Reece looking for wins as feature back, not numbers

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Reece looking for wins as feature back, not numbers

ALAMEDA -- Marcel Reece isn't putting much value behind the numbers he's had in the two games since taking over as the Oakland Raiders' starting running back.He might be the only one.Oakland's primary fullback the past two seasons, Reece has amassed nearly 300 yards in total offense while providing some much-needed stability to a backfield that has been plagued by injuries this year. Last week against New Orleans, he fell 10 receiving yards shy of joining Hall of Famer Marcus Allen as the only players in franchise history to have 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in one game.Just don't expect him to make a big deal about it."None of that matters unless you get a W," Reece said Friday. "I don't care if it's number of touches. I don't care if it's number of yards or lack thereof. If you're not winning, it doesn't matter."With the Raiders (3-7) mired in a three-game losing streak, Reece shrugs off his achievements as little more than stats on paper.Yes, he's got a higher yards-per-carry average than Darren McFadden. And his 151 rushing yards over the past two weeks are more than backups Mike Goodson and Taiwan Jones have combined for the entire season.But for a player who has never been on a team that won more than eight games since entering the NFL as an undrafted wide receiver out of Washington in 2008, the numbers are meaningless without the corresponding success in the standings."When it really comes down to it, you're just trying to make plays the way you're supposed to make plays," Reece said. "It's about being able to contribute to trying to help your team win and being productive at it."Reece toiled in relative obscurity for the first two months of the season despite being one of the Raiders' most productive players in 2011.That all changed when McFadden and Goodson got hurt during Oakland's Nov. 4 game against Tampa Bay. While Jones, a fourth-round pick last year, seemed like a logical replacement, he's had problems hanging onto the ball so the Raiders turned to Reece.Thus far the results have been impressive."I knew he was a weapon (but) I didn't know exactly how he was going to fit or how he was going to run," Oakland coach Dennis Allen said. "He's done an outstanding job. As long as he continues to do the things he's doing we'll continue to give him opportunities."Including this week in Cincinnati.McFadden and Goodson are both out while Jones is questionable. All three have ankle injuries, and while McFadden has made slow progress, it hasn't been enough to get back on the practice field.That means a third straight start at tailback for Reece, though fellow fullback Owen Schmitt isn't sure his teammate should even have a position title next to his name."He's just an athlete in a big-man's body," Schmitt said. "Yeah his title is fullback, but really he's a guy that can do it all. He can, when needed, do anything you ask. A guy like that is so valuable on the team."Quarterback Carson Palmer has started relying more heavily on Reece, too, as the Raiders' wide receiving corps battles its own injury issues.After catching 18 passes for 177 yards in Oakland's first seven games, Reece has 19 receptions for 241 yards over the past three.At some point over the next two weeks, Reece is also likely to double his career output in both rushing and receiving. If he does, don't expect much talk about it."It's just whatever," Reece said. "You just go out there and do your job to the best of your abilities. You fight for the guy that's to the left and to the right of you and behind you. No one man, no one group, is bigger than this team."Notes: DT Richard Seymour (knee, hamstring) accompanied the team on the flight to Cincinnati but will sit out his third straight game. ... SS Tyvon Branch practiced without limitations and is expected to start after missing last week's game against New Orleans with a neck injury.

Six Raiders leading Pro Bowl voting; Carr fifth highest overall

Six Raiders leading Pro Bowl voting; Carr fifth highest overall

Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, with 681,361 votes, leads all pla​yers in balloting for the 2017 Pro Bowl, NFL.com announced today. 

Dallas rookie quarterback Dak Prescott (607,621 votes) ranks second overall, while New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (519,210 votes), Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver

Antonio Brown (508,913 votes) and Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (500,770 votes) round out the top five. 

Fan voting for the 2017 Pro Bowl will continue online and on web-enabled mobile phones at www.NFL.com/probowlvote until Tuesday, December 13. Fans may also vote for who they want to see on the 2017 Pro Bowl roster via social media by using #ProBowlVote and the player’s first and last name on Twitter and Instagram. On Facebook, fans may comment on any official Pro Bowl Vote post by the NFL or a club. See official rules on how to vote at www.NFL.com/probowlvoterules.com.        

The Pro Bowl players are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players who will be selected to the Pro Bowl. NFL players and coaches will cast their votes on Friday, December 16. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams. It was the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995. 

The Pro Bowl players will be announced on Tuesday, December 20 in a live primetime special on NFL Network. 

The game will be played on Sunday, January 29, 2017 and simulcast live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.  Fans may visit NFL.com/ProBowlOnSale to purchase game tickets. 

The 2017 Pro Bowl will feature a return to the traditional AFC vs. NFC format following three years using a revised, "unconferenced" structure.

