Bud 'No Carbs' Dupree hopes fewer pounds equal more sacks for Steelers

LATROBE, Pa. -- The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't have to worry about second-year outside linebacker Bud Dupree failing any conditioning tests at training camp this week.

He looked imposing when addressing the media Thursday.

Turns out Dupree put in some serious work this offseason, dropping his weight from 270-plus pounds to around 254.

"No carbs," Dupree smiled.

He also relied on boxing training with noted pass-rush trainer Chuck Smith to stay fit. After the season, Dupree realized his previous weight might have held him back. Dupree failed to record a sack in the final eight games of 2015. At the time, Dupree acknowledged hitting a rookie mental wall. But weight management was also a factor.

It's early in 2016, but so far Dupree is feeling light-years better than his rookie season.

"Conditioning-wise, and playbook-wise," Dupree said.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin isn't surprised by the weight loss, acknowledging reserve pass-rusher Anthony Chickillo also dropped weight. For Dupree, though, the benefit comes in quickness. Dupree was fast even before shedding those pounds, recording a sub-4.6-second 40 during draft season at 260-plus.

"My No. 1 thing is speed," Dupree said. "I have to make sure people know that's my threat. I have to have counter moves [to complement speed]."

If Dupree becomes the force his frame suggests he can be, the Steelers could have their next great edge rusher. First, though, Dupree must prove he has the edge and the instincts to play the position every down.