BEREA: Browns fullback Owen Marecic looked in the mirror last year, and he wasn’t satisfied with what he saw.
“I was feeling a little sloppy,” Marecic said. “So I tried to restructure the body.”
Marecic said he weighed about 255 pounds when he reported to training camp last summer as a rookie. Since the end of last season, he has cut sweets and fried foods from his diet. Now his weight fluctuates between 240-245 pounds, his arms are ripped and he seems better equipped to hold off challengers for his starting spot than he would have been a year ago.
“I haven’t done anything different from a workout standpoint,” Marecic said. “It’s just eating right, eating healthy. That’s really made a big difference. I don’t eat whatever I want anymore. So sometimes it can be tough, but I really feel the gains out on the field, and it just helps with energy and getting stronger in the weight room.”
Browns coach Pat Shurmur has noticed.
“Physically, he looks fitter and trimmer,” Shurmur said Tuesday after the Browns wrapped up an organized team activity practice. “I’m not going to call him fat because I didn’t feel that about him last year.”
Marecic also said he has not experienced any lingering symptoms from the two concussions he suffered last season. He switched helmets last year after the second concussion, and he’s been wearing the same one ever since.
“I feel ready to go,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to the season. I got a good helmet. Everybody’s been great from the trainers to the equipment staff just taking steps to make sure that everything’s ready to go in terms of concussions. [It’s] making my job easy. All I have to do is focus on what I have to do on the field and play ball.”
Kent State pride
Browns wide receiver Josh Cribbs bought 53 tickets and chartered a bus to Omaha, Neb., so he and other Kent State fans can support the Golden Flashes when they face the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday in the College World Series.
Cribbs, a KSU graduate, said he went wild Monday night when the Flashes defeated the Oregon Ducks 3-2 in Game 3 of a Super Regional to earn their first CWS berth.
“I was getting a massage,” Cribbs said. “I jumped off the table. I felt like I was at the game. I was jumping around. I grabbed my phone, tweeting. [Strong safety] T.J. [Ward] went to Oregon. I was like, ‘We beat them seagulls,’ messing with him. I can’t get enough. They’re going to the big show. That’s what it’s all about.”
Rookie right tackle Mitchell Schwartz practiced with the first-team offense throughout minicamp and most of the OTAs, but he worked with the second unit Tuesday. … Kicker Phil Dawson continued to skip the voluntary OTAs after attending mandatory minicamp last week. … Undrafted rookies Jeff Shugarts, an offensive lineman from Ohio State, and Johnson Bademosi, a defensive back from Stanford, attended their first OTA practice after missing previous sessions because they were still in school. … Defensive lineman Brian Schaefering (recovering from surgery for a sports hernia) and fullback Eddie Williams (back) did not practice. … Offensive lineman Stanley Daniels participated after sitting out previous practices with an undisclosed injury. … In an 11-on-11 drill, Ward broke up a pass over the middle from quarterback Brandon Weeden. Defensive tackle Scott Paxson later tipped a pass from Weeden at the line of scrimmage, allowing linebacker Kaluka Maiava to intercept it. … Rookie wide receiver Travis Benjamin struggled to cleanly field punts, dropping two in a row at one point. … Weeden is a huge fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he predicted they’ll defeat the Miami Heat in six games in the NBA Finals, which began Tuesday night. Benjamin, a University of Miami product, picked the Heat to prevail in six games. … President Mike Holmgren is scheduled to speak to the media at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Browns blog at http://www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/browns.abj.