When the Atlanta Falcons signed free agent defensive tackle Dontari Poe the $8 million contract included a $500,00 “weight bonus”.

The “weight bonus” essentially required Poe to weight 340 lbs or less initially and then 330  lbs or less on 3 separate occasions from the start of training camp and into the month of November.

Poe has met the teams requirements thus far and has, by all accounts, appeared slimmed down in Falcons’ camp.

“I stopped eating so much late at night and so much bad food,” Poe said. “Like mama’s cooking: fried chicken, Steak and potatoes. Stuff like that, I slowed down on.”

Poe stopped eating past 8pm at night and it has made a world of a difference for the tackle.

“The good thing about it is it makes you super hungry in the morning,” Poe said. “So when you eat a lot in the morning, you burn it off through the day. So it evens out really good. I’ll eat eggs, grits, oatmeal, turkey bacon, turkey sausage … anything like that for breakfast.”

Poe also showered praise on Falcons’ nutritionist Marie Spano whom he credited for helping him through the process.

“The good thing about it is it makes you super hungry in the morning,” Poe said.

“So when you eat a lot in the morning, you burn it off through the day. So it evens out really good. I’ll eat eggs, grits, oatmeal, turkey bacon, turkey sausage … anything like that for breakfast.”

Poe doesn’t just look better, he feels better too.

“I feel lighter. I feel like I’m not as tired as fast. And I’m just out here playing.”

As far as his play on the field, Poe will be expected to play a more attacking style than he was accustomed to playing during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I expected it to be kind of a slow adjustment, considering what I’ve known for the last few years and what I’m transitioning into,” Poe said.

“But it came faster than I thought, thanks to the coaches and how they kind of give me small stuff to get better at by the day. It’s starting to come together.

“Just the mentality of just getting off, just wreaking havoc instead of what I was used to doing, which was reading. Reading was natural. It was muscle memory. So now I’m transitioning into playing football, which is all the better for a D-lineman to just play instead of think.”

While the Falcons brought in Poe based on what he has done in the past, Poe admits he does not focus on his statistical goals, but other goals that help challenge him.

“I don’t set statistical (goals),” Poe described.

“I set ones to challenge me as a player myself. I try not to get locked into a negative mindset. I try not to get locked into numbers because I feel like sometimes, numbers might be too big; sometimes they might not be enough. So you never want to get content.

“I just fight myself every day as far as being content, as far as being lazy, being whatever the fight is. I just try to keep pushing it every day. And if I keep doing that, turn it into the mindset that I want it to be, I’m just going to keep going for 16-plus games and I’m going to be where I want to be by the end of the year. This team will be where we want to be.”