Fans shouldn’t be too excited about Rolando McClain


When news broke that the Ravens would be adding former Raiders linebacker  Rolando McClain, social media accounts from Ravens fans blew up with the typical “Trust in Ozzie” messages. While McClain provides some of the best on-field talent a team could get for the veteran minimum price tag, the Ravens clearly aren’t expecting much, at least at this point.

During the pre-draft press conference on Tuesday, McClain’s name was brought up a few times by media members asking head coach John Harbaugh and other members of the front office their opinions on the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft.

“Rolando is just getting an opportunity to come in and make our 53-man squad,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “That’s it.”

Before signing with the Ravens after being released by the Raiders five days prior, McClain didn’t just have to pass a physical – he had to pass a “Come To Jesus” meeting with Harbaugh and Newsome.

Upon McClain’s release, the immediate connection to the Ravens became speculated because of Newsome’s strong ties to Alabama, where McClain starred before deciding to forgo his senior season after winning the BCS National Championship.

Surprisingly, it was an alum of Alabama’s archival, Auburn, that had all of the information on McClain.

“The first person I talked to about Rolando was Joe Hortiz, and he went to Auburn, just for the record,” Newsome said, speaking of the Ravens’ director of college scouting. ”Joe has a very good relationship with the people that work at the University of Alabama.”

Newsome received information from Hortiz on how McClain would conduct himself in Baltimore, and wanted to know more about how he was going to be part of the football team in general. Even though most of the strong mentoring leadership has since moved on from the organization after last season, Newsome still believes there is enough of a support system in the locker room to mentor the 23-year-old McClain.

“I think the guys in the locker room will be able to provide him with the proper guidance that he needs as to the way John wants his football team and his football players to be,” Newsome said.

The talent McClain possesses when wearing a helmet is unquestioned; it’s just that he can soon find himself out of the league for decisions he makes while not wearing one. Signing with the Ravens benefits both parities involved, as the Ravens get a talented player at a bargain price, and McClain gets the chance to audition for a proven winner and to potentially sign a longer-term and more lucrative contract – either in Baltimore or elsewhere – in the future.

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About Kris Jones

Kris Jones
Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series...more

9 Raves on “Fans shouldn’t be too excited about Rolando McClain

  1. Jake on said:

    I believe that this is a win/win situation. If he works out; we have a great player at minimal price. If he dosent work out; cut him and barely take a salary cap hit. Simple as that.

    • BoldinRaver on said:

      I’m with you, Todd. And I’m gonna get excited and expect much from this talented dude. Everybody is aware of the potential downside but lots of reasons to expect him to make a serious run at a role on the team.

  2. Bruce_Almty on said:

    I’m hoping Rolando has a break-out year with the Ravens. His troubles in Oakland are behind him. He has a clean slate in B’more and clear objectives: learn the playbook, make the roster.

  3. Corvus Amplus on said:

    For the price he signed, he is basically an UDFA trying out for the team.

    If he wants to play, then good.

    If not, no harm done.

    However, at least the front office tried and they will not regret this signing.

  4. Unibomber on said:

    I’m gonna hold my breath anyway. Rolando has already proven the ability to play well in this league. That was on a much less talented team with lots of turnover at management and coaching. Big daddy harbs is a no nonsense hard assed coach who excels at keeping egos in check. Pair that with this likely being Rolandos last chance and I really doubt he’ll be a problem.

    On the field it gets even better. This is the team that gets excellent production out of undrafted players at lb. Having Ngata up front and a couple of excellent linebacker coaches and the environment is right for him to have his best season.

  5. Ravensgamebreaker on said:

    Well what did you expect the front office to say? McClain is the new unquestioned leader of the defense? No. The guy has been a nut case off the field, and the front office is going to make him work for it. But make no mistake about it, Ozzie brought this guy in to be a starter.

    Unless McClain has a work ethic similar to McKinnie, he will be starting on opening day, I will guarantee it.

    I though Ozzie and company dropped the ball early on in free agency but I have to admit, that made all the moves I hope they would make (ie, signing Doom, Huff, McClain, and Canty) after blundering by trading Boldin and not resigning Reed.

    Good job Oz, I tilt my hat to you so far this off season. Now if we can either resign McKinnie or draft one of the top 5 tackles in the draft, we’ll be on our way to repeating.

    But regardless, I’m excited to see McClain in a ravens uniform. The guy is a straight beast when it comes to tackling and stopping the run.

  6. Jay on said:

    I actually was excited but also knew he has been in alot of trouble.
    So, I did my own investigating of what he has done, his very young age, why has he not been the great NFL player they thought he would be, and is he doing anything to indicate he is trying to turn his life around?
    It didn’t take long to bring up information on him and articles about him.

    He has been in a lot of trouble…he has gotten married and moved away from where he was getting into trouble.
    With the help of his wife, it seems he is growing spiritually, which is a very good thing.
    And with that, he seems to be growing up after coming into $40 million at such a young age from a tough upbringing (pretty much on his own since he was 15).
    He is still only 23 and will continue to grow up.
    He is getting a second chance here for all the right reasons.
    He is saying all the right things.
    All those above things needed to happen for a better future and turning his life around.
    I’m glad to see some people are strong enough to try to change.
    And as far as his talent on the field, I’m not worried, he should prosper here.
    The Ravens will put him in the best position to succeed which is in a familiar 3-4 inside backer position with some of his former Bama teammates around him.

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