Raiders' linebacker McClain adjusts to limited role

U.S. Presswire File PhotoLight duty: Rolando McClain was taken out of the nickel package and will only be a fill-in linebacker for the time being.

U.S. Presswire File PhotoLight duty: Rolando McClain was taken out of the nickel package and will only be a fill-in linebacker for the time being.

Rolando McClain arrived in Oakland two years ago expected to be the impact middle linebacker who could transform a Raiders defense that had struggled for years to stop the run.

Less than halfway through his third season with the Raiders, McClain has been relegated to spot duty. McClain is now only being used in base defensive packages, playing a season-low 17 defensive plays last week in Atlanta.

While McClain figures to get more time Sunday against the more run-oriented Jacksonville Jaguars, he will remain a part-time player for the time being.

“It makes my job easy, just focus on base whenever that is and go from there,” McClain said Thursday. “You understand the situation, you understand the transition whatever that may be. You’re not naive to the fact of what’s going on. But at the same time you’re still a team player.”

A heralded college star at Alabama who helped the Crimson Tide win a national championship, McClain came to Oakland as the eighth overall pick in 2010.

But he has failed to produce, recording just 5½ sacks, one interception, no forced fumbles and no fumble recoveries in 35 career games.

McClain averaged about 68 defensive snaps a game the first four weeks, staying on the field in almost all of Oakland’s alignments. But the coaches reassessed things during the bye week and decided to take McClain out of the nickel package.

That led him to play only 17 of 55 defensive snaps last week in a 23-20 loss at Atlanta.

NOTES: CB Shawntae Spencer (sprained right foot) is off crutches for the first time since getting hurt in Week 2 in Miami but is not yet ready to practice. … The Raiders have been granted a one-day extension from the league to sell enough tickets to avoid a local blackout of Sunday’s game.

NFLOaklandOakland Raiders & NFLRaiders

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Construction in the Better Market Street Project between Fifth and Eighth streets is expected to break ground in mid-2021.<ins></ins>
SFMTA board to vote on Better Market Street changes

Agency seeks to make up for slimmed-down plan with traffic safety improvements

A view of Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
CCSF begins search for next chancellor amid new challenges

‘It’s arguably the biggest single responsibility the board has,’ trustee says

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

From left, Natasha Dennerstein, Gar McVey-Russell, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Jan Steckel and Miah Jeffra appear in Perfectly Queer’s fifth anniversary reading on Jan. 20.<ins> (Courtesy photo)</ins>
Perfectly Queer reading series celebrates fifth anniversary

Online event features five writers, games, prizes

(Robert Greene/Tribune News Service)
As tensions grow over vaccinations and politics, California lawmakers face threats from public

Anti-vaccine speakers hint at gun violence during routine budget hearing at state Capitol

Most Read