Rolando McClain on past: “. . . sometimes the devil wins”


Rolando McClain’s not going to pretend he can replace Ray Lewis, even though he’ll be standing in the same spot. But he hopes that changing locations can help him change the course of a career gone wrong.

McClain talked to Bob Labbe of the Madison Weekly News, a paper in the Alabama town he recently  moved to with his wife and two children, and said he was excited about his pending deal with the Ravens.

It’s a move that can’t go wrong and I’m looking forward to playing in Baltimore as the Ravens run the same or very similar defense as I was a part of at the University of Alabama,” McClain said. “Ray Lewis retired after winning the Super Bowl and I look to fill his slot. No one can fill his shoes, but I can fill his slot. I just want to fill out the shoes of Rolando McClain. This is a perfect fit for me personally.”

There are a lot of familiar faces for McClain to work with, as former Crimson Tide teammates Terrence Cody and Courtney Upshaw are there, and Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome’s also an Alabama man.

But he’s hoping his two new hometowns will help him avoid the off-field problems that plagued him in the past.

In an earlier story in the same paper, McClain painted a picture of himself as a changed man now that he’s moved to the small town, 25 miles from where he grew up in Decatur, Ala.

“As a kid and young adult you make mistakes and I have made some,” he said. “I have tried to do good, but sometimes the devil wins.”

He said he moved away from the place he grew up to get away from the old influences there.

“When you come into some money, some people think you owe them and they want some of your money, but I tried to always stay true to who I am,” McClain said. “My wife has completely changed me. She’s made me mellow, softer. . . .

“I am who I am. I’ll have to change my surroundings. I love my friends and my city and I won’t turn my back on them. I just need to make better decisions in my life. I won’t be making as many visits to Decatur.”

If he brings a new focus, he could well turn around the career which has been a disappointment thus far. But that’s going to take more than a new mailing address.

63 responses to “Rolando McClain on past: “. . . sometimes the devil wins”

  1. I know Raiders fans are going to rip him, but I like this signing for the Ravens and think he will look a lot better in their system. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get his career back on track. Good signing by the Ravens. He’s a 3-4 MLB and if his mind is finally right the Ravens may have gotten a steal.

  2. jaimelh02 says:
    Apr 10, 2013 1:40 PM
    How’s he going to improve his football instincts and lack of speed?


    Speed shouldn’t be an issue for him. He has to be at least faster than Lewis was the past few seasons. But he better hit the film room hard and take all the coaching that he can get.

  3. wow, i didn’t know that the Devil made you throw big parties and then shoot a gun off right next to a guys ear at the party.

    I thought that was more in the realm of someone who just didn’t give a damn

  4. Good luck to RoMac, coming from a Raiders fan, but I doubt he’ll be much more than camp fodder. Rolando’s performance has regressed every year since his rookie season, and his anger issues are extraordinary:

    – At Alabama, he ran over a fellow student with his car for no reason. This went unreported until his much more famous act of violence in his second year.

    – As referenced above, in his second year in the league, Rolando was excused from practice to attend his grandfather’s funeral. This was totally OK. He then proceeded to make headlines by pistol-whipping a man and firing a gun up next to his ear. This was not OK.

    – In his third season, Rolando got into a shouting match with head coach Dennis Allen after he was benched from the base defense. This was the second benching Rolando had experienced during the year, as he was benched from the nickel defense earlier in the season.

  5. Useless signing it will be a matter of time before Ravens fans are screaming what the hell. They will him out there in the preseason and see how slow this guy is. Soft as pudding too. Counting down the days when i tune to 105.7 with fans complaining.

  6. Isn’t blaming the “devil” convenient?

    We are responsible for our actions. We cannot control every situation but we CAN control how we react & handle ourselves during those situations.

    These guys need to realize their “indiscretions” have nothing to do with the “devil”, its immaturity, entitlement & stupidity.

    The first two can be worked through, the last one is usually a permanent problem that blaming a fictitious character will not cure.

  7. You ever hear that statement…REAL MEN WEAR SILVER & BLACK?

    It’s a true statement. You have to be man to wear the Raider uniform and succeed. It’s not easy being a Raider. Boys like Jamarcus and Rolondo crumble. They’re not REAL RAIDERS. Like the Louis Murphys, Jacoby Fords, Darren McFaddens, Richard Seymours…etc.

    All that being said…Big Ro is just a garbage NFL LB. That was more Tom Cable’s pick…huge disappointment. One of the worst LBers in Raider history.

  8. It would piss me off to see him become great, but if he really has turned his life around I hope he can turn his career around too.

    The Raiders obviously had no leaders that could get through to him, a problem he won’t have in Baltimore. Plus the slot he is going to try and fill should be motivation enough to step up his effort.

    I don’t see Baltimore accepting him jogging around pretending to want to be out there playing.

  9. Now that he is away from the Reggie Mckenzie train wreck watch him have a great year.Reggie Mckenzie fired next year after 2-14.

