The Raiders are in an interesting and unique spot with their offense. Not too many offenses have one of their main features be the Fullback but with the Raiders FB Marcel Reece they are going to buck that trend. Marcel is going to have to be a major focal point of this offense.
No matter who ends up winning the starting QB job they are going to rely on checkdowns heavily. The backs need to be capable of handling this extra workload and luckily for the Raiders they have one of the best tag team recieving combos in the backfield out of anybody in this league. Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece both can catch like wide receivers while lining up in the backfield.
We already know that the offense is going to feature around Darren McFadden, but the other player that is going to need to be the focus is Marcel Reece. In years past the Raiders have concentrated too much around McFadden only to be let down when he either got injured or performed below expectations. That is exactly why the pressure needs to be relieved some off of DMC's shoulders and put onto Marcel Reece.
Marcel may be a little under the radar nationally but the Raiders and their fans know exactly the type of player that Reece is. He is a difference maker and a play maker. Reece is the player that is going to be the X factor for this Greg Olson offense. He can be lined up anywhere to create mismatches and Oakland must take advantage of that.
Levi Damien already had an article earlier this year that had some excellent quotes from Olson regarding Marcel Reece and his plans for the talented fullback. Within those quotes from Olson it is clear that Reece is going to be a major weapon for the Raiders, and that is a very good thing. This is what Greg Olson had to say about Marcel back in February:
"He's got such a unique set of skills for a fullback. He's a college wide receiver. He'll present some matchup issues. I was pleasantly surprised in watching the tape to see that in a lot of the downhill lead plays where you need a fullback to go in there... I was excited about that to be honest with you. Also, again to see him get out of the backfield and to spread out in some of the one-back sets and empty sets and look at the matchups you can get with him was exciting as well. He does have tremendous speed. He has very good hands. He has loose hips. He can run some of those option, choice routes that are matchup nightmares for defensive players."
Olson needs to live up to those words because Marcel can no longer continue to be an under utilized weapon for the Raiders. He is a game changer that needs to be heavily involved in the offense, especially now that the Raiders will be fielding an inexperienced QB as their starter. Inexperienced QB's need to rely on their checkdowns and that means relying on Marcel.
There are few things that the Raider Nation would enjoy more than to see Reece utilized aggressively next year. When he has the ball in his hands he makes plays and it has been extremely frustrating as fans to know this and watch the coaching staff each year ignore it. That will not be the case next season, next season will be the year of the Reece.
Besides being an integral part of the offense, Marcel will also have to become a leader with the team as well. They lost their most vocal leader in Carson Palmer and need to find a way to replace that leadership from within. If Reece is going to be expected to be a leader on the field then it makes sense for him to be a leader off the field too.
This fits right into the personality and conviction that Marcel already has with his community service already being a major part of his life. He is an excellent person for the younger players to look up to and building on that would be good for the team.
Marcel already has his own foundation named the Marcel Reece Foundation which is based in his hometown of Hesperia, CA and focuses on empowering and inspiring the youth by giving them opportunities for character and leadership development. You can take a look at his foundation at its website: http://marcelreece.prometheusdata.com/.
This is the type of player both skilled on the field and compassionate off of it that is ideal to build a franchise around. It isn't often that a Fullback deserves the recognition of being a cornerstone of a franchise but Marcel Reece is a unique player worthy of that distinction. It is time to unleash the Beast, and success will follow.