If you are an Oakland Raiders fan then you know the frustration that is fullback Marcel Reece. No, he is not frustrating because of injuries or a lack of performance like a certain other running back on the team. The frustration surrounding Marcel Reece is owed to the fact that Raiders fans want to see him used more often. He is there, ready and waiting to contribute to the team in any way he can, but it seems coaches year after year fail to use him for his best traits.
A former wide receiver in college, Reece is a matchup nightmare at fullback. He is too fast and agile for linebackers to handle and too big and strong for corners. He also runs the ball with the ferocity of someone who has played running back his entire career. Whether running between the tackles or getting out in space with the ball, Reece creates problems for defensive coordinators. The problem is, he can only create those problems if he gets the ball in his hands.
Far too often in recent years, Reece simply has not had the opportunity to make a big impact unless there were injuries to the other running backs. Now, it is being reported that Reece has dropped 17 pounds in anticipation of the upcoming season. Some had speculated that in an effort to put on pounds and become a better blocker that Reece had lost some of his speed. But now that he has become a solid fundamental blocker, Reece likely feels comfortable shedding some weight, gaining some speed and still being able to lay down good blocks.
Hopefully this will be enough to get the coaching staff to use Reece to move the ball more often. If the team decides to keep two fullbacks again (Jamize Olawale continues to impress), then Reece can focus more on being a ball carrier than a blocker while Olawale takes the main blocking duties.