NFL media services

NFL ALL-STAR TOP-TEN VOTE-GETTERS

POS. NAME, TEAM VOTES
RB

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas

681,361

QB

Dak Prescott, Dallas

607,621

QB

Tom Brady, New England

519,210

WR

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

508,913

QB

Derek Carr, Oakland

500,770

QB

Matt Ryan, Atlanta

455,264

WR

Julio Jones, Atlanta

438,112

WR

Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants

429,728

RB

David Johnson, Arizona

405,436

QB

Drew Brees, New Orleans

403,802

 

 

AFC & NFC LEADING VOTE-GETTERS BY POSITION

POS. CONF. NAME, TEAM VOTES POS. CONF. NAME, TEAM VOTES
QB

AFC

Tom Brady, New England

519,210

DE

AFC

Khalil Mack, Oakland

279,466

QB

NFC

Dak Prescott, Dallas

607,621

DE

NFC

Cliff Avril, Seattle

244,999

RB

AFC

DeMarco Murray, Tennessee

365,207

DT

AFC

Ndamukong Suh, Miami

184,749

RB

NFC

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas

681,361

DT

NFC

Aaron Donald, Los Angeles

178,222

FB

AFC

Jamize Olawale, Oakland

169,509

OLB

AFC

Von Miller, Denver

238,755

FB

NFC

John Kuhn, New Orleans

198,442

OLB

NFC

Sean Lee, Dallas

166,579

WR

AFC

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

508,913

ILB

AFC

Zach Brown, Buffalo

106,464

WR

NFC

Julio Jones, Atlanta

438,112

ILB

NFC

Luke Kuechly, Carolina

230,068

TE

AFC

Martellus Bennett, New England

185,749

CB

AFC

Marcus Peters, Kansas City

208,577

TE

NFC

Greg Olsen, Carolina​

325,659

CB

NFC

Richard Sherman, Seattle

245,637

T

AFC

Donald Penn, Oakland

118,863

SS

AFC

Eric Berry, Kansas City

104,844

T

NFC

Tyron Smith, Dallas

252,590

SS

NFC

Kam Chancellor, Seattle

145,163

G

AFC

Kelechi Osemele, Oakland

118,666

FS

AFC

Reggie Nelson, Oakland

82,819

G

NFC

Josh Sitton, Chicago

233,416

FS

NFC

Earl Thomas, Seattle

144,891

C

AFC

Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh

128,053

P

AFC

Marquette King, Oakland

138,640

C

NFC

Travis Frederick, Dallas

249,976

P

NFC

Chris Jones, Dallas

70,331

K

AFC

Justin Tucker, Baltimore

128,682

ST

AFC

Lorenzo Alexander, Buffalo

68,677

K

NFC

Dan Bailey, Dallas

130,954

ST

NFC

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota

102,116

RS

AFC

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

90,568

 

 

 

 

RS

NFC

Tyler Lockett, Seattle

83,720

 

 

 

 

*Totals reflect players currently on active rosters only

 

​# # # 

 

  

Edwards Jr 'foaming at the mouth' to return to Raiders lineup

Edwards Jr 'foaming at the mouth' to return to Raiders lineup

ALAMEDA – Mario Edwards Jr. hasn’t played football in a long, long time. His last go round came back on Aug. 12, during the Raiders’ preseason opener at Arizona.

He suffered a hip injury and hasn’t been back since. That’s nearly four months now, too long a drought for the young, versatile defensive lineman.

That’s why Monday meant so much. It was just a walk-through practice, nothing too physical, but the act of practicing meant something special after his extended absence.

“It felt good just to get out there with those guys,” Edwards Jr. said Monday evening. “My last time with them was against the Cardinals in the preseason. Even just to get out there in a practice and enjoy the camaraderie definitely was nice.”

Edwards Jr.’s rehab has been slower than originally expected, which has kept him on injured reserve well after he was eligible to practice in Week 7 and play in Week 9. Edwards Jr. wanted to make sure his hip, which he called “a freaky thing,” healed right and was free of setbacks.

While he took a mature approach to his rehab, Sundays proved hard to bear. Watching Raiders games were difficult, even with the team sitting pretty at 10-2 after Sunday’s victory over Buffalo.

That was especially true when the Raiders came back to beat the Carolina Panthers. Defense sealed that victory, with Khalil Mack’s strip sack of Cam Newton and the recovery of his own forced fumble. That proved too much to take. Edwards Jr. started itching to get back on the field.

Now that he’s ever so close to a return, Edwards Jr. has let himself ponder lining up with Mack and Bruce Irvin on third and long, ready to get after the quarterback.

“I’ve been dreaming of that, especially after watching Mack strip Cam and things like that,” Edwards Jr. said. “I just wanted to be out there and be a part of it. I’ve been foaming at the mouth ever since then.”

Edwards Jr. must’ve known he was close to getting back on the field. He was running well on the treadmill prior to that game, and was out on the field shortly after the Panthers win.

The Raiders hope Edwards Jr. can be back in time to play the Chargers in San Diego on Dec. 18. That would give him three regular-season games to ramp up and be fully immersed in the defense should the Raiders make the postseason.

Edwards Jr., however, doesn’t have a set timetable to return.

“I’m a little different, so I don’t really know,” Edwards Jr. said. “We don’t have a date on it. It’s more about how I’m feeling each day and how I’m healing.”

Edwards Jr. called his absence bittersweet – he hasn’t played a regular season game since Dec. 20, when he suffered a neck injury versus Green Bay – but remains forward thinking even missing the season to this point.

“It sucked, but everything happened for a reason,” Edwards Jr. said. “I’m healing up great, and I’m looking forward to coming back and playing.”