Monthly Archives: December 2015
A week after securing a spot on his fourth Pro Bowl roster, full back Marcel Reece was suspended by the league for four games.
Multiple reports indicated Reece’s suspension coming from a violation of the League’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.
Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece suspended for four games for violating performance-enhancing drug policy
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) December 28, 2015
Reece will miss the Raiders’ next four games, including three games next season. He also loses eligibility for participation in Pro Bowl.
“I know he’s disappointed and doesn’t really feel like it’s justified.” Head Coach Jack Del Rio said Monday after the announcement.
Otherwise, Del Rio said Roy Helu Jr. could also get some added snaps in the season finale versus the Kansas City Chiefs.
Reece was already facing a diminishing role with the Raiders this season, but it is still a huge blow to the Raider fan favorite.
This season, Reece posted 3 receiving touchdowns and 266 yards receiving.
The fullback has a $3.58 million cap hit this season, and a $3.53 cap hit next season, the final year of his current deal.
In my opinion, Reece should be back with the squad next season. For the past few seasons, Reece represented the brand well in the community and at the Pro Bowl.
The Raiders have more than $65 million in cap. They must pay someone, so why not one of their own?
It may be redundant with Olawale on the Roster, but they could battle for the position in training camp. The loser could be cut or traded for a seventh rounder.
Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see what the Raiders do with Reece moving forward.
Lately, rumors surfaced that Jon Feliciano will make his first start at right guard.
J’Marcus Webb is ruled out with an injury. Oh No!?!
However, Webb ranks as one of the worst starting linemen in the league. He is the only Raiders linemen with a negative grade, according to Pro Football Focus.
However, the rookie Feliciano should not start. Neither should the always reliable and available Khalif Barnes.
Barnes is on the downside of his career and those reps should be used to develop the future right guard.
Tony Bergstrom was the first draft pick of Reggie McKenzie. Out of Utah, Bergstrom played all across the offensive line.
However, he represents the previous regime’s philosophy of quick offensive linemen for the zone blocking scheme.
Thus, he moved from the guard position to the center position. A position he started at while Rodney Hudson was out with injury. Bergstrom shined and also registered a positive PFF grade.
Of course, he was not gonna dethrown Hudson from the starting job. Hudson is one of the best centers in the league.
Therefore, Bergstrom should enter the starting lineup again. I understand he is a little smaller than the other Raiders guards. However, he would help with blitz pickup against a Green Bay Packers defense that is renowned for confusion.
As for the run game, the Raiders offensive line can not play much worst. I’d like to see them bring in Bergstrom so we can see more stretch and zone plays. I like the playcalls because they utilize the speed of Latavius Murray and Taiwan Jones.
Lastly, Bergstrom should start so we can see what we have in him. His contract is ending soon, and it will be his last shot to prove he can be a full-time starter. That alone should motivate him to play his best.
As for Feliciano, the Raiders drafted him as a developmental piece. I do not know if he is ready to start. IF he is not ready to start, throwing him to the Packers will not help his confidence or development.
The Oakland Raiders are 5-7 and they need to win out for any shot at the playoffs.
That is almost common knowledge. The squad needed a victory the past few weeks, but they came out short against the Chiefs.
How can the team secure a victory?
It starts up-front.
The Raiders must establish the running game. This Broncos defense is the best in the league. Oakland can not afford 3rd and 8. Nor can they force sophomore quarterback Derek Carr to do too much.
Between Marceel Reece, Jamize Olawale and Latavius Murray, someone must get going on the ground. The running backs are too physical to not wear down this physical Broncos defense.
On defense, the Raiders line must show-up big again. Khalil Mack dominated against the Chiefs. He must do the same this week. Brock OsWeiler is athletic and the ends must keep containment. However, Mack and company need pressure versus the explosive Broncos offense.
Coverage is key.
Speaking of explosive offense, the Broncos stable of receivers consists of size and speed. The Raiders corners must show-up.
Safety Nate Allen will not play this game. Will TJ Carrie return to safety? Will DJ Hayden return to the starting lineup or stay on Nickel corner duties?
Regardless of who plays, the Raiders corners must compete. If they get beat, they need to find ways to battle back. If they can find a way to create turnovers, they can stay in the game. That is what kept the first Chiefs and Broncos game close.
Find a way for explosive plays.
The Raiders may or may not be overmatched for this game. Nonetheless, the same could be said about next week’s Packers game. Hence, the Raiders need to do whatever it takes to make big plays.
They just paid Michael Crabtree a wad of cash. He needs to be the sure-handed receiver. He dropped a few against the Chiefs.
Plus, Andre Holmes and Seth Roberts are the big-play guys. Do not just use them as decoys. Stretch the ball down the field. Look at the Raiders five wins. They won those games with big shots, not by playing to stay close. Further, utilize Amari Cooper as much as possible. He is our best offensive player, and let him show it. How about an end around or reverse?
Ultimately, this is a divisional game which always makes it a must win. However, this game will test the Raiders heart. Can they battle themselves into playoff contention?
Can they knock out an AFC Conender?
Those are my three keys to keeping their season alive and beating the Broncos.