In two seasons since the Raiders took him with the eighth overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, Rolando McClain has garnered at least as much attention for off-field problems as he has for on-field production. But McClain vows that his past is behind him and his future is bright, on the field and off.
McClain channeled Mark McGwire in talking to reporters about his past problems, but he said he has big plans for the future.
“I’m not talking about the past,” McClain said. “This is a new year. The past is the past for a reason. It’s a new year, and we got a chance to go out and be as good as we want to be.”
McClain, who is likely to have a jury trial after the season on charges of third-degree assault, reckless endangerment, menacing and unlawful discharge of a firearm, said he doesn’t have any concerns about the NFL suspending him.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a talk of anything about a suspension,” he said. “I haven’t heard it. I guess that’s all speculation.”
Looking forward, McClain says the Raiders’ new defense is a better fit for his skills than what he’s been doing the last two years. And so he thinks he’s ready to develop into a defensive leader, on a Raiders defense that looks a lot different than it did when he was drafted.