Raiders Fullback Marcel Reece Reflects on the Past and Looks Forward to 2015

You name it and Marcel Reece has probably seen it during his six seasons in Silver and Black.

From coaching changes, to the precipice of the postseason, there isn't much that the former Washington Husky hasn't experienced since joining the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in the summer of 2008.

"I think we have a great leader in [Head Coach] Jack [Del Rio] and he's perfect for this team." - FB Marcel Reece

"I've been here for so long; I am the old man," said Reece with a smile. "My love and passion for this franchise, and for the game of football, and for the fans, and for the city, it just gets stronger. It gets deeper."

Entering 2015, Reece is the longest-tenured position player on the Raiders roster, but he is entering the season with a renewed sense of optimism – a feeling that is echoed throughout the halls of the team's Alameda, Calif., practice facility.

"Everybody says 'buy in,'" Reece said. "You do that all the time this time of year. It just comes down to the people that you're buying in to and what you're buying in to, and right now I think we have a great leader in [Head Coach] Jack [Del Rio] and he's perfect for this team."

Head Coach Del Rio will be Reece's fifth head coach since he arrived in Oakland, but the veteran fullback feels there's something different this time around.

"A lot of teams, you can place anyone as the head of their snake and they can lead that team and be successful, but for us, we're the Raiders – it's different," Reece said. "Like the old saying goes, 'There's 31 teams and then there's the Oakland Raiders,' and there's 31 head coaches and there's Jack Del Rio. It's a blessing for us to have a guy like that because he's a true Raider. That's who he is, and it's not just that he grew up a Raider, but it's everything about him. You can't really teach being a Raider; you just are."

As Reece welcomed Head Coach Del Rio back to the Bay Area this January, he also said goodbye to a close friend and teammate as the Raiders elected not to re-sign running back Darren McFadden this offseason.

Reece and McFadden had spent their entire professional careers together sharing the backfield in Oakland, but when the 2015 season rolls around, Reece will see a different running back in his old friend's spot.

Luckily for him, it's likely to be third-year running back Latavius Murray filling the void as the number one back.

"You can't really teach being a Raider; you just are." - FB Marcel Reece

"D-Mac [McFadden] was his dad and I'm his uncle, so that's my little nephew," Reece said. "We play around like that, but that's what it really comes down to. We're family. He [Murray] came in at a good time for us when he came in a few years ago. D-Mac and I were established. We were extremely close, like we still are, obviously, and when he came in, he came in and he worked hard."

Reece continued on to discuss the relationship between Murray, McFadden and himself.

"It was the three of us really the past couple of years," Reece said. "[Murray's] rookie year he didn't really play, but he was still with us. Every time we were off the field, we were talking about football, we were watching film, we were having dinners, whatever it was, he was with us, and that was important for this time now, because there's no drop off in chemistry. Mac [McFadden] just passed the torch to someone worthy of it who was already one of us."

Reece, Murray and the rest of the Silver and Black report to training camp in Napa, Calif., at the end of July, but the dynamic fullback says the next month and a half are the most important of the season.

"You really don't realize it, but when you're playing this game, your vacation is after you're done [with your career]," Reece said. "These five and six weeks are the most important. Randy Moss told me that the thing that separated him from every other receiver and everyone else who he played with, was these five weeks leading up to camp. Just in the way that he prepared and the way that he trained."

Reece has appeared in 77 games for the Silver and Black and made three Pro Bowls during his tenure in Oakland, but those accolades are behind him now as he sets his focus squarely on 2015.

"It's all about the present," Reece said. "2016 isn't promised to anybody in any way. We have to do this now. Everybody's days are numbered. As soon as you get into the NFL, your days are numbered."

Entering his seventh year as a Raider, Marcel Reece has enjoyed the ups and downs of the NFL, but through it all, he's certain of one thing – the pride he feels each Sunday when he puts on the Silver and Black.

"Everyone knows I want to be in Silver and Black until the end." - FB Marcel Reece

"I take a ton of pride in it," Reece said. "Sometimes you take lumps from people who don't quite understand, but I love it. I take a ton of pride in it, and everyone knows I want to be in Silver and Black until the end."

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