CAMP NOTES: Upshaw gets it right the second time

Camp Notes CAMP NOTES: Upshaw gets it right the second time

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Rookie outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw has passed a mandatory conditioning test and is now cleared to practice.

Upshaw initially flunked the timed series of runs on his first try and was placed on the non-football injury list.

Now, Upshaw has been activated along with undrafted rookie tight end Bruce Figgins. Figgins also failed the test.

Upshaw indicated via his Twitter account that he missed one walk-through practice before passing the test on his second try.

The conditioning test involves six 150-yard sprints run in 25-yard intervals akin to a suicide drill in basketball.

Players have to make certain times for their position and have 70 seconds of rest time in between runs.

"Obviously, the bigger guys have more rest and a slower time," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "The idea is to get a basic ability to recover between sets, a basic ability to get your wind back, to get your legs back and then to change direction, put stress on the muscles, stop, start, change direction, which is what happens in football. You make sure the guys can do that, recover the next day so they can get through a basic practice. To me, it’s a fundament, a baseline level of conditioning. And that’s why we do it."

Upshaw is the Ravens’ top draft pick, a second-round selection from Alabama who recorded 9 1/2 sacks last season for the Crimson Tide.

He’s projected to start at former Ravens starter Jarret Johnson’s vacated strongside linebacker spot.

Johnson signed a $19 million contract with the San Diego Chargers this offseason.

FINGERS CROSSED: The Ravens are hopeful that starting left offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie will report at his target weight of 345 pounds.

McKinnie wasn’t allowed to practice at a mandatory minicamp in June due to conditioning issues. The former Pro Bowl blocker was cut by the Minnesota Vikings last summer when he ballooned up to 387 pounds during the NFL lockout.

He struggled with his endurance during an organized team activity and seemed to have trouble keeping up with the tempo of practice.

However, McKinnie recently told 24×7 that he was down to 350 pounds and had significantly improved his diet and conditioning.

"I haven’t seen him yet," Harbaugh said. "We’ll see. I have my fingers crossed. One thing about Bryant and I will say this: Bryant is a hard worker. He’s a hard worker. He’s going to do everything he can from a work standpoint to get it done. And hopefully he will be able to do what he needs to do."


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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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