Fullback Terrelle Smith has lost 22 pounds and
plans to lose eight more before the season begins in September if he does not
lose it by the start of training camp next month.
"I want to lighten my
load," Smith said. "I'm going to be used more down by the goal line this year.
I'm proud of that. If opportunity knocks, I'm going to open the door and say
hello. If they give me an inch, I'm going to take a mile."
Smith wants to play at 235 pounds, which he says is close to his rookie
weight. Enjoying what he admits is a pizza and beer diet in the offseason
while at home in New Orleans, he weighed close to 260 last season. He hopes
the trimmer, slimmer Smith will make him quicker without losing any
effectiveness when he blocks a linebacker.
One of the mysteries of last season was why Smith was not used more in
short-yardage situations, especially behind an ineffective offensive line. As
often as not, Smith was on the sideline when the Browns were inside the 10,
which really was not very often. That is expected to change under first-year
offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon.
The Browns had 41 possessions inside the 10 in 2004, or about 2.5
possessions a game. Only the Raiders and Ravens with 40 each had fewer in the
AFC. The Browns were tied for 14th in the conference with 19 touchdowns from
inside the 10 and they ranked 31st overall in third-down efficiency, a
statistic that includes all third-down plays regardless of field position.
"As long as they give me the opportunity to be on the field, I'm going to
be the best player I can possibly be," Smith said. "This is a show-me
"The offensive coordinator is a former fullback with the New York Giants,
and he won two Super Bowls. However he did it I guess is how I'm going to do
It also helps that the running backs coach is Dave Atkins. Atkins was the
Saints running backs coach from 2000-2004. Smith was a Saints fullback from
2000-2003 while blocking for Ricky Williams and Deuce McAllister.