FYI: Jay Ratliff did not drop 18 pounds.
Considering the offseason speculation that he could move to defensive end in Rob Ryan's new scheme, Ratliff's listed training camp weight – an estimated 285 pounds, way down from last year's listed 303 pounds – raised some eyebrows.
It's overblown, he says.
Ratliff weighed 303 pounds his rookie season in 2005. Ever since, he's played at somewhere between 290-295 pounds. As he reminded me, he's not a natural 300-pounder. Keep in mind that he stepped on campus at Auburn in 2001 as a 250-260 pound tight/end quarterback.
The 290 weight helps his flexibility, his quickness, his ability to recover from aches and pains. He's labeled as an undersized nose tackle, and there's no question he doesn't fit the prototype 330-pound runs stuffer.
Wouldn't be surprising at all to see Ratliff play some end in certain subpackages. He's a versatile lineman in a Ryan scheme that requires and rewards versatility.
"That's a great description," defensive line coach Brian Baker said. "He's a nose tackle with the versatility to do a lot of different things. That's exciting to us because typically in this league because that guy, typically in this system, is not that guy. He's not a guy that you can do a whole lot with. He's usually more of a grind-it-down, run-stopping kind of guy.
"To have a guy like Jay who can be effective in the run game but also give you some movement and versatility in your first- and second-down packages, along with your third-down packages is unique. He's a unique guy."