Raiders: Continue to keep Reece stashed
When a player who has proven himself to be a versatile weapon and matchup problem for defenses finds his touches limited, it catches the eye – especially when that player is part of an offense not long on like threats. Marcel Reece is one such player in Oakland.
The common thought that he would be worked in as a larger part of the offensive plan is not new, the same has been floated in the past, but through two games he has seen just one carry and has been targeted four times on a total of 41 snaps.
The fact that just one of those passes and no attempts on the ground came against Houston last week when the team was missing Maurice Jones-Drew, suggests that not only is he not a major part of the primary plan, but nor is he high the team’s pick-up-the-slack list.
Reece’s targets fell off last season after spiking to a career-high 71 in 2012 and despite producing in each of the four chances he was given as a lead runner in recent seasons, he’s never seen consistent carries outside of desperate injury fill-in situations. But he’s a fullback, so what do you expect, right?
Comparing him to the more traditional fullbacks falls short of hitting his true value. Much more of a weapon with ball in hand than as a lead blocker, Reece has been a fullback in name only for some time.
He has logged fewer than half of his snaps lined up as an actual fullback this season and hasn’t hit 35% in either of the past two seasons, spending the majority of his time being moved around to halfback, tight end, into the slot, or out wide – creating opportunity for those mismatches that, for the past season-plus, have gone largely ignored.