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AFC North Notes: McKinnie vows to be 345

Posted Jun 21, 2012

ITEM: McKinnie addresses his weight
Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, who was held out of the team’s minicamp so he could focus on conditioning, has vowed he will hit his target weight by training camp.

The 6-foot-8 McKinnie said he currently weighs 354 and will attempt to get to 345 by the opening of training camp.

“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 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.”

The Ravens paid a $500,000 roster bonus to McKinnie in March after he reportedly promised General Manager Ozzie Newsome that he would participate in the offseason conditioning program and get in better shape. Since then, McKinnie has lost some 10 pounds.

McKinnie was cut by the Minnesota Vikings in 2011 after reaching 387 pounds during the NFL lockout. Prior to this Ravens’ minicamp, McKinnie said he met with team officials and was told about the plan to keep him out of the practice sessions.

“I was there every day, I was inside lifting and running,” McKinnie said. “I’m just getting ready for the season and getting my body right.”

McKinnie said he gained all that weight during the lockout because he was eating late at night while supervising recording sessions for his music label.

“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.”

Coach John Harbaugh has not said what McKinnie needs to do to be on the field when camp opens in July, and he also praised the work of Michael Oher, who lined up at McKinnie’s left tackle spot during minicamp.

“We will leave that between us,” Harbaugh said last week. “That’s something that’s an in-house type of thing right now. Bryant has done a good job, he’s worked hard. It’s not as simple as some of you guys want to make it. It’s just a situation where we are going to do what’s best for the team, what’s best for Bryant. We want him here. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be here. He has worked hard, so you try to do what’s most beneficial for every guy in every situation. And it’s always individualized.”

McKinnie said he’ll spend the next six weeks working out in South Florida with trainer Pete Bommarito.

ITEM: Cribbs is bullish on progress of offense
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Joshua Cribbs said the offseason workouts and minicamp practices have helped the team progress in its second year employing the West Coast offense.

“I think we look pretty good,” Cribbs told Cleveland.com. “There are a lot of questions about our rookies and where they stand. I think they’re grasping the playbook. They’re getting it down pat. There’s a lot of competition out here. Guys are accepting their roles and they’re doing what they have to do to make us have a better football team, no matter if they have to take a backseat, no matter if they have to play a different role, myself included. We look good out there and we’ve got a lot of time.”

The Browns have added about a dozen players during the offseason through free agency and the NFL Draft.

ITEM: Rodney Stewart waived after knee injury
Cincinnati Bengals running back Rodney Stewart, who tore his ACL in rookie minicamp on May 11, was waived with an injury settlement.

Stewart signed with the Bengals as an undrafted rookie on May 2. He is from Westerville, Ohio, and played at Brookhaven High School. He played college football at Colorado.

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