It seems every season the Oakland Raiders do not use fullback Marcel Reece to his full potential. He is a Pro Bowl caliber player who has made significant contributions to the offense at times. The problem is the Raiders sometimes do not utilize Reece consistently enough. Head coach Dennis Allen wants Reece to see the ball this season and help him become the weapons he is capable of being in the offense.
“Yeah, well we want to try to utilize,” Marcel, Allen said. “We think he can be a weapon for us. Based on how this season plays out and what we’re seeing defensively, yeah we’re going to try to use him and get him the ball.”
Reece has a terrific combination of size, speed, and pass catching ability that is rare in a fullback. When called upon Reece has answered the bell for the Raiders. When the team was decimate by injuries in 2012, Reece substituted as the team's lead back and amassed over 100 combined rushing and receiving yards in three straight games. Last season, Reece rushed 19 times for 123 yards and a 63 yard touchdown against the New York Jets. He has proven he can produce with opportunities.
The problem for the Raiders is the inconsistency in which Reece gets those opportunities. In the first six games of 2013, Reece carried only nine times and caught only 10 passes. It has been a constant battle to acclimate Reece into the offense week to week. With offensive coordinator Greg Olson back for another season, he will be tasked with getting Reece more involved.
Reece was solid last year rushing for 218 yards and accounting for 331 receiving yards. However, he can be far more productive. Reece has the ability to cause match-up nightmares for opposing defenses. He can be used in a variety of ways offensively as a running back, fullback, and tight end. The Raiders can line him up in any of those positions and see production. That will be the plan for 2014 and the team has better personnel around Reece to accomplish it.
“Marcel’s been effective for us and we’ve been able to get Marcel the ball and we’re going to continue to get Marcel the ball,” Allen said. “He’ll be a guy that we’re going to count on to help us this year.”
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