Marecic Striving to Excel

Browns rookie fullback is looking to overcome his rocky start.

BEREA — Rookie Owen Marecic's NFL career has not gotten off to a great start—to say the least.

In each of the first two preseason games, Colt McCoy has tried to throw a pass to him on the first offensive series from scrimmage and in both cases he dropped the ball.

Later in the Lions' game, he did catch a pass from McCoy for a six-yard gain.

"I have a lot of things to work on," Marecic said. "I've left a lot of plays on the field."

Marecic (6-0, 245) is currently the only rookie penciled in the starting lineup on offense. He was drafted in the fourth round from Stanford.

"Fortunately, I have been given the opportunity to get on the field," the soft-spoken Marecic said. "At this point, every aspect of my game I can improve."

He feels his mistakes are all correctable.

"It's just simple things like getting your head around."

Marecic, who will be just 23 in October scored 9 touchdowns rushing at Stanford and caught 25 passes for 258 yards with a touchdown, as well. In addition, he had 51 tackles with two interceptions and two sacks in his final season at linebacker.

Marecic ended up on defense on a regular basis his senior year.

"We were a little thin at linebacker and the coaches moved me over there during spring practice before my senior year."

Marecic garnered national attention when he scored two touchdowns in less than a minute --a rushing touchdown on offense and an interception return on defense-- against Notre Dame last season.

Pat Shurmur has been impressed with Marecic in the early going.

"He has done a very good job," Shurmur said. "It's hard to find him making a mental mistake. He did a great job running the ball off the goal line. He has caught the ball well."

Marecic feels he's well suited for the Browns' system. He played in a pro style type of the West Coast offense in college.

"It's a similar offense," he said. "But, you always have work to do at this level.

"The systems are very similar to what I had been running in college," he said.  "It hasn't been too much of a shock to learn a new system as I have some experience with it in college."

Marecic knows he has a great opportunity with the Browns.

"The coaches have put a lot of faith in me, which makes me want to work harder and make sure that I don't let them down."

Marecic seems unfazed at moving to the NFL and immediately being counted upon to be a key contributor.

"It's just playing football," he said. "I like to think of myself as a football player. I want to be a big part of this offense."

After drafting Marecic, the Browns chose to let Lawrence Vickers leave via free agency. Vickers signed with the Texans as an unrestricted free agent and will be the lead blocker for Arian Foster.

Marecic knows he has big shoes to fill.

"(Vickers) was a great player," he said. "I have to find my own way to be utilized in the offense."

Shurmur is confident that Marecic will be able to fill the role.

"He's one of those steady guys," he said. "I think that's an important attribute for a guy that's a fullback."

Notebook

Little Things: Shurmur was asked if he's concerned about WR Greg Little being a high maintenance player as evidenced by him kicking the ball into the stands after his first touchdown.

"No, not at all," Shurmur said. "We talked about that during the game and we've talked about it since. You get in a situation. I think he's a guy that can be a playmaker for us.

"He loves to play the game," he said. "When the lights are the brightest, he's one of those guys that just gets into it. We, as coaches, will help him in those situations.

"No, I don't have any concerns and I thoroughly enjoy him," Shurmur said. "He's working hard, practicing hard and when he gets in the game he loves to play, we'll help him with the other stuff."

Mike Holmgren said he told Little when the Browns drafted him he would be talking with him a bit. Holmgren said he spoke to Little about booting the ball after the score.

"I did (speak to him) as a matter of fact," Holmgren said. "I'm not coaching, but I told him I would be involved in his life."

Little missed the 2010 season as he was suspended for NCAA rule violations, but still was a second-round pick of the Browns.

"I tend to think as a young player he's got a lot of growth to make," Shurmur said. "When the games start and he gets going, he does some good things."

Fellow wide receiver Josh Cribbs gives Little a pass for the infamous celebration.

"After missing a year of football, he was excited," Cribbs said. "(Little) is an untapped gold mine.

"He's going to be big for us."

Action Jackson: LB D'Qwell Jackson has played very well in the first two preseason games. He looks as though the 4-3 defense is better suited to him than the 3-4 was.

Jackson has also shown no signs of lingering effects from the back-to-back pectoral muscle tears he's suffered in each of the past two seasons.

Jackson led the Browns in tackles with five against Detroit including one for a loss and has eight for the preseason.

"He's played really good football," Shurmur said. "He is the leader of the defense. He has been very productive."

"I think he's a guy who can move really well and can slip a block," he said. "He's a terrific fit for what we're doing."

Pinkston Impresses: Rookie OL Jason Pinkston played quite a bit at left guard against the Lions, filling in for Eric Steinbach, according to Pat Shurmur.

"He did a good job, having about 47 snaps," Shurmur said. "He has held up pretty well."

The Browns traded up to take Pinkston in the fifth-round and are counting on him to provide depth on the line. He played left tackle at Pitt.

Injury Update: The Browns had 11 players not practicing on Tuesday: RB Brandon Jackson (toe), WR Josh Cribbs (hamstring), S Usama Young (hamstring), LB Chris Gocong (stinger), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (foot), LB Steve Octavien (undisclosed), S T.J. Ward (mouth), CB Buster Skrine (undisclosed), TE Evan Moore (head), OL Eric Steinbach (back) and WR Carlton Mitchell (finger).

Already Over?: Tuesday will be the last official day of training camp open to the public. Practice is scheduled from 8:45 am to 11:15 am. The Browns are off Wednesday and then travel to play the Eagles Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.


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