Will Owen Marecic be reunited in Indy alongside Andrew Luck? - Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Who will be running the Spider 2 and Spider 3 Y Banana alongside Pep Hamilton and Andrew Luck next season?
Indianapolis Colts fans aren't use to seeing fullbacks line up in the backfield on a regular basis. Next season though, that will all change under Pep Hamilton.
Hamilton ran a west-coast style offense for the Cardinal, and as we all know was with Andrew Luck there as well. Expect the same system to be carried over to Indianapolis He was even called "The Andrew Luck Director of Offense" at Stanford, so it makes even more sense to bring him on board.
Fullbacks are becoming a dying breed in the NFL. You see many teams going to spread offense looks utilizing a three WR or two TE set instead. A revitalization is on the horizon though for the fullbacks happening here in Indianapolis. As mentioned, Pep likes to use the fullback a ton on the field. This makes this position a need this off-season in either the draft or free agency.
This is a good year to look at fullbacks this year as there will be a ton of good ones out there. Even some with some connections to the system. You can't even run the Spider 2 or Spider 3 Y Banana without a fullback on the field. As Jon Gruden told Andrew Luck last year on his draft special on ESPN, "You just can't throw the Venus on a Spider 3 Y Banana!" Here are some prospects in both the draft and free agency that the Colts could look at.
Lonnie Pryor, Florida State
The number one ranked fullback in the draft is a bulldozer on the field. Pryor scored eight rushing touchdowns for the Seminoles last year. He came to Florida State as a top running back, but Pryor bulked up and became a great fullback.
Pryor has great speed and has the hands to catch passes in the flats from Luck. He's projected to be taken around rounds 4-5.
Zach Line, SMU
Line was a full-time running back at SMU, but he projects as a fullback on the next level. He carried the ball 279 times for 1278 yards and 13 touchdowns. Line also caught 33 passes last year for the Mustangs.
Watching film on Line, they usually ran him on wheel routes and snuck him into the flats on the outside. That is just what the doctor ordered for the fullback in Pep's offense.
Minnesota is expected to bring back Felton to open holes for Adrian Peterson, but there's still a chance that he gets on the open market. Felton led this year's MVP to 2,097 yards, only 9 yards behind the all-time record of Eric Dickerson.
Felton's price could be hefty though. Many are expecting Felton to become the highest paid fullback after his career year up in Minnesota. Felton even used to be on the Colts, before being released by Chris Polian. He would be a great fit, but I wouldn't be shelling out top dollar for a fullback.
An AFC South regular, Greg Jones could stay in it if he comes to the Colts. Jones has been highly regarded as a top fullback for years. He's paved the way for Maurice Jones-Drew to have a great career in Jacksonville so far.
Jones has struggled with injuries though. If he could come cheap, Jones would be a great veteran to have in the backfield.
Yes, I know Marecic is not a free agent. The thing is, he seems to be on the outs in Cleveland with the new system and ownership. It is believed that new coach Rob Chudzinski likes backup, Brad Smelley.
Marecic has many connections in Indianapolis as well. He played under Pep Hamilton at Stanford and was teammates with Luck and Coby Fleener.
If Marecic were to hit waivers soon, it makes too much sense to not pick him up. With Marecic knowing the playbook, that would be my prediction on who the Colts would sign, if he clears waivers.