The Raiders expect MLB Rolando McClain to be more of a leader and a more effective defender in his third season. New GM Reggie McKenzie is eager to see how McClain, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft, performs in head coach Dennis Allen’s defensive system and the team seems to be pleased with how McClain has responded to the challenge thus far after he found himself in hot water this offseason.
McClain is appealing a 180-day jail sentence after being convicted in May of third-degree assault, menacing, discharging a handgun and reckless endangerment from a November incident. He reportedly went a full month without addressing the media before answering questions earlier this week — he said he would not talk about the past during his exchange with reporters, but announced he is not worried about a possible suspension from the NFL.
McClain, who had 99 tackles, five sacks and 14 passes defensed in 15 games last season, is hoping the stem-cell treatments he underwent on his knee and ankle in the offseason pay off for him with a healthy season and resolve lingering questions about whether he will make himself a key part of the Raiders’ long-term plans.