Oakland is expected to waive Rolando McClain today, which prompted the following from Bill Williamson:
McClain never lived up to his billing on the field. He was out of shape, slow and often out of position. He didn’t show the instincts expected from a top-10 pick. He was convicted on a gun charge last year, but it was recently overturned on an appeal, according to his attorney.
The new Oakland regime was charged with salvaging McClain’s time in Oakland. He didn’t make improvements and his playing time dwindled in some games. Now, it is over.
McClain will be the 27th player to leave since new general manager Reggie McKenzie took over. Last week, fellow starting linebacker Aaron Curry was cut.
1. Yes, I quoted Bill Williamson. He's not a good football writer whatsoever, but he makes a solid point here, providing what some people call "food for thought." Personally, i think that's a stupid mixed metaphor, because food is eaten, not consumed by thought. It's like something out of a Tom Friedman article.
2. Rolando McClain isn't a good player, and that doesn't surprise me or Doc Bear, as neither of us were high on him coming out of college. Doc was primarily concerned with negative side effects of McClain's Crohn's disease. I didn't like McClain on film very much, and I tend to discount Alabama defensive players, as a rule. They're playing in the best scheme in college football, one which is so far superior to any other that you have to try to picture the players without that advantage. I maintained on Draft Day 2010 that Brandon Spikes was a much better player than McClain (even before the Bama discounting), and I was clearly right.
3. The football people for the Raiders, led by GM Reggie McKenzie, do seem to be doing the right things, in cleaning out the guys who aren't going to be part of the solution. There's been such a dramatic change in mindset in that building, and it's pretty clearly for the better. Switching from a 1970s mindset to a modern one instantaneously is difficult, though, and it sounds like owner Mark Davis is having trouble staying patient with it. This is the guy that Mike Silver said was in over his head, and I'm personally not real impressed so far.
It will be very interesting to see if the football guys are allowed to take the time and absorb the pain necessary to repair such a disaster of a franchise, or if Davis will keep them in the losers' cycle. Personally, I'm rooting for failure. Some people say that the NFL is better when the Raiders are relevant. I'm not one of those people.