Most people are jumping off Terrelle Pryor’s bandwagon because of last week’s terrible start against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, I still believe that Pryor is the answer to Oakland Raiders decade long search for a signal caller. What Pryor’s Kansas City debacle showed was that Pryor is nowhere near ready to be a gun slinging quarterback. In order for the Raiders to get back on track offensively they must start utilizing their Pro Bowl fullback Marcel Reece.
Say what you want about Hue Jackson as a head coach, but as an offensive coordinator he knew how to get the ball in his play-makers hands. Jackson saw the unique ability of Reece to exploit mismatches which is why Jackson made sure Reece was a vital part of his offense. Last year, incompetent offensive coordinator Greg Knapp didn’t figure out that Reece was a playmaker until the season was already over.
First year offensive coordinator Greg Olsen has done a fantastic job building an offense around Terrelle Pyror and the anemic offensive line. Unfortunately, Olsen has made the same mistake that Knapp did by not utilizing Reece. So far this season Reece has only had the ball in his hands 19 times which equals to about three times a game. This is a completely unacceptable stat especially because Reece is one of the Raiders top offensive weapons.
Last week against the Chiefs, Reece only had the ball one time which was a far cry from the ten times he had the ball in his hand during the win against the Chargers. Not only is Reece a threat in the receiving game but he is also capable of carrying the ball. Both running back’s Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden have 3.9 yards per carry this season which is less than Reece’s 5.2 yard per carry.
The Raiders should look at how the Seattle Seahawks are using Russell Wilson in the passing game. Although Wilson is considered a bonafide Superstar, he is still running an offense that utilizes screens and short passes. Without a capable tight end, Reece can get the passes that would normally go a tight end. Opposing defenses are focused on stopping Pryor from running the ball which is why throwing the ball to Reece off of a read-option would allow Reece an opportunity to make plays in the open field.
In order for Pryor to avoid another catastrophic performance, the Raiders must find a way to get the ball in Reece’s hands in the passing game.