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NAPA – Marcel Reece is a fullback by title, and hybrid skill player by trade. The second-team All-Pro is used as a backfield blocker, conventional tailback, occasional slot receiver and regular man in motion.
Fullback is not a position that gets frequent touches, so the Raiders must get creative to get Reece the ball in space. That endeavor proved difficult last season.
It prompted Reece to lose weight this offseason, dropping from 255 pounds to 238. The veteran hopes added quickness will make him a more enticing option.
[REWIND: Reece trims down to increase quickness]
Fans frequently ask about converting the college receiver to tight end, which could put him in position to make more plays.
Head coach Dennis Allen said Sunday that Reece isn’t changing positions, but his responsibilities overlap with other spots. That includes tight end.
“We use him in that same role a lot,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “I mean, him and (pass-catching tight end) Mychal Rivera really do a lot of the same types of things. There hasn’t been a lot of thought process about putting him as an in-line blocker, alright? But some of the things that we do with him are very similar to what we do with the tight ends.”
The Raiders have no problem using Reece in a number of roles, especially with a more prototypical blocking fullback in Jamize Olawale.
“I think both those guys are different style of players and they bring a different element to the football game,” Allen said. “I think anytime you have that type of versatility, particularly from the fullback position, I think that’s a positive.”