Four Raiders questions: No. 4 -- What's up with Reece?

August 30, 2012, 10:37 pm
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Editor's note: This is the fourth of a four-part series posing Insider Paul Gutierrez's four biggest questions facing the Raiders in their final preseason game.

SEATTLE -- If ever there was a preseason game that meant next to nothing, this is it -- the fourth and final exhibition. Just don't tell that to the bubble guys trying to make one last impression before rosters are reduced to 53 players by 6 p.m. PT on Friday. Which begs the question, why would Raiders coach Dennis Allen risk playing his starters more than one series in Seattle, let alone against an eager beaver trying to make Seattle's roster by taking out a name player? It's about reps and cohesion and familiarity for Allen and his new-look Raiders in this game, broadcast now on KICU Channel 36 at 7 p.m. in the Bay Area. Four questions, then, in the form of downs, facing fans and the Raiders heading into their final exhibition game

First down -- Who can make their best case tonight?
Second down -- Who is most affected by the signings of Parrish and Francies?

Third down -- Can the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field actually help the Raiders?

Fourth down -- What's up with Marcel Reece?

The most multi-skilled fullback in the NFL has yet to get a single touch in the preseason. Whither Marcel Reece? He told me this week on Chronicle Live he's not all that concerned about it and that he and quarterback Carson Palmer have joked about it during exhibition games, that he needs to get the ball every time. Still, not getting one touch has to be curious, right? Not if offensive coordinator Greg Knapp is calling an especially vanilla exhibition season that he does not want to flash what he really has in store for games that count.

Then again, how to explain lining the Runaway Beer Truck -- fellow fullback Owen Schmitt -- wide left against Detroit and actually throwing him a pass? That would seem to be more Reece's domain, yes?

"Thats a fun piece of the puzzle," Knapp said of Reece. "You can put him in many different positions and they have to respect him outside. So yeah its a good chess piece to have. We havent necessarily experimented with both him and Owen on the field at the same time, but yeah, it can be done."