Shutdown Corner - NFL

Despite having first-round talent, but falling to the second round of the draft because of concerns about weight and discipline, this has to be about the worst way to start a career: Baltimore Ravens rookie Terrence Cody can't participate in training camp because he's not in good enough shape.

It's a concern. How big of one? Well, you can believe, like the Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston, that it's a clear indication that Cody lacks discipline and is perhaps a sign of unshakable sloth. But Ravens head coach John Harbaugh seems to believe that this is just one of those things that happens to rookies. He told the Sun he wasn't surprised.

“Every year certain guys struggle with that,” Harbaugh said. “Guys learn there’s a certain level of expectation in terms of conditioning that goes with being an NFL player, especially for this team. He’s going to have to get himself in the kind of shape he needs to be in.”

It's not the first time Cody's weight has disappointed NFL personnel people. He showed up for the Senior Bowl tipping the scales 370, at least 15 pounds north of where scouts wanted him to be. A month later, he was back down to 354, right around his playing weight in college. No one's saying exactly what he weights right now, but higher than 354 is probably a pretty good guess.

[Photos: NFL teams kick off training camps]

If I'm a Ravens fan, I'm not sweating this one this too much. The guy's struggled with weight all his life — it would have been unreasonable to expect him to sign a contract and then magically put all those issues behind him. He's lost weight before, and he can do it again. It's a battle he'll probably fight his whole career, and he's not alone in that.

He's still got a skill set that's rare and in high demand in the NFL. Let's get through training camp, see if he can get himself on the field, and see what happens when he does. If a month from now he's still not drawing double teams and wreaking havoc like he can, then it's time to be concerned.

But let's let his career actually start before we assume he'll be a bust.

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