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Oakland Raiders 2014 Training Camp Competition Series: Fullbacks

July 3rd, 2014 at 9:26 AM
By Nicholas Gill

The fullback position is one where the Oakland Raiders are set. The team has one of the best fullbacks in the business. Marcel Reece has been a Pro Bowl fullback for the Raiders and has played on that level for years. Oakland also has Jamize Olawale, who is not as dynamic as Reece, but his solid in his own right. 

The competition here is not really between Reece and Olawale. Reece is the starting fullback because of all the attributes he brings to the table. He is a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses because of his combination of size, speed, and strength. Reece has proven to be an outstanding receiving fullback, who can help in the running game when necessary.

The problem the Raiders have is not using Reece to his potential. For as talented and as dangerous a weapon he is, Oakland was only able to use him in a limited fashion. Reece finished the 2013 season with 32 receptions for 331 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 46 times for 218 yards and two more scores. While that is solid production for a fullback, Reece can do so much more. It will be up to offensive coordinator Greg Olson to finds ways to move Reece around and put him in position to make a greater impact. He certainly has the tools to do so.

With Reece firmly entrenched as the starting fullback, Olawale will be competing for a roster spot. He was able to show enough last season to make the final roster and appear in all 16 games. He brings something to the table that helps him stand out, which is his blocking prowess. Olawale is strong blocking fullback to help clear lanes for the Oakland backfield. He will be tasked with showing that ability to make the team. The Raiders have used Olawale and Reece on the field at the same time.

Olawale has value. The question is can he do enough to beat out the Raiders' running backs for a roster spot? He is not in competition with Reece, but he is competing with running backs Kory Sheets and Jeremy Stewart. Whoever can show the greatest value to the team in training camp and the preseason will earn the spot. Olawale has contributed on special teams which will help his cause. 

Tags: Football, Greg Olson, Jamize Olawale, Jeremy Stewart, Marcel Reece, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, training camp

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