Jan 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Team Irvin fullback Marcel Reece of the Oakland Raiders (45) runs against Team Carter linebacker Lawrence Timmons of the Pittsburgh Steelers (94) and cornerback Antonio Cromartie of the Arizona Cardinals (31) in the 2015 Pro Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The classic AFC Vs. NFC battle at the Pro Bowl may have ran its course, but the format and general lack of interest in the game couldn’t put a sour note on Marcel Reece’s night in Arizona has he took part as a winning member of Team Irvin’s 32-28 victory over Team Carter on Sunday.
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Reece, playing in what was his third straight Pro Bowl, even got in on the action with one big play for Team Irvin despite being a fullback that gets little love in the annual event due to his position. The Raiders offensive weapon showed off his big play ability in the second half with a 30 yard reception in a third quarter. It may have been Reece’s only touch, but the play helped him earn his first Pro Bowl victory and showcase his talents amongst some of the best players in the NFL.
Always one to represent what it means to be a Raider on and off the field, Reece paid tribute to the late Al Davis at the event by wearing an “Al” shirt under his Pro Bowl jersey to keep the legendary owner of the franchise in his heart while adding to his now long list of appearances in the event.
Reece was also happy to be a member of the winning Pro Bowl team in the 32-28 final score, even if he didn’t get as many touches as he is accustomed to when he is playing for the Raiders. A fullback who is typically used as more of a hybrid running back/tight end when in Oakland, Reece never quite gets the role he is used during the season when playing in the Pro Bowl, but according to him winning masked any lack of touches on Sunday.
Reece now will enter an offseason where the Raiders are going to be overhauling their roster and offensive philosophy under a new head coach in Jack Del Rio. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is noted to use his running backs heavily, but also managed to maximize the talents of offensive weapon Percy Harvin while in Minnesota which Raiders fans will hope extends to the hybrid talents of Reece who is a fan favorite amongst those who fill the Black Hole on Sundays.
The role that Reece will be used is unknown, but committed to the Raiders longterm as one of their veteran players on a long contract it is a guarantee that the team will be motivated to ensure that their fullback earns his salary once again in 2015. Able to run the ball out of the backfield and run routes as a wideout there is always a place for Reece in an offense which is why he is a three time Pro Bowler now, one of the game’s best fullbacks the hope for both Reece and fans is that the success keeps coming in 2015.
After winning the Pro Bowl, Reece’s preparations for the 2015 will now likely begin after a well deserved vacation, but don’t expect him to rest too long as the always motivated Reece will be improving for a big season in Oakland. Which is what the Raiders will be hoping for as his production is always a key to the offensive success of the team and should be once again in the coming season.