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Raiders To Blame For Rolando McClain

Reggie McKenzie inherited a mess. At this point that’s a lot like saying Lamar Odom married into a family of douchebags. The world knows these things without the need to have them spoken.

None the less it’s how you handle your lot in life that determines your mettle.

From the start the Oakland Raiders mismanaged Rolando McClain. Al Davis bears blame. Hue Jackson most certainly does. And so too does Reggie McKenzie.

Davis drafted McClain despite some serious doubts as to whether or not the Alabama linebacker was productive or a product of the talent around him in college. But that never mattered to Davis who always trusted his instincts more than game tape. So naturally as a top 10 pick McClain was immediately placed on scholarship.

McClain was handed the starting middle linebacker job before he even inked his rookie contract. Keep in mind middle linebacker is a position meant for leaders and McClain never had the reputation of being vocal let alone captain material.

So a subpar rookie year was overlooked because of that deadly “P” word – potential.

In his second year McClain endured the first regime change of his short lived Raider career. The passing of Al Davis gave way to the brief Hue Jackson era. This is where things really went sideways.

McClain’s production was the best of his Silver and Black days but the enabling of Jackson also gave rise to Ro’s sour attitude and sense of entitlement.

As evidenced by the Carson Palmer trade Jackson was desperate to show the world he could run an NFL franchise and win in doing so. He thought wrong. So convinced he was sitting on a potential Super Bowl contender was Jackson that he turned a blind eye to McClain’s first arrest as a Raider.

After being excused by the team to attend his grandmother’s funeral McClain was arrested on assault charges. He would be convicted, appealed and then eventually exonerated as the charges were dropped but the damage was done. Instead of using the moment as a chance for teaching McClain a valuable life lesson, Jackson only saw his own selfish desires. His way to punish McClain was to bench him for one quarter of football, never to question why the young man was in trouble in the first place.

Naturally Jackson’s methods were never going to jive with McKenzie’s sensibilities.  So Hue was shown the exit and the second regime change for McClain came to be.

McKenzie and his hand-picked head coach Dennis Allen arrived with the hopes of righting the Raider ship. Yet how they too handled McClain only made the situation worse.

That sour attitude given life by Hue Jackson was again flamed by Allen and McKenzie. The good news was Coach Allen yanked McClain’s scholarship by playing him less and less. The bad news is McKenzie should have ripped up his contract instead of turning his back once Allen suspended McClain.

After having enough of Rolando’s ways Coach Allen asked McClain to stay away. What followed was an attempt to humble the arrogant defender. McClain would never play again for the Raiders instead becoming a scout team running back who was absent from the active roster on Sundays.

While it was obvious McClain’s Raider days were done McKenzie allowed the troubled linebacker to remain employed. Perhaps financial considerations were what made McKenzie pause before hitting eject. To be fair a bloated rookie contract combined with the timing of the start of the new league year didn’t help McKenzie from a financial standpoint. Whatever the case McClain’s time was up months ago it was just frustrating to see him still on the Raider roster. In addition McKenzie refused to even communicate with the immature defender instead deferring to Allen.

At every turn when the Oakland Raiders had a chance to mold, teach or even scold McClain they failed to do so.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not so foolish as to think this was all on Oakland. McClain never held up his end of the bargain. Jogging on the field, smiling for the camera during an arrest, signing a ticket as “F— y’all” and doing nothing to justify his draft status was on McClain. However by failing to take full responsibility for handling McClain the Raiders brought much of that misery on themselves.

McClain’s now unemployed status is his own fault. But how he could even keep the job as long as he did falls squarely on the Raiders.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Oakland Raiders Rolando McClain

  • jeff yaws

    oh well, spilled milk,..mckenzie doin exactly what needs to be done goin forward

  • slmraiders

    This is laughable. Got halfway through and couldn’t even read the rest. McClain would have had the same result regardless of the team he was on coming out of the draft. Not the Raiders fault…

  • Sean Brown

    Not sure how McKenzie shares in any blame? There was no deadline or financial risk involved when it came to cutting McClain- by waiting he at least entertained the small possibility that they could pick up a draft pick for him. When nothing materialized he parted ways. And DA? What did he do again- gave him the benefit of the doubt until he saw continued questionable character, limited skill and lack of effot- and then reduced and eliminated playing time…You can blame Al’s poor scouting, or Hue’s poor coaching, but at the end of the dayI this is a grown man who was drafted to lead this team and paid handsomely to do so- to not give a majority of the blame to McClain is silly. Reggie and DA do NOT want questionable character on this team or ANY sense of entitlement…finally going in the right direction.

  • Brant Tomie

    Bad article.

  • Ricky Bobby

    Prior to being drafted by the Raiders, Ro told the organization he did not feel comfortable going all the way to Oakland to play football for them yet Al drafted him anyway. That is as obvious a RED FLAG AS THE RUSSIAN ONE.
    That was on Al once again.

  • Dean Thomas

    Other than being drafted, 100% of the blame is on McClain for being a dumb-ass!! Sorry, but u go where you’re drafted or don’t play in the NFL!!

  • Dean Thomas

    McClain should have removed his head from his ass and be a man, not many get the chance to play in the NFL period.

  • ThaFootballGuru

    Al Davis made some HORRIBLE picks in his late years but this wasn’t 1 of them, this guy is just not what many thought he would be.

  • Daniel Martinez

    What a steaming pile of crap.
    Justblogbaby… Justshutup

  • Daniel Martinez

    Great comments… You should start a blog.

  • Andy Garcia

    What the heck are you smoking Chris Shellcroft? Raiders are to blame but RoMac isn’t? I was raised to accept responsibility for my actions. Why is this any different? The young man was totally responsible for all of his actions, on the field and off. Some mismanagement, absolutely. But ultimately, each person is his own man and thus he could have dealt with difficult times as a man, not as a victim.

  • mtraider

    The guy always got in trouble at home,so,how would playing for a team closer to home have helped? He couldn’t shed blocks or pass cover,yet,he wanted star treatment and got star money. People love to blame the Raiders. If you ever played football you would know that coaches only do so much. What happens on the field is a reflection of who you are. If you have any talent and some heart,you can make tackles for any team. I bought a 55 jersey when he came out of Bama. Can’t get 5 bucks for it. P.S.- Why did Burris have such a good rookie year playing for the same idiots?(because Burris has HEART!)

  • calski

    Whatever. Everyone thought this guy was going to be a star LB. And the way this guy has acted, just horrible, nothing like a pro athlete. He can only blame himself…and I’m not sure he cares.

  • Ricky Bobby

    Burris did not play well last yr dude, average @ best.
    Ro is a 3-4 ILB, Raiders are a 4-3 so Ro was doomed from the start

  • Raider Grant

    I bought the jersey too! Iam going to replace ai for ow so it reads Mc Clown! He was another over rated, unproductive player from the SEC. Go Raiders & hopefully our picks moving forward are legit, no more wild card bs.

  • mtraider

    Burris was a 4th rounder and a rookie and he was better than McClain dude.

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