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Browns HC Mike Pettine confirms John Greco will play center vs. Jaguars

Since drafting Alex Mack in 2009, the Cleveland Browns have never had to think about a replacement at center. Now, for the first time in nearly five-and-a-half season, they need to name a new starter.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Since coming into the league in 2009 as a first-round draft pick, Alex Mack was the Cleveland Browns center for over 5,000 straight snaps.

That's going to change on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Browns head coach Mike Pettine was reluctant to name Mack's replacement, but said late Wednesday afternoon that "if I had to guess today" it'd be John Greco at guard and former Jaguars offensive lineman Paul McQuistan at right guard.

"For this week, it’s looking like, and we haven’t firmly decided yet ... it’ll probably be the way we finished the game, if I had to guess today. It would be [John] Greco at center and then we can play Paul McQuistan at the right guard spot. We do have Vinston Painter and we do have Nick McDonald coming off NFI, so we’ll have to make a decision on him at some point in the future, as well."

Thursday afternoon, Pettine did indeed name Greco the starter, according to Jeff Schudel of the Cleveland News-Herald.

While Greco did well as the emergency replacement at center last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was his first time playing the position. Combine that with the fact that journeyman Paul McQuistan struggled in both pass and run blocking, it could make for a favorable matchup along the interior of the offensive line.