Ryan Pickett's nickname is "Big Grease," but he may have to change it to "Medium Grease" after getting in better shape in the offseason.
Usually, the Green Bay Packer defensive lineman treats the end of the season like school is out, but this offseason he decided to eat a little more healthily.
"It's good eating," said Pickett. "Normally in the offseason, when the season is over, I'm like, 'Yes! I'm gonna go get some burgers, do this and that.' This year, I took a different approach. I just want to be healthy, not just for this year, but the rest of my life. I've got a lot of folks I need to be around for."
Pickett was encouraged by his wife, who encouraged him to pay more attention to what he ate in the offseason. As a result, Pickett says he came back to the Packers almost 10 pounds under his listed weight of 338 and almost 20 under his true playing weight.
It helps the offseason program includes more conditioning drills than normal, as coach Mike McCarthy wants his team to be better equipped to play the athletic quarterbacks they will see early in their season, with the 49ers and the Redskins their first two games.
Pickett also has been busy in the offseason setting up his charity, the Ryan Pickett Foundation. The foundation raises money to help foster children. Pickett has already been involved in taking children on a shopping spree this past Christmas, and says it just comes out of his and his wife's values.
"We wanted to do something real meaningful," said Pickett. "That's why it took me 12 years to come up with this. My wife and I have six kids, so they are so important us and are big in both our hearts."
Pickett's foundation will be having a golfing fund raiser in San Diego on June 21-22.
Pickett says he's still excited to play heading into his 13th season. He also feels the Packers have the players to get back to the Super Bowl.
Getting back Nick Perry and Desmond Bishop on the defense, as well as Bryan Bulaga on the offense will help, said Pickett, and he's looking forward to welcoming Datone Jones, the Packers' first-round pick. That means picking up dinner tabs, bringing food for the plane on the road trips and carrying shoulder pads at camp.
"We did it to B.J. (Raji) his first year, and he's looking forward to having someone else to initiate," said Pickett. "We are also looking forward to seeing what the young guy can do."
Everyone will get a look at that, coming up on Friday when the rookies arrive for their rookie orientation camp.
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