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McClain says he’s not worried about possible suspension

Whether Raiders middle linebacker Rolando McClain gets suspended for his offseason conviction on four misdemeanors from a gun-related incident last season is in the hands of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie said they are proceeding in a business-as-usual fashion until told otherwise. McClain sounds as if he isn’t worried about the issue.
“No, I don’t think I’ve ever had a talk of anything about a suspension,” McClain said Monday. “I haven’t heard it. I guess that’s all speculation.”
As for the potential of a suspension weighing on him, McClain said he isn’t fazed.
“It’s football,” McClain said. “I get paid to play football.”
For the record, Allen and McKenzie said they there’s a plan in place for the Raiders to move forward without McClain if the need arises.
This past May a Decatur, Ala., municipal court judge found McClain guilty of third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and illegal discharge of a firearm and sentenced him to 180 days in jail. McClain appealed the ruling.
Next up is a jury trial in Morgan County, which likely wouldn’t take place until at least six months after an arraignment. Even so, Goodell isn’t bound to that timetable.
McClain underwent stem-cell treatment for nagging injuries in the offseason. The treatments must have worked, for McClain said he feels good entering the regular season.
As for the defense, McClain said he likes the way things are run under first-year defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, where the Raiders aren’t as predictable as they were in recent seasons and everyone has a chance to make plays.
McClain also is growing more accustomed to being the vocal leader that Allen and Tarver asked him to be during the offseason.
“I was a pretty good leader at Alabama in college,” McClain said. “It’s different here. It’s just different. You’re not dealing with guys your own age. You’re dealing with grown men. Being a leader is just not about yelling but understanding guys that you’re working with. Different people respond to different things in different ways. It’s figuring out your teammates and how they respond to things to get them to work. It’s still a process.”

– Recently signd offensive tackle Willie Smith started three games for the Washington Redskins last season. The Raiders were thrilled by the prospect of having a promising offensive lineman fall into their laps after the Redskins waived Smith Friday.
“Athletic, long arms, comes from the same type of system, so the learning curve shouldn’t be that difficult,” Allen said. “He’s really an athletic talent at the tackle position.”
Smith isn’t shy about echoing that sentiment.
“I was definitely shocked that they let me go,” Smith said. “It was a huge shock to me. But I was like, ‘Hey, I know somebody else is going to pick me up because I know I was a great player.’ I did some good things last year, and I improved this year. I’m just ready to go out there and keep getting better and let these guys know they got a good player in me.”
Part of Smith’s confidence stems from starting games last season in which he was assigned to block Jason Pierre-Paul, Trent Cole and Jared Allen.
Sure, each of those players recorded a sack in those games, but Smith feels as if he faed pretty well, all things considered.
“Every day you go in practice against Pro Bowl caliber guys,” Smith said. “I was going against (Brian) Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, and then you get in the game situations and you get to actually go against Jason Pierre-Paul and Jared Allen, it lets you know that, ‘Hey, I can do this. I’m good enough to go out there and play.’ So it was good for my confidence and allowed me to realize that I could go out there.”

– Allen said Phillip is in line to return punts in the opener if Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford aren’t healthy enough to play.
Returning punts isn’t anything new to Adams. He handled that role in college and he has done so at times during his NFL career, as well.
Allen was quick to point out an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown that Adams had against the Raiders in an exhibition game in 2010.
“I like getting back there and just being by myself,” Adams said.
Adams also plays cornerback and special teams.

– The six primary cornerbacks that received playing time for the Raiders in 2011 no longer are on the 53-man roster — Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Chimdi Chekwa, Joe Porter and Lito Sheppard. Chekwa is on the Raiders practice squad.
In their place, the Raiders signed Ron Bartell, Shawntae Spencer, Adams, Joselio Hanson, Pat Lee and Coye Francies.
“As things played out throughout OTAs, minicamp and in training camp, we felt like that was a position that we needed to try to upgrade,” Allen said, “and we felt like with the players that we brought in here that it helps us as a team to be better.”
Bartell said it’s going to take time for the newcomers to mesh. Even so, he isn’t overly concerned.
“We’re pretty much set for starters,” Bartell said of he and Spencer locked in as the replacments for Routt and Johnson. “In terms of that, we’re fine. It’s just getting guys brought up to speed. If someone goes down, then you could see some issues.”
Allen isn’t worried about Hanson having only a week to learn a new system. The Raiders signed him this morning at the same time they waived Van Dyke.
“He’s smart,” Allen said. “We’ve spent some time with him already, talking over the defensive scheme and the things that we would ask him to do and he seemed to grasp it pretty quickly. So, I would anticipate he would have a pretty quick learning curve.”
Pretty quick? How’s this for a quick learner?
“I feel like in the next couple of days I’ll get it down,” Hanson said. “I’ve seen basically every (defensive scheme). I went over the whole playbook already, so it’s just now about all about studying and reiterating it to myself. It’s the same defense, a 4-3 defense, it’s just different names, different plays, but once I get that down I’ll be ready to go.”