  10. Unless that is a misprint, he is only 25 miles from his old stomping grounds. Not exactly a sea’s width away from old haunts. If these “friends” have transportation, you don’t have to visit Decatur, it will visit you!

  11. As a Raider fan I say good riddance.As a human being I hope he finally gets his life together and straightens himself out.Maybe Baltimore can get what the Raiders could not get from him.

  12. I’m sure it will be incentive laden contract and if he fails he is gone. That simple not a big risk but a huge upside. Not ecstatic but not upset either. Good move Oz.

  13. Rolando, as a human being I wish the best for you whereever you go(except new england). Do yourself a favor though, actions speak louder than words. Prove that you are a changed person, no more going to strip clubs, no more 120 mph in a 65 with a gun on you with tinted windows. Because if you keep messing up and using God as an excuse we wont believe you when you say you really have changed.

  14. If we were singing a FA for that spot I would have loved Dansby from Miami but the price would have been too high. Clearly he will arrive under a lot of skepticism but it is completely in his hands now to control what happens next.

    I hope the Ravens attach a mentor to him like they did with Kelechi on the O line. Kelechi didn’t have issues but may be treating Rolando like a rookie in certain ways would be a good way to let him reboot his career.

    If this experiment doesn’t work out I hope it implodes during training camp instead of running into the season.

  15. Sensational signing. He’s a role player and hell fit in well. The best GM in the league has done it again. Cheers!

  16. As a Ravens fan………I’m not sold on this signing. Not the kind of guy (as a human) that I want on the team. And, his skill set isn’t all that awesome right now. If he gets into the film study & dedicates himself to learning & working like a beast, this could be a great fit. But, odds are that he won’t be committed to the work & he’ll wash out. Hope I’m wrong, but it’s a low risk move. Still would prefer a rookie w/a great work ethic. (Minter, LSU)

  17. cakemixa says:

    From one LB who defers every question to religion… to another !


    +1 for you, sir. I thought the same thing. Your personal god is one thing, but referring to a devil is a different kind of crazy, imo.

    On the other hand, I sort of like this signing for the Ravens. If this guy clicks and stops acting like an immature child who doesn’t see how great life could be, this move could be huge.

  18. A lot of excuses for a guy who cashed some fat paychecks, embarrassed his organization and provided mediocre at best performance.

  19. The poor old devil gets blamed for all kinds of things he had nothing to do with. Man up Rolando and own your stupidity.

  20. “It’s a move that can’t go wrong” says he?


    Rolando, please go ask any player or coach NOT named Andrew Luck, what happens when you follow a legend.

  21. A young Raider fan saw Owner Mark Davis one day and said Mr. Davis, “What is the difference between theory and reality?”

    “Well son, the best way to explain this is a practical exercise. Go and ask our General Manager Reggie McKenzie how he plans to return this team to greatness.”

    The fan returned and shared, “He said first he wanted his own guys; his own scouting staff, his own coaches, & his own players. He also planned to sign Free Agents to 1 year deals. He closed by saying that you would be patient with the results”

    Davis replied, “Now go ask Dennis Allen the same question”

    The fan returned and said “Coach Allen explained that although the Zone Blocking Scheme didn’t work in his first season, that he would learn from it and try something new this year. Defensively, his team would be one of the most disciplined in the league. He also said that you would be patient with the results”

    The fan then asked, “What does this have to do with theory and reality?”

    Mark replied, “It’s simple, in theory our organization is only a couple years away from our 4th Super Bowl title. In reality I’m going to fire them both following this next season.”

  22. I could within human nature hold a grudge against Rolando and for his behavior in Oakland and elsewhere. I could also wish for his demise.

    But I will not.

    God through Christ has forgiven me for MUCH more, and I hope the best for Rolando McClain.

  23. Hopefully the fact that Rolando McClain is a TURD!!!

    This is what he accomplished in his NFL career.

    Took money from the Raiders and sucked helping set the team back with another lost Top 10 pick , complained instead of Leading, and Discharged a weapon next to someones head in and altercation (This guy is 6-3 255 who was he fighting where he needed to fire a gun? the HULK!!!!)

    I don’t Care if Gene Stallings, Nick Saban, or Bear Bryant are with the RAVENS.

    Once a TURD always a TURD!!!!!

  24. Wait come to think of it……..

    The greatest Raven ever was an “alleged” Murder!!!! (rolling on his two friends)

    Great job Ozzie!

    The Ravens M.O.


    Why don’t you see if former Raiders Defensive End Anthony Smith is available…..

  25. This guy won both the Butkus and the Lambert trophies. Do you think that he pulled the wool over the judges eyes both times? The Raiders have established a long tradition of mishandling players as well as drafting guys who are unsuitable for their system. Fabian Washington, another Raider 1st round pick, never fit into their defensive scheme. Of course, with coaches coming and going it must be hard to remember what your scheme is. McClain was very talented not very long ago. Worth a flyer.

  26. Someone, think it was Schefter said on NFL32 recently that McClain actually told the Raiders he did not want them to draft him and I think the reason was he didn’t want to be where trouble might find him. Looks like he found it.

