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Wednesday, July 22, 2009
 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — James Farrior led the Steelers in tackles last season, despite weighing less than he had since joining the NFL in 1997.

Lighter on his feet and quicker to the ball, the linebacker said he will report to training camp next week heavier than he did a year ago.

"This year, I've been focusing on going into camp a little bit heavier than I usually do, so the weight I'm probably going to lose in camp won't be as bad," said Farrior, who's been working out at Disney's Wide World of Sports with speed and conditioning coach Tom Shaw since the end of team workouts in June.

Weighing as much as some safeties and running backs, Farrior led the Steelers in tackles for the fifth time in six seasons and was named to the Pro Bowl for the second time.

Despite maintaining that playing at 218 pounds didn't have a negative impact on his performance, Farrior said carrying more weight will help him during camp.

The Steelers are scheduled to report July 31 to St. Vincent College in Latrobe.

"Probably around 232 (pounds)," Farrior said of his planned reporting weight. "Last year, I came in around (225). I lost it pretty fast. It was pretty hot out there. I usually drop about five or six pounds the first day, so I want to go in with a little bit extra this year."

Farrior is the lightest linebacker on a starting unit that features LaMarr Woodley (265 pounds) and James Harrison (242). Lawrence Timmons, who's replacing the departed Larry Foote, has bulked up to about 245 pounds.

Farrior, 34, calls the defensive signals and probably understands the Steelers' defense better than any of the starters. He said his weight is a non-issue.

"The weight became a little bit of an issue toward the end of the season. I lost a little more weight than I expected to lose," Farrior said. "But it worked out well. We won the Super Bowl. I guess it didn't hurt too bad.

"I think it's all psychological for me. It makes me feel better to have extra (weight).

"Hopefully, I can be 230 when the season starts. I'll just work my way from there. As long as my body's healthy and I'm running good, that's the most important part."

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