April 17, 2014

Cabot: Fullback, Kicker Roster Spots Remain Up For Grabs

In her weekly Sunday question and answer column, The Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot addressed among other things the team’s fullback and kicker roster spots, which along with the reserve running back positions, remain the most up in the air in training camp and into the preseason.

Hey, Mary Kay: What are the chances the Browns keep a FB? And what are the chances the Browns keep two kickers? – Nathanael Ressler, Mount Vernon, Ill.

Hey, Nathanael: I think former fourth-round pick Owen Marecic is on the bubble, but Chris Ogbonnaya can play fullback if needed. The Browns also recently signed fourth-year fullback Brock Bolen for a look. They’ll keep their eyes on the waiver wire. I don’t think they’ll keep two kickers. If veteran Shayne Graham and rookie Brandon Bogotay are even, I think you have to go with the rookie so he can grow with the team.

Ogbonnaya has been a great pass-catching option out of the backfield for the Browns in the past, catching 24 passes last season for 187 yards while only carrying the ball eight times. Meanwhile Marecic has certainly struggled in that department with drops. In the kicker battle, it probably all comes down to how Bogotay performs as Graham is a known commodity from his time around the league but also a short-term solution.

Related: Family Night At FirstEnergy Stadium, A New Hero Runs For A Score

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Forget growing with the team the Browns just need a guy who can make kicks.

    I don’t know which is worse Marecic being on the bubble meaning he still has a chance at making this team or Obi-wanna at FB!

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    When MKC prefaces a response “I think,” I move on.

    MKC “I think” pieces are bad enough. But actually linking to them without irony? Sorry gents, you’re being called out on this.

  • JHop

    How is Lawrence Vickers still unemployed? Not only have the Browns not given him a job but neither has any other team. Boggles my mind.

  • Harv 21

    It’s a meaningless double-hedge. “On the bubble” means he may not make the roster. Further modifying that maybe with “I think” is not analysis, just comparing number of position players with the number of available position slots. She’s just making her weekly Marecic comment b/c fans like to discuss their yearly whipping boy.

    I haven’t been to camp yet and have no sources but I think the following are on the bubble: Marecic, Hardesty, Norwood, Cooper, JMJ, either kicker … You’re welcome.

  • Petefranklin

    I’m pretty hungover so I thought I clicked the wrong site for a minute.

  • Harv 21

    if you’re being serious, it’s because not even Mangini and Daboll would be running the offense they did 4 years ago. Teams that still use FBs need them to periodically run the ball and be reliable pass catching options. Vickers performs a single skill very well. Today, his position requires three skills. Even when he’s healthy, he’s a quarterhorse standing in a used pickup truck lot.

  • mgbode

    if serious, back surgery in April explains much

  • WFNYKirk

    Roster spots are a discussion topic. No one’s saying what MKC says is gospel, but I feel it’s worth noting.

    Being “called out” on headlining something like this is laughable, Kanick. Move on and find something else to do with your afternoon if that’s the best you can do.

  • maxfnmloans

    But the problem is she is the teams beat reporter for the only newspaper in town. She isn’t supposed to tell us what she thinks. Her job is to cultivate sources and give us facts, or at least the opinions of those who matter (I.e coaches and front office decision makers). Her telling us what she “thinks” is pretty lazy, given her position. Bloggers and message board posters can come up with supposition, an article by the teams beat reporter in the Sunday sports section should differ a bit more. If it doesn’t, then it really isn’t newsworthy.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    By default she’s the best IMO. Honestly she doesn’t matter to me because I don’t read the paper or even click on Cleveland.com I stick to watching the games as well as watch the various local shows on air. That and of course WFNY and the NFL Network.

  • WFNYKirk

    Do you not think what she “thinks” is formulated from time at training camp and conversations with the decision makers on and off the record? It’s just semantics. She can’t say “I know” so she says “I think/believe”. That’s all this space is for every week. Nothing more or less.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    MKC: “If veteran Shayne Graham and rookie Brandon Bogotay are even, I think you have to go with the rookie so he can grow with the team.”

    Not exactly. If they are even, you go with the kicker who can boot the ball out of the back of the endzone on kickoffs (i.e. not Shayne Graham).