I see it written, and hear it spoken; “Rolando McClain doesn’t fit with what Reggie McKenzie and the new regime is doing in Oakland.” That’s an incomplete or just plain ignorant comment, simply because Rolando McClain doesn’t fit into the Oakland Raiders of any era. That comment makes it seem as if he’s the poster child for what the Raiders used to be. For all the things you hear about Raider players being rebels, and working outside of the rules, it’s not the norm to have guys that are constantly in trouble with the law. There are plenty of stories of players drinking all night before a game, then putting on their uniform to play on Sunday.
The one prevailing theme you hear when told these stories of players drinking and womanizing before a game, is that when it came down to game day, those players performed. They went out on the field, hangover and all, and simply performed. McClain does not share this attribute.
Yes, McClain had a combined 99 tackles last season. That’s a reasonable number. But, that’s not the whole story. What good is a tackle if it’s made 10-15 yards beyond the point you were supposed to have originally made it? It defeats the purpose of having a middle linebacker. You don’t need me to continue to stress what has been stressed to death, but I will. McClain takes horrible angles. He doesn’t read and react well. He misses tackles. You are a middle linebacker on a professional football team, you simply cannot miss tackles.
According to Alabama law, the most Rolando McClain could have received, was 6 months in jail. The judge fell 10 days short of giving him the maximum sentence. That tells you that this crime was very serious. Had he been found guilty, but was somehow remorseful, or contrite, or had he simply been seen to have been caught up in the moment, the judge might have been more lenient. Of course I’m not an expert on legal matters, but that is how basic law works. Judges have the leeway to decide the length of a defendant’s sentence based on extenuating circumstances. In this case, the judge saw about 10 days worth of contrition and that’s it.
Despite the judge basically throwing the book at McClain, he should consider himself a very lucky man. I made the comment on Twitter that if he was in New York, he’d be looking at 6 years, not 6 months. A while later, someone who says he’s a criminal defense attorney in California responded by saying that McClain would be looking at closer to 14 years in his jurisdiction. Rolando McClain should be thanking his lucky stars for the much more lenient laws in his home state. McClain is now officially a convicted criminal (although his very well paid attorney will appeal).
It’s almost comical to see that there are still some supporters out there. I’ve seen comments on Twitter, and have even seen more than one blog article out there saying he should remain a Raider. Not only has he failed to make the impact he was supposed to make as a player on this club, he has been nonchalant about it while falling short of expectations. Let’s not forget that while he was failing to do his job properly on the field, he called you out, and me out, as fans. He had the audacity to call out the fans for not showing up to games that he was stinking up. Are you kidding me? It just seems ridiculous to me knowing that he has even one supporter in the Raider Nation at this point.
Basically Rolando McClain should have no place on this Oakland Raiders football club. I would be saying this just as adamantly if Al Davis was still with us. I’m not sure what Mr. Davis would have done, but I’d like to think Rolando would be on a train out of Oakland almost immediately. Most of you know I’m not a Reggie McKenzie convert yet, by a longshot. One thing that will help inch me towards getting onboard with what he’s selling is for him to be a man of his word. He has constantly said that he wants “high character guys” on this ballclub. This is his chance to say what he means, and mean what he says. Put up, or shut up time for McKenzie. He has already gone against what he’s been preaching when he signed Brandon Underwood, a role player that has had his troubles with the law since he came into the league with the Green Bay Packers. This, though, is on a much bigger scale. Let’s see if Reggie does the right thing.