– Moore spent time running Saturday and Sunday, Allen said. That gives Allen more reason to believe that Moore will return from a hamstring injury in time for the opener a week from today.
“He’s had a couple of good days back-to-back, so I’m encouraged by that,” Allen said.
As for wide receiver Jacoby Ford, he still hasn’t been cleared to run. Even so, Ford is making progress and has a chance to play against the Chargers, as well.

– Wide receiver Juron Criner practiced Monday, though with a noticeable limp as a result of an ankle injury.
“I don’t really think it’s a big deal,” Allen said. “He was able to get out and run around pretty well yesterday. He’s a little bit more sore today. It’s a long time until Monday night, so we’ll be fine there.”

– Center Stefen Wisniewski was limited in practice Monday. Allen said he expects Wisniewski to be at full strength for Thursday’s practice, when things crank up to full speed in advance of the Chargers game.
Wisniewski missed every practice, as well as three exhibition games, since he suffered a calf injury against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 13.
Alex Parsons worked with the first-team offense and Colin Miller with th second-team during the media-window access period.

– It’s conceivable that the Raiders will start two rookies against the Chargers — weak-side linebacker Miles Burris and wide receiver Rod Streater.
Burris is a lock to start. Streater is expected to start opposite Darrius Heyward-Bey if Moore and Ford can’t go.
Allen said he is comfortable with Burris starting, even though there are sure to be some ups and downs in the early going as Burris adjusts to the NFL.
“He’s made some progress,” Allen said. “He’s an athletic guy. He runs really well. He’s tough, physical. He’s still going to be a work in progress. He still has to get better from the mental aspect of the game just like all rookies do. Will there be growing pains? Yeah there will be some growing pains. But I feel good about where he’s at right now.”
McClain said he and others will be there to help Burris through the growing pains.
“There’s not a lot of pressure on him. You got two veteran guys beside you, me and Philip. So, I just try to tell him to relax. He gets excited. He’s a very energized guy, and we love him. The hardest thing is, just tell him to calm down. He always wants to make his plays. He has to be calm. He’s a great young guy. I’m excited to see him play.”

– Lest you think the Raiders are set at running back, consider a report from the Newark-Star (N.J.) Ledger that says the Raiders and Seattle Seahawks also put in waiver claims on former Giants running back D.J. Ware, who went to the Buccaneers because of a higher priority in terms of waiver claims.

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Steve Corkran

  • The Big Banana

    Rejoice! We are ranked 26th in BSPN power rankings. The only other 8-8 team ranked in the bottom 10 is Arizona at 23. Lol. Gotta love the media hate.

  • guest123

    450.

    We don’t have the horses at wideout to pass the ball and run up the score. Not yet anyway. Need to pound McFadden.

  • Dakota

    The media will keep hating until we show them we should no longer be the subject of ridicule.

    A couple of 8-8 seasons doesn’t erase a near decade of putrid football. Hell, last year we suffered a late season collapse and crapped a division title down our legs while setting a record for penalties. I doubt that went very far in changing people’s opinion’s about the Raiders.

    Until will win our division and/or make the playoffs we will have to suffer through it.

  • The Big Banana

    Not complaining, Dakota. I enjoy it and poke fun at it. Despite where we were 3 years ago or whatever streak of futility we had, we were 8-8 2 years straight with most of our weapons healthy to start the year. Their prognostication is ridiculous, but funny, and eventually sweet once we get rolling. Print that.

  • guest123

    But you know there is more behind the hate than just a decade of bad football. The Browns aren’t as hated and neither are the Jags. It’s an agenda of the East Coast Media to hate the Raiders and ridicule them and tease whenever possible. It stirs the ratings and they feed off ratings. They don’t even care about the Raiders but enough people hate them that it serves their purposes to stir the pot. We are a means to an end for the 4 letter network.

  • The Big Banana

    Yeah, you cal slice it up 10 different ways and it still amounts to hate, but I like it. Haters will be kicked in the teeth this year.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Well at least Vincent Brown isnt gonna be available to torch us this game.

    My biggest concern was Eddie Royal, now with Hanson im not too concerned.

