Lockout could impact Cody’s conditioning

As I write this, I’m sitting on a plane on my way to San Juan, Puerto Rico for five days. Rough life, I know.

I needed to get some semblance of a vacation in between the football and baseball seasons. Last time I left the East Coast for a non-business trip was back in July.

Five days in sunny Puerto Rico should do the trick. I’ll bring you all back a t-shirt.

I’ll also do my best to check in and post things throughout the week, both related to the NFL labor situation and separate from that topic, although my flight back to Baltimore might end up coinciding with the new collective bargaining agreement deadline which is scheduled to come down at 5 p.m. on Friday.

How many extensions to the deadline will we see? We’re already had two, and while it’s great that the two sides are willing to keep talking, it sure would be nice to see a conclusion reached sometime soon. I’d love to be talking free agency and draft right now, not revenue splits and a rookie wage scale.

Anyway, if the owners and players aren’t able to come to an agreement on a new CBA by the new deadline, a lot will change in the NFL world. The 2011 season will be put at risk, free agency will take a backseat for a while, and coaches won’t be able to organize team practices.

But there are other factors which would come into play in the event of a lockout, as well. One of those is that players wouldn’t be allowed to work out at team headquarters.

That’s big for injured players like Domonique Foxworth and Sergio Kindle, who will have to rehab away from Ravens doctors, but it also impacts healthy players, like Terrence Cody, who is constantly trying to keep his weight in check.

Instead of getting to work out at the team weight room with the Ravens training staff, Cody will now have to train on his own. That means it will be on the big 350-lb. defensive tackle to monitor his food intake and make sure he’s keeping up with his workouts.

Talking about a possible lockout back in January, Cody said that training on his own wasn’t something that he was especially concerned about.

“I’m confident I can keep my weight (where it needs to be),” Cody said. “It wasn’t mandatory last offseason, but I did it then, so I think I’ll be able to do it again.”

Cody, who used to tip the scales at over 400 lbs. back in his pre-NFL days, says he was able to keep his weight around 345 or 350 pounds through most of the 2010 season. The then-rookie slimmed down as the offseason and training camp went on, and after some early-season issues, was happy with the weight at which he was playing.

“First two weeks, I missed my weight by a couple pounds,” Cody said. “But after that, after Week 2, I got it under control and started carrying it on from there.”

A knee injury before the start of the regular season set Cody back a bit, but as he healed, the 2010 second-round pick was able to slowly make progress both in practices and on game days.

Cody posted 13 tackles on the season, but he came on late in the year, recording four tackles in the regular season finale, and notching two tackles and a forced fumble in a wild card round win over the Chiefs.

“I feel I came along a long way,” Cody said. “I had a slow start with the injury, the surgery and all that stuff, but as the season went on, I started playing better and started playing faster. The coaches noticed it, and I started playing good.

“It was difficult at first. Coming into camp, I was playing the technique that I was taught, and had to change the way I’ve been taught for the past four or five years in college and stuff. I was hard, but I overcame it, and everybody started seeing a lot of difference in my playing.”

If there’s a lockout, it will be on Cody’s burly shoulders to try and keep his weight and conditioning where they need to be so that he can pick up where he left off when the NFL eventually picks up again.

And that’s yet another reason why the CBA negotiations this week will impact those who strap on the pads every Sunday.

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