Prepared Woody Loses Weight, Excuses

Damien Woody

Damien Woody, the former New England Pro Bowl center, is back for his second season as the Lions' right guard. And at 335 pounds, he doesn't exactly qualify as sleek, but compared to last year's 355 pounds, his girth is something both he and his Lions bosses feel pretty good about.

Damien Woody was holding court on a weighty subject - his own weight.

Woody, the former New England Pro Bowl center, is back for his second season as the Lions' right guard. And at 335 pounds, he doesn't exactly qualify as sleek, but compared to last year's 355 pounds, his girth is something both he and his Lions bosses feel pretty good about.

Woody's weight was not only a problem for him last year, it was a costly problem. President Matt Millen fined him virtually every week of the season and there seemingly was little Woody could do about it at the time.

"To me, there's no excuse for what happened last year," Woody said, during the opening week of Lions training camp in Allen Park. "I'm a professional, and as a professional it's not my job to make excuses.

"It's my job to get it done. I'm getting paid a lot of money to do my job. Last year I looked at it as I let the whole team down."

Woody, 27 and a six-year veteran, said the Lions had to call a majority of their running plays to his side - the right side - simply because he didn't have the stamina to pull and lead the play going the other way.

"A lot of it had to do with the excess baggage I had on," Woody told reporters.

Woody decided to do something about the situation in the offseason. He got advice on his diet and hired a chef to make sure he was eating the right foods in the proper amounts. That means a lot of organic foods, prepared in appealing fashion, and a lot less rich foods in his diet.

According to Woody, he has lost 38 pounds and he is hoping to get his weight down to 320 by the start of the season, less than six weeks from now.

"It's all about commitment," he said. "I told the guys last year, man, that's not the way I wanted to come in. This year I made a promise to everybody that you're not going to worry about me not being in shape. That was my mission coming into this season.

"I'm not going to let myself down and I'm not going to let my teammates down. You can't be a leader if you're talking one thing and you're not doing it."

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