While I don’t think there was much doubt about Marcel Reece being an Oakland Raider in 2012, it’s nice to know the Raider Nation can breathe a sigh of relief after the fullback signed exclusive rights on Monday, June 4. Reece is a key part of the Raiders’ offense, although he’s still in a position of establishing himself in the NFL and didn’t have a lot of leverage to put himself out there for other teams.
Reece participated in the Raiders’ Organized Team Activities (OTAs) with his teammates Monday, and ESPN’s Bill Williamson reported that he’d been staying away because he wanted a contract extension. Williamson also noted that because the recently signed fullback Owen Schmitt is a different type of player he feels he can still make the team even with Reece back in the picture.
This time last year, Reece was named one of the most underrated players in the AFC West. He’s not only a key blocker, helping McFadden get the incredible yardage he does, but he’s also a receiving weapon in short-yardage situations. Reece is an extremely versatile player, and in 30 games and 16 starts, he has a total of 54 receptions for 654 yards and five touchdowns receiving.
Last season, starting quarterback Carson Palmer commented on the value of Reece, “(I haven’t seen) a fullback that can run like him,” Palmer said. “He is one of a kind. There’s not another fullback in the league like him. He can block, he can pass-protect, he can run-protect, he can run iso’s and go downhill on linebackers. He is a mismatch for safeties, and he might be a mismatch for some corners because he is so much bigger.”
Reece was one of Palmer’s first targets in Oakland last season. Palmer went deep down the middle to Reece for a 40-yard touchdown to give Oakland a 17-7 lead over Denver in the second quarter of the game on November 6.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of Reece when the season kicks off in a few months. He gives Raider fans just another reason to be excited about 2012.
K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, and has been an Oakland Raiders fan for her entire life. She has continued her loyalty to the team through its many ups and downs over the decades, and has been privileged to meet several of her favorite players, including famed quarterback, Jim Plunkett. Follow her on Twitter @kcdermody or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kcdermodywriter.
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