What Fullback Marcel Reece Brings to the Raiders

When Rashad Jennings’ sore hamstring forced him to join Darren McFadden on the sidelines during the Week 5 win over San Diego, the Oakland Raiders weren’t sure how their backfield would hold up. Marcel Reece not only kept the ground game going, he just might have given the coaching staff a solid blueprint for the rest of the season.

Reece had been mostly overlooked through the first four games, and it seemed like offensive coordinator Greg Olson was content using the veteran fullback strictly as a lead blocker. To anyone who had watched Reece over the past three years, it made no sense.

Only when the Raiders lost their top two running backs, both to hamstring injuries, did Olson attempt to get Reece more actively involved.

The 6’1” Reece is arguably the best fullback in the NFL. He is easily the most versatile player in Oakland’s backfield, a 255-pound bull who is equally strong running the ball as he is catching it.

In fact, the argument could be made that Reece is a more punishing, physical runner than either McFadden or Jennings. That’s why it was foolish to let him languish without the ball while the duo ahead of him struggled to get the running game going.

Prior to getting seven carries for 32 yards in Week 5, Reece had run the ball just twice previously this season. Yet late in the fourth quarter against San Diego after Jennings went out, Reece kept the chains moving and helped milk precious time off the clock by barreling his way through the heart of the Chargers defense.

Because of his size and the powerful leg drive he honed while developing his blocking skills, Reece is not an easy man to tackle once he gets a little momentum going. Late in the fourth quarter against San Diego, he took a handoff from quarterback Terrelle Pryor and tried to go off the left tackle.

Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget was waiting for Reece, but the 28-year-o...

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