Marcel Reece: Hidden Gem in Oakland Raiders Backfield

By Robert Cooke
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Late in the Oakland Raiders‘ Week 5 matchup against the San Diego Chargers, Raiders running back Rashad Jennings joined teammate Darren McFadden on the sideline after he went down with a hamstring injury; this left Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson with little choice, and he allowed fullback Marcel Reece to take over the work in the backfield.

Reece proved to be the Raiders’ best option.

Anybody who has seen Reece play knows that he is arguably the best fullback in the NFL and by far the most versatile.

He can do it all, and he had no problem proving that Sunday night as he carried the ball seven times for 32 yards late in the fourth, shredding precious time off the clock and picking up first down after first down.

Oakland went on to win 27-17.

As effective a pass catcher as there is coming out the backfield, Reece can line up at tailback and receiver as well as providing unmatched lead blocking for whoever is lined up at running back. His 6-foot-1 255-pound frame provides him great leverage in pass blocking situations to top it off.

What doesn’t make sense to anybody who has seen what Reece can do in recent years is why they have kept him out of the mix for the first four weeks of the season. He is the most powerful running back the Raiders have and by far the best pass catching back.

The guy played receiver in college and has unbelievable hands. It’s not too often a guy his size makes the circus catches he has.

When Oakland struggles getting a ground game going, they need to allow Reece to get some touches. He’ll grind out the tough yards that Jennings and McFadden can’t, especially in goal-line or short-yardage situations.

Reece can get it done and needs to be used more by Olson and the Raiders. It doesn’t make any sense to have such a valuable weapon and not use him.

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