Originally published on Silver & Black Report on Jan. 22, 2014
The new NFL Pro Bowl format has NFL Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders "drafting" their respective teams for the Pro Bowl this season.
Raiders fullback Marcel Reece, who is attending his second-straight Pro Bowl, was assigned to Team Sanders after Rice selected Carolina FB Mike Tolber. There are only two fullbacks sent to the Pro Bowl.
But it doesn't sound like Sanders is going to utilize Reece the way that much of Raider Nation knows he can be used.
“That's who we want. We love him because he's not getting the ball. All we want him to do is block, for that man over there,” Sanders said during the broadcast, according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. The man he referred to Reece blocking for is Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles.
Reece can be a tough mismatch for linebackers and a defense and Sanders should find innovative ways to get him the ball as we have all seen his ability to be much more than a blocking fullback.
The former University of Washington wide receiver has 1,481 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns to go with his 723 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in his 62 games (45 starts) played in the Silver & Black. Reece finished the 2013 campaign with 218 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns and 331 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.
Reece finished last year's Pro Bowl with just one carry for one yard rushing and no receptions on one target.
Lets hope that Sanders' quote is just a smokescreen and he utilizes Reece in other capacities other than just blocking.