Danny Shelton impressed Bill Belichick by slimming down to 325

Michael David Smith
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Patriots defensive tackle Danny Shelton has always been a big man, but last year he was too big for Bill Belichick’s liking. Not anymore.

Shelton said Belichick wanted him lighter than he was last year, when the Patriots made him inactive for some key games down the stretch, and Shelton delivered.

“I think Bill was really surprised when I came in for OTAs and I was about 325, as [compared] to 342 pounds that I was the previous year,” Shelton said, via the Boston Herald. “I felt a lot quicker. I felt like he’s seen my goal this year as far as how much my weight plays a part in my approach to the season. We agreed on 330 as a good goal, and I’ve been maintaining that this whole offseason.”

How did he do it? By replacing some of the high-calorie staples in his diet with vegetables, as well as by getting creative with his workouts with activities including mixed martial arts, jiu-jitsu and chopping logs with an axe.

Shelton knows he has to impress Belichick to make the Patriots’ roster, and he thinks by showing a commitment to keeping his weight down, he has.

“It’s tough for big guys to lose weight and maintain it,” Shelton said. “For me, I’m one of the big guys that fluctuates in weight a lot. Early in my career it was something I didn’t really see as something that would affect my game. Learning from my previous years, now I handle it more professionally.”

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