With the way Reggie McKenzie has cleaned house it wouldn’t at all be surprising to see the Raiders part ways with Rolando McClain. With a possible jail sentence looming there is already reason to believe the Raiders will be Rolando-less at some point be it either jail time or a league mandated suspension. But beyond that there is now some evidence of Dennis Allen slowly phasing McClain out of Oakland.
During the bye week Allen and his staff took a good look at the current roster to sort things out in order to improve on the awful showing during the first month of the season. Though they didn’t win there was plenty of improvement across the board during Oakland’s heartbreaking loss in Atlanta.
One such area in which the Raiders improved mightily was getting the Falcons off the field on third down. A big part of that was due to the presence of Miles Burris in Oakland’s nickel package. That would be the same rookie that worked his way into the starting lineup once Aaron Curry was out of action and now threatens to take even more reps from McClain.
Coming out of Alabama the book on McClain was always that he was much better against the run than he was defending the pass. Not much has changed in that department after nearly two and a half years into his pro career. Even more concerning is that McClain hasn’t at all been as advertised in regards to his prowess defending the run. In fact he seems to be playing the worst ball of his career under the new Raiders regime.
With Curry set to rejoin the team in practice this week and Burris poised to pilfer even more reps we could be looking at the end of McClain’s days in the East Bay. Raider Nation wasn’t too impressed with McClain’s jogging act during the lopsided loss in Denver. Now it would appear the coaching staff is prepared to play McClain less and less in hopes of getting more production out of a disappointing yet hopefully improving defense.
While Burris is only getting McClain’s snaps in nickel packages it feels like it’s only a matter of time until Burris or even Curry get a shot at starting in the middle thus removing McClain from the field on all downs.