Thursday, December 12, 2013

Raiders’ Reece displays A11FL-type versatility on weekly basis

The A11 Football League has made no secret that its players are going to have to display some versatility.

Running backs certainly will be no different. A11FL backs will have to be able to run, catch, block and perhaps pass at a high level, and be able to do so lined up at several different positions.

One of the best examples of a National Football League running back who would be very productive in the A11FL is Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece.

Reece, 28, has been an under-the-radar weapon in the Raiders’ offensive backfield for the past four seasons. At 6-foot-1 and 255 pounds, Reece, a Pro Bowler in 2012, presents a very difficult player to bring down between the tackles and out in space.

Through Sunday, Reece has played in 59 NFL games, starting 42. He has run 147 times for 705 yards (a 4.8-yard average) and three touchdowns, and caught 131 passes for 1,392 yards (a 10.6-yard average) and eight scores. Throwing in five kickoff returns, and Reece has touched the ball 283 times – and fumbled four times.

Reece has started both at tailback and fullback in Oakland, and is coming off a 123-yard rushing game (and 161 total yards from scrimmage) in a 37-27 loss at the New York Jets on Sunday. In 2012, Reece had a four-game stretch in November where he caught eight passes for 95 yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, caught seven passes and had 104 yards from scrimmage at the Baltimore Ravens, ran for 103 yards and caught passes for 90 more against the New Orleans Saints and had 103 yards from scrimmage at the Cincinnati Bengals.

Reece also has been the picture of perseverance. An undrafted free agent wide receiver in 2008, he was waived once by the Miami Dolphins and twice by the Raiders, and also spent nearly two full seasons on the Raiders’ practice squad.

If you get a chance to watch Reece in action for the remainder of the 2013 Raiders season, you will see the type of player who will be commonplace in the A11FL – talented, versatile and determined.

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