ALAMEDA Marcel Reece said he decided this week was "about that time" to sign his exclusive rights tender and join the Raiders for voluntary organized team workouts.
That was welcome news to coach Dennis Allen, who said Wednesday he's glad to have the versatile fullback in the fold, learning the Raiders' new offense.
"He's behind a little bit, but he's working hard to get caught up in what we're doing offensively," Allen said. "It's nice to have him back. He's got a skill set that can be beneficial to us."
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Reece has receiver-like speed and catching ability. There's also the possibility he could take on some short-yardage carries this season with the departure of powerful back Michael Bush.
Reece missed several voluntary workouts this offseason while reportedly seeking a long-term deal from the Raiders. He signed a one-year contract Monday, saying he decided to do so after talking with running back Darren McFadden and quarterback Carson Palmer.
"You miss the camaraderie with the guys and you get tired of working out by yourself," Reece said Wednesday. "You just want to be back out here. Like I said, it's home."
Reece, 26, didn't say whether he and the Raiders discussed a long-term deal but reiterated that he wants "to be a Raider for life." As for the new offense, Reece said he will catch on pretty quickly and pointed out he is familiar with new Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, who held the position in 2008.
"Some of the terminology is different," Reece said. "It takes a couple of days to get your feet back under you, but football is football."
In 28 games over the past two seasons, Reece had 52 receptions for 634 yards and five touchdowns, and 47 carries for 234 yards and a touchdown. Allen said the coaching staff will continue to evaluate Reece before deciding whether to get him more carries this season. He has an idea, though, of the trouble Reece can give defenses.
"He's an athletic type of fullback," Allen said. "Where he really excels is in the passing game and the different mismatches that he can create. As far as being the lead blocker in our scheme, that's where he's got the most work (to do)."
Wisniewski still out Projected center Stefen Wisniewski is still recovering from a shoulder procedure and likely won't step on the field until training camp.
Wisniewski said Wednesday he tore his labrum during camp last season and played through the injury. Despite being unable to practice, the second-year lineman has been present for OTAs. He also is expected to miss the team's three-day minicamp next week.
Wisniewski expects to be a full go when training camp begins at the end of July but still figures to be behind as the Raiders adopt a new zone-blocking scheme.
"The good thing is, he's been able to be in on all the meetings," Allen said. "So from a mental standpoint, he's up to speed on what we're installing. But there's nothing like actually getting a rep and going through it."
Practice updates Allen said that McFadden's absence this week has been a good opportunity to get more reps for Mike Goodson and Taiwan Jones, who are vying for the role of McFadden's primary backup.
McFadden has been working at his youth football camp in Arkansas this week, Allen said. Also absent Wednesday were defensive tackles Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, punter Shane Lechler, safety Mike Mitchell and fullback Manase Tonga.
Linebacker Aaron Curry (soft tissue) and defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder) were present but not practicing.