Offensive linemen a lot lighter

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

The addition of Kevin Lefsrud isn't the only noticeable change on the Edmonton Eskimo offensive line.

Tim Bakker and Patrick Kabongo will arrive at training camp on Sunday in much better shape.

Bakker has dropped nearly 30 pounds through the off-season. Kabongo is down almost 45 pounds.

"I feel tremendous," said Bakker, who hopes to be at 300 pounds by the weekend.

Working with Jeff Krushell - the Esks new strength and conditioning co-ordinator - Bakker worked out at least five times a week for a minimum of 90 minutes per session during the winter.

"For far too long in Canadian universities everything is so focused on just being as strong as humanely possible," stated Bakker.

"Whereas we still want to become strong here but a lot of it is more football related as far as hip flexibility and diet."

Oatmeal for breakfast with chocolate milk and peanut butter during the day has helped drop the pounds.

Kabongo will check into camp at 325 pounds.

"I feel pretty explosive," remarked Kabongo.

"So, now it's just go out and play well."

But the off-season weight loss will do more than just help this year. It's designed to help in life down the road.

"There is a lot of information - especially from the NFL - there is a lot of major concerns for the lineman in terms of not just career longevity but longevity in life," said Krushell.

"The life expectancy of an NFL lineman is shorter than the average American male."

FINISH LINES: Maybe the biggest improvement for Bakker is his body fat. "I have dropped my body fat by 10%, down to 15%," he commented.


Videos

Photos