Apparently, it was weight. Meachem dropped several pounds prior to his junior season at UT last fall and gained a step of speed. Buoyed by the newfound quickness, he had by far his best season as a Vol, catching a team-high 71 passes for a school-record 1298 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged an eye-popping 18.3 yards per catch in 2006, up from 13.2 as a sophomore.
Based on published reports, however, Meachem has regained the weight he lost last offseason – and then some. Consider this item from Peter King's Monday Morning QB column at sportsillustrated.com:
I think the rookie who's made the worst first impression in the three weeks since draft day, easily, is New Orleans wide receiver Robert Meachem. How on God's green earth can a rook be 19 pounds overweight at the team's first mini-camp? And what kinds of red flags must that send up to the coaching staff and front office about to make the man a jillionaire? "I think I had like nine [pre-draft] visits to teams,'' Meachem said after injuring an ankle at the Saints' minicamp last week. "And every visit they gave you a big old meal. I tried to work out when I could, but I don't think I got enough workouts in.'' Uh-oh.