Rolando McClain has made headlines for all the wrong reasons this week. In the middle of a tightly contested race for the AFC West, McClain went off script and will now have to face the music. The man that will be playing the tune McClain has no choice but to hear is Hue Jackson.
Coach Jackson hasn’t shied away from expressing his disappointment publicly in McClain’s current situation in Alabama. The second year linebacker has let his teammates down with his recent arrest and I’m sure Jackson will remind him of that among other things.
The two are said to be meeting today to discuss the issue. McClain flew to Miami ahead of the team as he was already in the south. His status for tomorrow’s game will likely be decided in the sit down with Coach Jackson.
I’m of the opinion that the Raiders should sit McClain not only for tomorrow but for the rest of the season.
Legal issues be damned. Let McClain’s lawyer handle that.
My issue with McClain relates to his standing as a team leader. He plays middle linebacker which, in essence, is the quarterback of the defense. Regardless of what happened in Alabama McClain can’t put himself in bad places during the season. Not when a franchise hungry for success is having its best season in nearly a decade.
I have no doubt Jackson will give McClain and earful. The real question is will the young defender be listening?
Going forward the Raiders have to know whether or not they can trust McClain to make the right decisions off the field. No matter the outcome of this situation he’s got to know better than to be involved in things that can jeopardize his career.
Something else McClain must be hyper aware of is that in the modern era perception is reality. When the world sees an athlete smiling for the camera while being arrested the court of public opinion passes judgment swiftly. Fair or unfair is irrelevant.
What is relevant is McClain making better decisions so he’s not pitted with having to fight off allegations no matter their validity.