By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, December 13th, 2012 at 10:46 am in Oakland Raiders.
The chain of events that led to Rolando McClain’s dispute with coach Dennis Allen included the linebacker being informed of his demotion to being a back up linebacker and special teams player.
McClain was back on the field Wednesday for the first time since Nov. 28, the day he was told to leave practice by Allen and later given a two-game suspension without pay for conduct detrimental to the team.
“Rolando and I met this morning,’’ Allen said following practice. “I laid out exactly what expectations are for him moving forward. Really, that’s about it . . . Rolando’s part of this team and we’re going to move on.’’
Asked how much McClain would play, Allen said, “Where we were at before the suspension is that he was going to fill a backup role and work on special teams. That’s where we’re at and we’ll see where we are on game day.’’
Omar Gaither continued to get the work at middle linebacker in the 4-3 defense. McClain had been taken off the nickel defense in favor of Miles Burris after four games.
McClain was not available for comment, and Allen declined to get into specifics about the suspension or events leading up to it.
Asked why the Raiders simply didn’t cut McClain, as they have Pat Lee and Ron Bartell when they lost their starting jobs, Allen said, “Just different circumstances.’’
As for disparaging comments made on his McClain’s Facebook page about the organization (which were later taken down), Allen said. “Things get said in the heat of the moment and we’ve got to move on.’’
Gaither said it was business as usual for McClain on the field.
“Same old, same old,’’ Gaither said. “He wasn’t disruptive or anything. It was all good.’’
In a recent interview with The Game (95.7-FM), Bartell said of McClain, “Believe it or not he’s a really good guy . . . He just needs to grow up, to be quite frank.’’
– Defensive tackle Richard Seymour was limited in practice Wednesday and Allen said,“I think there’s a good chance he’s going to play this week.’’
Seymour missed five games with a hamstring strain.
– Rookie Tony Bergstrom has been working at both guard spots as well as his role as an extra tight end. If Bergstrom sees action over the last three games, it would be at the expense of either left guard Cooper Carlisle or right guard Mike Briesel.
– U.S. Marines will at Raiderville, the West Side Plaza, near the BART entrance, and at Gates A, B, C and D before kickoff to accept donations for the Toys for Tots program.
In addition to new, unwrapped toys, monetary donations will be accepted.
Running backs Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece, tight end Brandon Myers and linebacker Miles Burris will sign autographs in exchange for new, unwrapped toy donations valued at $20 or more at the Raider Image at Hayward’s Southland Mall on Monday, Dec. 17, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.