Marcel Reece’s grip on the Seahawks’ fullback job is now a strangelhold following Seattle’s two latest roster moves.
The team released fullback Kyle Coleman and waived-injured offensive lineman Robert Myers on Tuesday, a day off from practice in training camp.
Coleman’s release makes Reece the only true fullback -- one listed as that and not as “running back” -- currently on Seattle’s roster. The team has used Tre Madden some at fullback, but also as a tailback and pass catcher.
Tuesday’s moves leave the Seahawks with two open roster spots on the 90-man preseason roster. Expect them to use at least one on an offensive lineman. That position has had injuries and fighting you might have heard about through the first eight practices of camp.
With only one fullback, they may add one of those, too. Or they must go with Reece for now.
The Seahawks brought back the 32-year-old former University of Washington wide receiver and Oakland Raiders four-time Pro Bowl fullback two days before training camp began last month on a free-agent contract. It’s worth a non-guaranteed $775,000 for one year.
He’d been in the back of the team’s mind for months. The 23-year-old Coleman has zero games of NFL experience. Reece has 98.
Reece played in the final four games of the 2016 regular season, plus two in the playoffs for the Seahawks in December and January. Those were the first two playoff games of his eight-year career.
It’s not as if the Seahawks use the fullback a ton anymore -- but they still use one more than most NFL teams. Reece played 93 of 407 snaps (23 percent) over Seattle’s final six games of last season and postseason.
Reece showed his value blocking in the wild-card playoff win over Detroit. He played 32 of 73 snaps (44 percent) that night -- when Thomas Rawls rushed behind him for a Seahawks playoff-record 161 yards and Seattle, for one game, got back to its most successful identity under coach Pete Carroll.
That’s the identity the Seahawks want to get back in this season with a healthier Rawls, new big back Eddie Lacy -- and, it appears, Reece again.
Reece’s Oakland friends are all for his resurgence in Seattle’s plans for 2017. Former Raiders CEO Amy Trask, with whom I worked when I covered the Raiders in the early 2000s, responded to Reece’s roster path cleared by Tuesday’s moves: