As far as being the face of the Raiders and the identity of this team, they don't get much more ideal than Marcel Reece. The seven-year Raider is coming off a second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance and just signed a new long term deal with the team this off-season.
Reece watched as a lot of good Raider players left town this off-season. Most notably Jared Veldheer and Lamarr Houston. The Raiders tried to fill Veldheer's shoes early in free agency when they brought in Roger Saffold, but he failed his physical. They then signed Justin Tuck to fill Lamarr Houston's shoes at defensive end.
The team needed a lot more players to be signed an a lot of positions still yet to be filled -- not the least of which was left tackle. And Reece being an outspoken ambassador for the Raiders, went to work.
"You'd have to look at my phone bill to really see the recruiting I actually did but I did a lot," said Reece. "[Left tackle] Donald Penn told me today he was tired of me texting him 2-3 times a day. But like I said, it's about this team. A lot of people know this team is very important to me, what it means to be a Raider is important to me, important to my life, and my career. It means a lot to me to be able to have the ability to even recruit and say 'come join my team'. And I think we did a great job of bringing some guys in. Obviously there was a few guys that we wanted to keep but other than that, we were fairly successful."
One of the other crucial position needed filling was quarterback. The Raiders had their eye on Texans' signal caller, Matt Schaub and eventually were able to trade a sixth round pick to get him. It's an addition Reece thinks will be huge for this team as well as the team's offensive coordinator, Greg Olson.
"Matt Schaub's a good guy," Reece said. "You can tell he's a leader, that's what you need at the quarterback position because they possess the most power with the ball in their hands every single play on the offensive side of the ball. So, I think we have a great leader, a great guy, and I'm looking forward to him being confident as a Raider quarterback."
"I think it means a lot for [Greg Olson] as an offensive coordinator, just for one having stability at a position. And you have a vested veteran at the position and I think it's gonna mean a lot to him to be able to open his mind and allow him to be as creative as possible. Maybe as creative as he's been in his career as an offensive coordinator."
Last year's starter heading into the season was Terrelle Pryor, who requested a trade this off-season and was dealt to the Seahawks yesterday for a seventh round pick. Reece spoke on the developments with Pryor this off-season.
"Nothing surprises me at this point in my career," he said of Pryor's departure. "I've seen a lot happen in my seven years with the organization and nothing really surprises me. As a team we just wish him the best, thank him for what he did here, and wish him the best."