On Thursday, we noted the Cowboys’ willingness to go into training camp without a fullback after going through the offseason with no dedicated blocking back.
The Browns figure to begin camp with just one fullback on the roster: third-year pro Owen Marecic. And, as linked to this morning in one-liners by Josh Alper, Browns beat writer Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal suggests Marecic could be in a fight for his job.
According to Pro Football Focus, Marecic played just 114 snaps in 2012, with just one snap played after Week Six. He did not carry the ball once, and in limited opportunities in the passing game, he struggled, with four drops (per PFF and Ulrich) in five passes thrown his way. (In Marecic’s defense, his blocking is his calling card, not his pass catching or rushing.)
The Browns drafted Marecic, lauded for his two-way play at Stanford, in Round Four two years ago. However, the front office, coaching staff and offense in place when he arrived is gone, as is the West Coast offense. In the 2013 offseason, Marecic was a backup, and running back Chris Ogbonnaya and tight end / H-back Brad Smelley — competitors for a similar role to Marecic — fared well, the Beacon-Journal reported.
There is still a place for fullbacks in the NFL, but landing with the right coach and in the right scheme are key. For example, Andy Reid’s Chiefs enter camp with three true blocking backs.
The Browns have one fullback, but as one close club observer sees it, he will be vying for his spot on the team.