Continuing his mission to get stronger for his second year, Artie Burns says he added five pounds during the offseason. Jacob Klinger of PennLive has the quote and the tweet.
Burns had a lankier frame coming out of school, weighing in at 193 pounds at the 2016 NFL Combine. It’s safe to assume he’s now around the 200 pound mark. Five pounds isn’t much but it’s another effort he’s making to get better in press and man coverage, two things the Steelers will continue to increase in 2017.
He previously said he is taking up jiu jitsu to improve his hand use and strength. In the interview with Missi Matthews, Burns explained he wanted to better match up against the league’s bigger – and best – receivers.
“To be able to play against some of the bigger receivers. Guys like Dez. Guys like Julio. Guys like that,” he told Matthews.
In our “one step to take series” we pointed out Burns’ need to get stronger at the top of the route. You can check that article out, including a couple of GIFs against Dez Bryant, below.
A player’s first offseason is really his first chance to figure out how his body works and the condition it needs to be in to compete at the NFL level. Rookies generally don’t have a clue what being in NFL shape means or what weight is optimal for them. Burns is one of several recent stories of players adding or dropping weight. Bud Dupree and Jesse James dropped more than a dozen pounds from their first to second year in order to play faster and fresher by season’s end. Burns is going the other direction, adding so he can handle the rigors of a full season.
Of course, veterans will make chances to their weight too. Mike Mitchell recently confirmed he added 10 pounds of muscle, bringing him up into the 205-210 range while Martavis Bryant trained hard for the first time ever, now tipping the scales somewhere around 225 pounds.
Personally, it’s good to keep track of these things because team sites are notoriously poor in ever updating such information. Most famously, Casey Hampton was listed at 320 his entire career, a number he was never close to in the NFL. Weights can be off from anywhere between ten to even 30 pounds. Ramon Foster, for example, is listed at 328 while Mike Munchak recently said he’s 340 pounds.