Ravens jersey and he’s a bust?? If your a Steeler looking to feel good then that’s ok as I will not take you seriously like normal, but if your legitimately gonna say that he defines a “bust” you should rethink that term’s meaning. A “bust” is a Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russel, Kyle Boller type. Also calling Jimmy Smith a bust is a reach for being only 2 years deep, he’s very close though. Make or break year for him. Seriously though, the term bust just doesn’t mean what it used too.

  29. BUST? Lol. Kidle broke his head before training camp and is death in one ear. Smith has been decent but injured. And upshaw was ranked as the 2 nd best linebacker against the run as a rookie. So for a guy who started the superbowl and was dominant against the run he is not s bust. The only reason his sacks are down is because he got pulled on third down for kruger and suggs

  30. Top 2 run defenders? Hahaha. that was an overblown evaluation coming out of college! I told you the Ravens have 90% football illiterate bandwagon fans in their base. Did you see how the Ravens defense got carved up last season, in the air and on the ground!?!?!?! And with 8 new starters including a bum J. Smith and bum knee Webb. Smith might now even crack the starters because he’s another Ozzie high round bust.

  31. I know it is cute and funny to try to make the most clever comment and see how many Likes it gets, but I seriously doubt anyone making the fat jokes (Before you start, I’m a 6’5” 230lb, no lightweight, but secure with my size, so I’m not personally offended) would be anywhere close to being able to make it through a NFL Linebacker workout routine. And I can assure you that too many Twinkies is not the issue here. For years (High school, College, and then Pros) these guys have been consuming about 5000 calories a day to maintain that workout routine and their muscle mass. That is almost three times the daily intake the rest of us consume. You don’t turn that off like a light switch when issues arise that prevents you from exercising, because now your stomach has been stretched and you have deep seated habits. If the average person were to just stop working out on a diet like that, we wouldn’t be just 15 or 20 pounds overweight after a year or two, we would more than 100 pounds overweight. We would be 30 pounds overweight within weeks on that kind of diet. My son plays Defensive End in High School and eats nowhere near that much, and trains lighter as well. He tore his rotator cuff doing squat presses, which required surgery and no weight training for six weeks. He went from 167 pounds to 194 pounds in six weeks. I know it is Upshaw’s job and he is highly compensated. But Upshaw said he has personal issues preventing him from training the way he needed to. I will take him at his word. After more than 18 years managing people, one thing I have learned is that when they have serious issues, divorce, illness, addiction, loss of a loved one, their work slips. And it doesn’t matter how highly compensated they are. So if you think that if you got paid that much you would be different in a time of crisis, then you are just kidding yourself. I also know as an employer, some employees recover, and some never do. And when you have exhausted all your resources to help someone, but they won’t help themselves, sometimes you have to let them go and move on no matter how important they could have been to the organization or what you have invested in them. Let’s hope that is not the case here with Mr. Upshaw and all give him the benefit of the doubt.

  32. His being highly thought-of in regards to playing the run has nothing to do with Upshaw’s performance in college.

    I’ll not pretend that Pro Football Focus is the end-all / be-all of expertise, but them ranking Upshaw the #2 OLB against the run is based upon his on-the-field action at the NFL level. Once Suggs was back at mid-season, Upshaw’s play relegated Kruger to the bench in all but obvious passing situations.

  33. First if all to insinuate bust is extremely premature especially after he was one of the best olbs against the run last year and caused pivotal fumble in Super Bowl

  34. jct2013 says:

    I know it is cute and funny to try to make the most clever comment and see how many Likes it gets, but I seriously doubt anyone making the fat jokes (Before you start, I’m a 6’5” 230lb, no lightweight, but secure with my size…
    I’m sure the rest of your long post was very insightful, but I had to stop at this. Either you’re lying about your stats, or have a warped sense of being overweight. 6’5″ 230lb? That’s not overweight, that’s like being JJ from Good Times. Maybe you meant 5’6″ 230lbs.

  35. I sure do wish you were right corwnofthehelmet. But according to WebMD the “healthy” weight for my height, weight, age and gender is 156 – 211. Now I would NEVER want to weigh 156 at my height, that would be like JJ… I have weighed 155 once in my teens after being hospitalized with the flu and I looked malnourished. I would “like” to weigh about 210 now at age 41. I weighed 198 coming out of boot camp at age 21 and that was by far the best shape of my life. But those days are long gone 😉 WebMD has overweight being between 211 – 253, and over that being obese for me. And honestly at 230 I could stand to loose 15 – 20 lbs around the middle. But like I said, or was trying to, I don’t consider myself fat, and was not offended by the fat jokes. Just thought we should all cut Upshaw some slack.

  36. What a load of crappola. Your a millionare with a ton of free time. You lack work ethic. This repetitive behavious screams out your happy to just be here.

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