Dec 8, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Neal (96) knocks the ball away from Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 22-21. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers Mike Neal Slims Down For 2014

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Mike Neal of the Green Bay Packers reported to camp at 263 pounds, according to a report, ready to embrace a role as an outside linebacker after moving off the defensive line.

Neal told the Green Bay Press-Gazette that it’s the first time he’s weighed less than 270 pounds since high school.

Neal played in all 16 games last season—a career first—and started 10 of them, finishing the season with career highs of five sacks and 47 tackles. He also intercepted a pass and forced a fumble.

Neal, a second-round pick out of Purdue in 2010, had only played in 20 games in his first three seasons combined before breaking out in 2013 while playing both right end and left outside linebacker.

He is down 12 pounds from 275 at the start of camp last season, 30 pounds less than the 305 pounds he tipped the scales at in 2011.

According to the report, Neal worked out again at the Performance Compound in Tampa, Fla., where he has gone since his NFL Combine in 2010.

He says the weight loss was relatively easy. He cut out two of his favorites—gummy bears and Doritos—and says he feels more natural at this weight.

“I think naturally what you’re seeing now is probably naturally where my body is at,” Neal said. “When you get to college, what’s the one thing they preach? We have to get you bigger. We have to get you bigger.

“Now my body is just kind of settling around 270 where it’s probably naturally built at.”

Neal helped keep the Packers linebacking corps afloat last season, when outside starters Clay Matthews and Nick Perry combined to miss 11 games.

Neal is currently on the physically unable to perform list, but coach Mike McCarthy hopes to have him back soon. He played through an abdominal injury last season without missing a game.

Neal was re-signed to a two-year, $8 million contract this spring.

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