During every NFL offseason there's always a certain amount of 'buzz' surrounding some of the young and upcoming players on any given team. One of those players in Philadelphia is none other than defensive end Vinny Curry. Curry, who grow up an Eagles fan, is entering his third season in the NFL. Curry joined the latest Eagles Insider podcast (Video version | Audio version) and touched on a number of topics, including how Curry is preparing for the upcoming season. As it turns out, Curry has been on a strict diet to increase his performance.
Put it like this: I never ate sushi until now. I try to stay kinda dairy free, stay away from soy, I don't eat any red meat... I only eat one kind of cheese, it's actually a non-dairy cheese. The closest thing I can eat to dairy will be cheddar. It's like I told Jeff before, I don't know how long I'm going to last on this thing but it's definitely doing a good job. You can definitely see the turnaround.
Curry said the diet gives him more energy and endurance. He's been on it since March-April. Curry finished the 2013 season around 280 and now weighs 279, but he did say he plans to get up to about 283 before training camp starts. But this year's offseason diet seems to differ from last year at this time when Curry was putting on weight to make the transition from a Wide-9 4-3 defensive end to a two-gap 3-4 defensive end.
I mean, last year I felt like I had a stomach that was huge. [...] I went about it just trying to eat everything in sight, but this year I kind of took my time with it, and got some advice from some Olympic lifters that have to do certain things that way. I just took that approach.
That transition seemed to be a challenge for both Curry and the team. Despite a great performance in preseason, Curry started out the regular season on the team's inactive list for the first two games. The issue seemed to be that Curry, who possess a very quick first step and could do some real damage as a one-gapper, may have not been playing within the Eagles defensive scheme. Curry would later go on to earn some playing time off the bench and fare well. In this podcast, Curry talked about the key to success as a 3-4 DE.
"I would say the biggest difference is just patience. It's all about patience when you're in the 3-4 system. The 4-3, you could kind of make things more happen. Because everything is a one-gap type of defense. You don't really have linebackers depending on you to hold another guy off of him. So, I would just say patience."
In the limited time that Curry did play, he impressed. So much in fact that everyone's favorite grading site Pro Football Focus listed him as the Eagles' "Secret Superstar." Curry recorded a high amount of pressures and easily finished as one of the Eagles best pass rushers. Moving forward, it would only seem logical Curry deserves a bigger role. The challenge, however, is that young and talented defensive ends Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton have played really well and don't need to be replaced. Despite this logjam, Curry is confident about heading into the 2014 season.
"This is definitely going to be the year. I feel like everything is going to get maxed out."
Definitely give the show a listen. The ever-so entertaining/funny Curry joins the Eagles Insider crew to touch on a number of subjects including: DL coach Jerry Azzinaro ("the DL group is the most interesting on the team"), Curry's return to Marshall this offseason, food, Brandon Graham farts, a kind of scary story involving Curry and the Marshall-WVU rivarly, meeting Brian Dawkins on draft day in 2012, handling reporters and trade rumors ("I probably done got traded 8 times this year"), Curry's favorite rapper, and more.