NAPA -- Marcel Reece came into training camp with the usual enthusiasm and zeal for all things silver and black.

Yet for anyone who has observed the Raiders fullback over the past few years, something was missing, and it was evident at first glance. Reece has lost about 15 pounds, going from 250 pounds a year ago to around 235.

Reece had the play of the day Wednesday, leaping skyward to bring down a Matt Schaub pass despite tight coverage from Tyvon Branch.

"Whether it was the reason he was able to make that play or not, I don't know, but it certainly doesn't hurt," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "I just think losing that weight is going to make him more explosive."

Why would a two-time Pro Bowl player change anything?

"I change my game in a lot of ways every year," Reece said after practice Monday. "This year it just happened to be physically noticeable. I didn't think it was a big deal until I got here and you guys started talking about it."

Reece was fast enough last season to burst for a career-long 63-yard touchdown run against the New York Jets. He leaked out of the backfield often enough for 32 receptions for 331 yards and rushed for 218 yards on 46 carries.

However, Reece's numbers were down overall from 2012, when he had 271 yards rushing and 52 receptions for 496 yards.

Thinking he could do more, Reece went to Allen, running backs coach Kelly Skipper and offensive coordinator Greg Olson, and all agreed Reece might be quicker at a lighter weight.


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"Everyone focuses on the number, whether it's 255 or 238 or 240," Reece said. "To me, it's not about that. It's about feeling good, feeling leaner, feeling I can do anything on the field without limitations."

Schaub has wasted no time hooking up with Reece on swing passes as well as others like Wednesday's downfield strike. Schaub played with some solid backs in Houston, including Arian Foster, but was at a loss to compare Reece to anyone else.

"In my time there have been very, very few players like him at his position," Schaub said. "It's a unique skill set that he is able to play anywhere on the field, run all the routes, block the way he does and run the ball."

Reece feels concern over his blocking given the reduction in girth is misplaced.

"I think actually it will help my blocking," Reece said. "When you're younger, you think it's all brute strength and size and how big you are. To be honest, blocking is really technical. Of course there's a physical aspect to it, but my strength has gone nowhere. I feel stronger than ever.

"It wasn't about losing weight and slimming down -- a lot of people lose weight. It was about losing body fat, gaining lean muscle."

  • Right guard Austin Howard didn't finish practice because of soreness in his back, with rookie third-round pick Gabe Jackson playing with the first unit right side. Defensive tackle Antonio Smith, who had offseason sports hernia surgery, left because of a groin issue possibly related to the surgery.

  • Schaub and Derek Carr each led their units to touchdowns in a two-minute drill to close practice. Schaub ran 10 plays before finding Denarius Moore on a short throw in the back of the end zone. Carr scored on a run around right end.

    Allen liked that Carr quickly assessed the play and didn't hesitate.

    "He was decisive," Allen said. "He put the ball away, took off and ran, and understood if he needed to he could get out of bounds, but if it was clean he could score the touchdown."

  • Wide receiver Rod Streater was limited in practice while recovering from a concussion but said he would be clear for contact Thursday.

    "It wasn't too serious. Just a minor one, a little headache," Streater said.

  • Lamarr Woodley, a 3-4 defensive end in Pittsburgh, has been impressive as a 4-3 end since the Raiders started hitting Sunday after two days of noncontact work.

    "He's a very physical player, and his strengths show up when you start to play real football," Allen said.