Hey Raider Nation,
I just wrote this as a comment in the latest post, but wanted to get Silver and Black's take on my idea. Marcel Reece has a special place in my beating silver and black heart. In the passing game, he possesses a special blend of talent and athletic ability that makes him just a cut above every other pass catching full back. In the run game, Reece is just mediocre as a blocker, though, and I think there is a possibility that he has been playing out of position for his entire Raider career due to the fact that we had no better options at the FB spot. Now that we have signed Owen Schmitt, a bonafide runaway choochoo train, perhaps Reece can slide back to his more natural position in the backfield...running back.
"Reece’s talents are wasted when blocking. Lots of guys (especially Schmitt) can clear holes, but not many guys at Reece’s size have such great foot speed and sure hands. Why subject him to this kind of physical punishment when you have a Tonga and Schmitt sitting right there, perfectly capable of doing the same thing? Reece is more known for his pass catching abilities than his running abilities but in 2010-11, he had a 4.1 YPC on 30 rushes…not a great sample size but you get the point.
We need more depth at RB and with McFadden’s injury history, Reece will get plenty of time on the field, maybe even more in this role than at FB. Plus, you can use these two like the Chargers used Matthews and Tolbert last year…put both Reece and McFaddden out there in a split back formation and drive the defense nuts with the options that exist with that lineup."
"If we did take this approach and felt that confident about the early results in camp, we could use the $1 million or so we may be inclined to give Benson and use it on TE Shiancoe, a position of far lesser depth than RB or LB’s Brackett and Henderso instead. Those positions are probably in a greater need of added depth than RB if Marcel is plugged in."
My schemed up depth chart goes like this:
RB: McFadden – Reece – Jones – Goodson
FB: Schmitt – Reece – Tonga
Truth be told, I am concerned with the depth of our LB unit the very most. With news breaking today that Branch's new deal has freed up about $5 million in cap space, I am eager to use that money on LB's who can pull us out of the run defense hell we have been in since 2003. The Raiders have suffered long enough for our inability to stop the run and we will never go deep into the playoffs until this is addressed. Furthermore, if McClain does land in jail at any part during the year, do we really want Travis Goethel as the lone MLB on the roster in that scenario?