    Hope he gets up to speed.

  • REALLIONAIREB

    What I Anna see is the command Palmer has of the huddle,his pre-snap reads,and how quick is decision making is….

    He did well at checking us in & out of plays at the line

    And if we fly to the ball on Dee and if we secure the tackle will going for the ball

    Living in New Orleans and seeing a lot of saints game coach Alllen had the saints DB’s going for the strip everytime and turnovers force is the main reason the Saints won it all that year

    1-Nation

    UndaGod

  • guest123

    Ravens just released LT Bryant McKinnie in a cost cutting move.

  • The Big Banana

    Guest123 Says:
    September 4th, 2012 at 10:01 am
    Ravens just released LT Bryant McKinnie in a cost cutting move.

    ——-

    Hmm…hope SD doesn’t jump on this.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    The Big Banana Says:
    September 4th, 2012 at 10:05 am
    Guest123 Says:
    September 4th, 2012 at 10:01 am
    Ravens just released LT Bryant McKinnie in a cost cutting move.

    ——-

    Hmm…hope SD doesn’t jump on this.

    ============================================

    Even they do, no biggie. Bringing in an LT less than a week before the game? False starts galore.

  • TxRaider210

    RaiderDuck Says:
    September 4th, 2012 at 10:07 am
    The Big Banana Says:
    September 4th, 2012 at 10:05 am
    Guest123 Says:
    September 4th, 2012 at 10:01 am
    Ravens just released LT Bryant McKinnie in a cost cutting move.

    ——-

    Hmm…hope SD doesn’t jump on this.

    ============================================

    Even they do, no biggie. Bringing in an LT less than a week before the game? False starts galore.

    ———————–
    Maybe Bellicheat will go into hoarding mode, just so the Dolts can’t sign him:)

  • mcfadden20.

    ..

  • guest123

    Janikowski, Moore and Ford not at practice today according to Corkran

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    So maybe DHB and Streater start Monday?

  • guest123

    So maybe DHB and Streater start Monday?

    *******

    I think so. maybe.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Klas has placed some bets. Ready to see money roll in, lol. Klas places 5 dollar parlays!

  • TxRaider210

    Klas Tjorborn Says:
    September 4th, 2012 at 10:21 am
    Klas has placed some bets. Ready to see money roll in, lol. Klas places 5 dollar parlays!

    ——————
    Klas, in the states we call that Big Pimpin!

  • hwnrdr

    Happy 231 years LA!

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Klas picks Steelers, Eagles, Patriots, Saints, and Bears to cover.

  • alf_capone

    i hope we pick up a rb……….i trust goodson not

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    DAV,

    I wanted Sean Spence from Miami, but he wasn’t available, so I wanted Ta’amu.
    B Harris was a 2nd round pick as I remember.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Btw, Brandon Harris was drafted in the 2011 draft, wasn’t he?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    DennisAllensVisor Says:
    September 4th, 2012 at 9:12 am
    Wrong draft…lol, its too early for me.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    LOL

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Yo, y’all best listen to Ice Cube’s new Raider’s track, biotches!

    http://www.pepsianthems.com/artists/ice-cube

  • aig-raiders

    Klas has placed some bets. Ready to see money roll in, lol. Klas places 5 dollar parlays!

    ——————
    Klas, in the states we call that Big Pimpin!
    ——–

    LMFAO

  • ddsman

    SOOOOO GREAT!!!!

    http://www.pepsianthems.com/artists/ice-cube

    My convertible Audi S5 with Harmon Kardon is bumping it all day for sure.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    I guess Ice Cube has proclaimed himself President of Raider Nation.

  • mcfadden20.

    :)

  • MEX_GHOST

    453.Dakota Says:
    September 4th, 2012 at 9:45 am
    The media will keep hating until we show them we should no longer be the subject of ridicule.

    A couple of 8-8 seasons doesn’t erase a near decade of putrid football. Hell, last year we suffered a late season collapse and crapped a division title down our legs while setting a record for penalties. I doubt that went very far in changing people’s opinion’s about the Raiders.

    Until will win our division and/or make the playoffs we will have to suffer through it.
    ———————————————
    I think the Mexican media don´t hate the Raiders too much, they recongnize us as the bad guys, but they buy the philosofy and like it. 2 guys in ESPN in Spanish (one of them is a USA citizen) said a few days ago that the biggest surprise will be the Raiders and the Browns in the AFC.

  • CJ Legend 34

    I think our front Seven have to destroy Rivers because I have no faith in our DBs yet! A good push up front can make up for an average secondary.