ABERDEEN – Baltimore Ravens nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody debunked rumors that he had ballooned up to 400 pounds during the NFL lockout.
He appeared to be noticeably lighter and leaner than his rookie season while playing in offensive guard Ben Grubbs’ annual charity softball game Sunday at Ripken Stadium.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 349 pounds on the roster, Cody declined to reveal how much he currently weighs. He said he wants it to be a surprise whenever the work stoppage is over.
The former Alabama consensus All-American defensive lineman said he definitely weighs less than he did last season.
"I’ve been constantly training, training twice a day trying to stay in shape," Cody said. "Each week, my training is getting harder and harder. The biggest thing for me is conditioning and weight. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape."
General manager Ozzie Newsome recently predicted that Cody will emerge as the Ravens’ breakout player this season.
"Cody is going to have a great year this year," Newsome said. "He got a taste of it. If someone is going to step up, I would say Terrence Cody."
Drafted in the second round last year, Cody recorded 13 tackles as a rookie. He shed weight and improved his mobility and stamina by the end of the season.
"I heard about that," Cody said when asked about Newsome’s comment. "A couple of people told me about that. I use it as motivation to keep working hard."
Cody has been working out regularly with a trainer in Orlando, Fla. And his teammates have noticed a major difference in his work habits and diet.
"I knew Ozzie would make sure he got right," cornerback Lardarius Webb said. "When he first came in, he was a young mind. He didn’t really know how to take care of his body. Now, he’s learning. He looks good. To me, he looked lighter by the end of the year last year."
How much does Cody actually weigh?
"I haven’t checked myself," Cody said with a smile. "I’m waiting for the season to start so everyone can find out."
Cody started one game and played in 13 games after missing the first three games. He forced a fumble in the playoffs, memorably separating Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles from the football with a bear-hug tackle.
Cody underwent arthroscopic knee surgery prior to last season to repair his lateral meniscus.
"It’s feeling good," Cody said. "That’s what I’ve been focusing on, building my strength back up in the knee."
Although Cody remains a massive presence, he appeared fairly nimble on the baseball diamond. Cody fielded a sharply hit ground ball by second base and threw out the base runner.
"Look at Cody move!" the public address announcer said.
Grubbs wasn’t surprised by Cody’s improvement.
"When Terrence sets his mind to do something, no one can stop him," Grubbs said. "I think he understands that now. He knows this is his career and how he makes a living."
NOTES: Grubbs’ event drew slightly over 3,000 fans. All proceeds go toward his charitable foundation, which benefits disadvantaged children in Maryland and Alabama.
"I grew up in a single-parent home," said Grubbs, a native of Eclectic, Ala. "I have my mom here. She raised two kids after my father passed away when I was five. I know it’s not the best environment to grow up in.
"I’m a product of that environment, and I want people to know I made it. But I didn’t make it alone. That’s why I’m here. If I can give some kids a push, great."
Grubbs hopes to eventually launch a youth center in Park Heights in Baltimore.
"When I pulled up and saw all the fans and the cars, it made me feel really good that they cared and wanted to come out and support the cause," Grubbs said. "I’m just honored to be able to do it for the kids."
Several Ravens played in the softball game, including Cody, Webb, quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor, running back Ray Rice, offensive tackles Oniel Cousins and Ramon Harewood, linebacker Prescott Burgess, wide receivers Torrey Smith and Justin Harper, safety Haruki Nakamura and former Baltimore linebacker Brad Jackson.
A team composed of several NFL players, including Philadelphia Eagles reserve quarterback Mike Kafka, as well as local media and Miss Teen Maryland Kirsten Nicholson, of Sykesville, defeated the Ravens’ squad, 6-2.
Grubbs didn’t play in the game because he’s recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs from his ankle. He was in a walking boot.
"That’s why I have my boot on, so I won’t be tempted to play," Grubbs said. "I talked to my trainer, and he said I don’t need any setbacks. I was probably in the best shape of my life before I had my surgery, but my ankle started bothering me. I got a couple of opinions, and it seemed like a good time to do it. It wasn’t a serious surgery. I can run around now."
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times