In the span of five days, the 2013 Cleveland Browns will have gone from around 90 players to the regular-season maximum 53.
And so this brings us to our final installment of this summer’s hottest Internet read - The Owen Marecic Watch.
(We’ll get to Thursday’s game in a sec.)
At around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27, Browns fullback Owen Marecic was released by the Browns. This is not an indictment on the type of person off-the-field Marecic is. He might be a great guy. But it is a welcomed addition-by-subtraction for the Browns on the field.
Marecic’s tenure in Cleveland began behind the 8-ball. He was drafted to replace Lawrence Vickers. The two couldn’t have been more different. Whereas Vickers wrecked defenders and created wide-open holes for running backs, Marecic looked a rag doll getting tossed around by much stronger men. On the rare occurrence he made contact with a linebacker, No. 48 could be found on the ground soon thereafter.
Here’s what Mel Kiper said about Marecic after the 2011 draft, in which he gave the Browns a B-plus.
"Marecic, we know about him. He's a throwback fullback. He played linebacker. (He's) tough, good blocker, short-yardage runner, good receiver out of the backfield. (He has) just a great attitude, great approach. With Marecic and (running back Peyton) Hillis, that's a rough, tough group there."
OK, then, Mel. At least the hair still looks good.
Anyway, Marecic won’t be on the field Thursday night as the Browns conclude the preseason. What about the team’s starters? Not many of them, either.
On Wednesday, Rob Chudzinski confirmed that most of the starters won’t play.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be other key battles to watch.
RIGHT GUARD - Oniel Cousins vs. Garrett Gilkey. Ever since the trade for John Moffit somehow landed him in Denver, the Browns are still trying to build depth at right guard behind the injured Shawn Lauvao and Jason Pinkston. Sadly, Gilkey’s flowing golden locks is the only highlight of his battle with Cousins.
RIGHT CORNERBACK - Who wants to play opposite Joe Haden? Right now, it’s between Chris Owen and Buster Skrine and neither option keeps opposing offensive coordinators up at night. In fact, their play calls will be quite easy, “Hey Mr. Quarterback, just throw the ball wherever Joe Haden isn’t. On two.”
COOPER vs. HIMSELF - With the release of Jordan Norwood, the chances Brandon Weeden’s college buddy, Josh Cooper, making the team slightly increases. With Josh Gordon out the first two games, the wide receiving duties fall to Greg Little, Davone Bess, Travis Benjamin and a fresh-off-an-ACL-tear-last-year-David Nelson. It’s still WAAAY better than the Massaquoi-Robiskie-Stuckey trio of suck. Can Cooper join the mix? He better hang onto the ball if he isn’t apart of the 22 players packing their belongings on Aug. 31.