So why does Marcel Reece become Marcel Marceau and disappear in the offense on game days?
“I know,” Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie said with a smile and a shake of his head this week.
“Some of that is stuff they have as a receiver (so) we have to find him, too. At times he can be covered. At times, when it’s designed to go to him, for whatever reason he doesn’t get it his way. That falls on a little bit of everybody. But he’s definitely a part of the offense now. We’ll get him the ball.”
Good things seem to happen for the Raiders whenever the matchup nightmare touches the ball.
In the season opener at Indianapolis, Reece caught one pass for nine yards, though quarterback Terrelle Pryor missed him downfield for a big gainer when he was wide open.
Sunday against Jacksonville, he rumbled 11 yards to score the Raiders’ first touchdown on an opening drive since 2011.
So how do the Raiders get Reece more involved?
“You can hand him the ball,” said Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson. “Obviously his first carry last week was a touchdown, so maybe I need to hand him the ball more.”
“The one way you can ensure that a guy gets touches is to hand him the football,” he added. “We’ll look at that. He’s also obviously a threat out in space, as a matchup issue. We look at those things and we make sure he’s involved in the progression.”
Reece has never griped about how he’s used, or rather, not used.
The former college wide receiver-turned-street free agent and practice squad refugee is coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance after catching 52 passes for 496 yards and a touchdown while rushing 59 times for 271 yards in 2012.
“I’m not drawing up the plays,” McKenzie said. “I don’t know what I’d be doing, maybe a fumblerooskie. He’s fine. It was nice for him to score the first (home) touchdown of the year for us. That was nice. Nice run.
“I’m sure we’ll see more of Marcel this year. Trust me.”