The Oakland Raiders returned to team facilities for the start of their 2014 offseason program last week and amongst a list of excited new faces that arrived in Alameda including Justin Tuck, James Jones and Maurice Jones-Drew perhaps one of the most ecstatic players to talk to the media was Raiders fan favorite Marcel Reece.
After making his second straight Pro Bowl at fullback, Reece demanded “Raider Ass Moves” out of Reggie McKenzie leading into free agency, and while Oakland didn’t splash foolish money on big names the team added more veteran talent than arguably any team in the league in April, something that has the longtime Raider excited moving forward.
Talking to CSN Bay Area’s Scott Bair, Reece praised McKenzie’s offseason and admitted that he did some active recruiting in trying to convince free agents to come join the Silver and Black.
From CSN Bay Area:
“You’d have to look at my phone bill to really see the recruiting I actually did,” Reece said. “I did a lot. Donald Penn just told me today that he was tired of me texting him two or three times a day.”
Reece had high hopes for this offseason, when the Raiders had $60-plus million in cap space to upgrade their roster. He begged general manager Reggie McKenzie to make “Raider-ass moves” in free agency, to be bold when acquiring new talent.
“I do feel he did that,” Reece said. “Coming into this free agency, as an organization and as a team and as a leader for myself personally, we weren’t looking for any saviors to come here and get in this locker room. We were looking for help. We were looking for help to bring this tradition, the winning attitude and a championship pedigree back to this organization and to the locker room and I think we did that.”
Reece also commented on his loyalty to the Raiders, something that the now veteran leader on the team takes seriously as the team attempts to restore the legacy of one of the league’s most iconic franchises.
“A lot of people know that this team very important to me,” Reece said. “What it means to be a Raider is important to me – important to my life, my career and just what it means. It means a lot for me to be able to have the ability to even recruit and say, ‘Come join my team.’ I think we did a great job of bringing some guys in. Obviously, we lost out on a few guys that we wanted to keep, but I think other than that, we were fairly successful.”
As for playoff chances Reece feels that on paper the new look Raiders are an improvement from their 2013 version, but noted that there is a long way to go with the draft still to come up and the Raiders roster far from being finalized at this very early stage in late April.
“We’re definitely closer,” Reece said. “I think we’ve improved at a lot of positions, especially on paper. But, the story is always told later on, when you get into training camp and you actually start getting into practice. Anyone can play football without the pads on, but once it gets serious and you face a little adversity and you see how your team adjusts to that, that’s when you really start knowing the story that this season is going to hold.”