Full quote via Star Tribune, emphasis added (except for names):
Vinny Cerrato -- the executive vice president of football operations for the Washington Redskins, and a former Gophers recruiting coordinator who grew up in Albert Lea -- is in the Twin Cities for a family vacation. He said his team is confident that Erasmus James, the oft-injured defensive end traded from the Vikings to Washington, will be ready to play in the final two preseason games this fall. "He spent the last week down with Dr. James Andrews rehabbing his knee, and he had spent the previous few weeks with our rehabilitation guys, then he'll be back for the next three weeks rehabbing," said Cerrato, who believes the former first-round pick out of Wisconsin will play this year after not doing much in his three seasons with the Vikings. "What he wants to do is, in college he weighed like 258-260 [pounds], then when he went to the Vikings they wanted him big, so he was like 275. So, we wanted him back to where he was in college."
That's big news for James, who faces an uphill battle just to make the roster. He won't supplant Andre Carter or Phillip Daniels and so will need to steal a spot from either Chris Wilson or Demetric Evans or, alternatively, hope that the team keeps 5 DEs.
I think everyone here hopes, as Cerrato says, that he looks and plays more like he did in College than so far in the NFL. He was the 2004 Big Ten defensive player of the year (and, obviously, Big Ten defensive linemen of the year) and a first team All American. In the NFL? Nothing much.
Regarding the weight, if he's playing for Wilson's spot or a 5th DE spot, I am all about it. Anything he can do to speed up his pass rush is good, since that's all we've asked Wilson to do so far. And as a backup, backup DE, I'd love him as a situational pass rusher. But I don't know if I need him lighter and leaner if he's supplanting Demetric Evans. Evans is a complete DE (even if an uninspiring one) and is serviceable against the run. I doubt Daniels will start 16 games next year, so we'll need a run stopper on that line at some point next year.