  27. Big paychecks before you even play your first snap in the NFL … thank God for the rookie salary.

    Seriously there should be a rule to protect teams against lazy players or busts … top 10 picks should not count towards the salary cap if the player is cut because lets face it … alot of these players were high on the draft board and would have been picked by most teams at that slot. It all depends on the team’s needs.

  28. Bro, Satan is real. However, one has the option to go with him or the other way. Obviously, MCClain chose Satan a number of times.

    bigbwoy000 says: Apr 10, 2013 1:53 PM

    Isn’t blaming the “devil” convenient?

    We are responsible for our actions. We cannot control every situation but we CAN control how we react & handle ourselves during those situations.

    These guys need to realize their “indiscretions” have nothing to do with the “devil”, its immaturity, entitlement & stupidity.

    The first two can be worked through, the last one is usually a permanent problem that blaming a fictitious character will not cure.

  29. For all you people saying he is making excuses; try a little reading comprehension. McClain knows he screwed up and knows he has been thrown a life line. He is a very talented LB and with the no bs Harbaugh I think he will have a very good career with Baltimore. I think everyone forgets how young he was and he was not ready for the money. I truly think his failure in Oakland has humbled this kid.

    Good luck in Baltimore Ro!

  30. bigbeefyd says: Apr 10, 2013 2:22 PM

    At least he never murdered anyone. I guess that’s an upgrade at the position…
    Sigh……………so lame and utterly predictable. I know, I know, don’t let the facts get in the way of a lame post.

  31. They’re not REAL RAIDERS. Like the Louis Murphys, Jacoby Fords, Darren McFaddens, Richard Seymours…etc.

    those are your examples?….hahaha

  32. Rolando McLaine is an under achiever and is horrible in pass coverage. And that doesn’t even take into consideration his weak work ethic and immature attitude. I hope he works things out but he is what he is an soon the Ravens will find that out.

  33. That’s his new defense the next time he resets the Athlete Arrest Counter: “Your honor, the devil made me do it.”

    What a shame his college coach didn’t do more to discipline him when he was being a criminal at “college”. Hey, winning and millions are more important than the safety of students and the community!

  34. steeelfann says:
    Apr 10, 2013 3:36 PM
    Bro, Satan is real.

    Bro, how do you know? Have you actually seen him? Or just read about him in books?

    Bro, the whole religion platform is a leap of faith. None have us have ever seen any of the characters involved with religion; the bible was written by men.

    Bro, if you believe & get solace from that great, but to say Satan is real…well just as real as Santa, the Easter Bunny, Unicorns & Leprechauns.

  35. Raider fans need to wise up. It’s not like your fanbase hasn’t been thru this before. It’s not the first time a player quits in Oakland only to resurface a new rejuvenated player somewhere else.

  36. aldog83 says:
    Apr 10, 2013 3:03 PM
    Wait come to think of it……..

    The greatest Raven ever was an “alleged” Murder!!!! (rolling on his two friends)


    Hey aldog83, you’re a murderer. There now you’re an alleged/accused murderer. No evidence to support that, but there was none with Ray and you’re cool w/that, so…….

    P.S. I love when people criticize Ray for the Obstruction charge and criticize him for “rolling on his two friends”. That is what we call a contradiction. You can’t have it both ways.

    Anyways aldog83, get thee to prison you criminal.

  37. LOL Ravens fans…

    The guy is immature, lazy, and exhibited a total lack of common sense. MULTIPLE TIMES, not just once. Systemic and habitual.

    Yes, if you can fix that, then you have a gifted athlete thay may contribute at a bargain cost.

    Short of a clockwork orange type reprogramming, I think the odds of him turning the corner as slim and none. However, more power to your organization if you can pull his head out of his rear and get something out of him on an extended basis.

  38. Is it just me or does McClain directly contradict himself in his statements?
    He says “I always tried to stay true to who I am” followed directly by “my wife completely changed me”.
    The next quotation he gives is even worse:
    In order to get stay out of trouble he claims “I’ll have to change my surroundings” but then says “I love my friends and my city and I won’t turn my back on them.” and then seems to change his mind in mid-sentence again and finishes with “I just need to make better decisions in my life. I won’t be making as many visits to Decatur.”
    Seems like his lack of performance at the NFL level might have something to do with his lack of intelligence.

  39. In the preseason the Raiders deliberately made a public comment about how McClain needed to step up and be the leader of the defense in this 3rd year. This is why he wasn’t cut last off season.

    I’m paraphrasing McClain’s comments, but his quote in the paper, the same day, was something along the lines of: I’m not a rah rah guy, I lead by example.

    He didn’t. He wasn’t. I don’t know how he can in BAL.

    I hope he can turn it around for the sake of his career but given the keys to the Raiders defense and he wasn’t up to the challenge. The last image Raider fans will have of McClain is him jogging around while RBs score. That or his comical pass defense against Megatron in 2011.

  40. i bet if he signed to another team, ravens fans would be bashing the signing and calling him a bust, boy how the tide has turned

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