Ravens Should Give McClain Another Shot

Rolando McClain,  Matt Shaughnessy
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

So Rolando McClain showed up late for a workout in front of Ravens’ officials yesterday and then promptly failed his conditioning test.

Same old Rolando?

Maybe, maybe not.

It’s easy to assume that the guy is still a mess given his track record but should we, and more importantly the Ravens rush to judgment?

Some may argue that the guy is fighting to save his career and that he should have been in great shape and passed his conditioning test with flying Crimson Tide colors. But let’s not forget that Jacoby Jones also flunked his test prior to training camp last season and that was after the physical endurance forced upon him during his stint on Dancing With The Stars.

Failing the test isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. The more alarming aspect of yesterday’s workout is the fact that McClain arrived late.

The former Raider retired from football last year in order to get his life together, become a better man and a better father. That’s commendable if it’s genuine. So far there’s no reason to believe otherwise.

Yet many will conclude that he’s the same old Rolando since he showed up late for what amounts to a job interview. And that’s a fair and logical conclusion.

But is his tardiness enough to give up on the “project”?

Let’s assume for a moment that McClain gets it together and becomes the player that many expected him to be when he was drafted (probably too early) by the Oakland Raiders with the 8th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

What kind of player would that be?

We looked back to WalterFootball.com’s scouting report on McClain and here’s what they summarized:

I really don’t think McClain is a 4-3 inside linebacker. The speed and lateral range just isn’t there for me, and I think he would be exposed because he will overpursue gaps. McClain is great for 3-4 teams because he can play inside, but also move over to the outside if needed temporarily. His best fits are at 3-4 inside linebacker and 4-3 strongside linebacker. McClain is a solid prospect who will likely come off the board in the top 20 picks.

Player Comparison: Bart Scott. Scott has great instincts and size, and is a leader at inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense.

Clearly McClain’s “leadership” will come into question. It will take some time for him to earn the respect of his peers since he has disrespected a game that paid him $40 million over 5 seasons including $23M guaranteed as a 20-year-old in 2010.

And let’s not forget that the Ravens re-signed their defensive captain Daryl Smith and they have high expectations for second year linebacker Arthur Brown. The Ravens do have depth issues at linebacker and that coupled with the bargain basement price for the 2014 Rolando McClain, still makes the project worthy of pursuing.

Of course questions remain but why not see how they are actually answered instead of guessing?

Why not let McClain try again?

His failure yesterday could actually be a good thing. It will test his resolve. How he responds a second time, now that he understands the challenges of the conditioning test, will reveal a ton.

The Ravens hold all the cards. They could remove McClain from the Reserve/Retired list or they could retain his rights through the 2014 season. McClain could force the issue, apply for reinstatement and the Ravens would have to honor the contract agreed to last season or release McClain.

That said if McClain does force the issue and the Ravens honor the contract, they could cut him at any time without any cap ramifications. The deal includes no guaranteed money.

The Ravens have gone this far with McClain. Why not give him another shot at the conditioning test?

Assuming of course that he shows up on time.


Rolando McClain flunked his conditioning test yesterday. Plus he was late. Should the Ravens give him another chance?
Yes, they have nothing to lose (87%)
No, buh-bye! (13%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.
This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured, Lombardi's Way by Tony Lombardi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

16 Raves on “Ravens Should Give McClain Another Shot

  1. Cheri on said:

    Tony I so bad want to give this guy another chance after another chance but when is enough enough.
    I can just picture Ozzie standing around waiting and waiting looking at his watch as the minutes keep going by that he is late and him just shaking his head and thinking to himself how many times is this guy going to keep letting me down. Failing the cond. test is no shame guys who played in the league year before has failed like you mentioned a WR in Jacoby Jones go figure, that part can be forgiving, but the lateness and the part that he didn’t even attempt to do the drills I am sure left Ozzie thinking what a waste a time this is getting to be.
    With all this said and done I voted yes to give him another chance just because this guy reminds me of Vontaze Burficit who I kept screaming at the tv for the Ravens to use a late round pick on that I knew would be too many teams interested in his services if we try to get his as a un drafted free agent by which my understanding is the Ravens did try to sign him anyhow it’s whatever Ozzie wants to do with him at this point.

  2. Tyler on said:

    Tony, I agree. I’m sure this whole drawn – out process has left a sour taste in the mouths of fans and the front office. But like you said, what do we have to lose? His raw talent and our depth issues make it difficult to abandon hope. Cutting him sooner rather than later would save us nothing but a headache. But his potential upside works as a fine aspirin.

  3. Bob Dole on said:

    I would definitely give this guy another shot, for Christ sakes he was a number 8 pick. Believe me the talent is there, I just wish the ravens had someone like Ray Lewis on their squad. His mere prescience kept a lot of people in check without him personally addressing problems. The kid could turn out to be a hell of a steal!

  4. Steve on said:

    I think the bigger issue is being late than failing the conditioning. If any of us are/were unemployed, wouldn’t you do whatever it took to show up to an interview on time? Unless the plane was delayed, or some other factor out of his control, there is no excuse for that, and reflects very poorly on his maturity.

    That said, if Ozzie gives him another chance, I’m OK with it. I don’t have enough of the facts to make a call one way or another.

  5. Bruce_Almty on said:

    He couldn’t or didn’t reachout to Cortney Upshaw for his perspective? Sad state of affairs for all concerned.

  6. Nancy on said:

    Tony, I am with you. I don’t think the decision is going to come down to Ozzie but Harbaugh and Harbaugh will not accept lateness but once.

  7. jws on said:

    TL, You have the fans believing what you say is the truth and just way to go. Would you give a future possible employee another chance after he failed at another place of work before (Oakland in McClain’s case)? Would you give that peroson you are going to hire another chance after he got arrested, after you already gave him a chance the year before and he gets in trouble and then comes late and fails his physical test? Why did he show up not be ready to run? Why did he come late? Did they test him for alcohol and drugs yesterday? Was he working out as he claimed he was? Why did he fail when just ask to run 25 yard sprints 3 times twice with a break in between then? When things look fishy they usual are and their is usually something wrong! Do the Ravens really need a player that cannot even do these first baby steps to get back in the NFL? Would you really Tony give a person in your business that you are goiung to pay good money to all these second ,third, fourth chances to when you can hire some one else that would want the job and do all the right things and did care? I doubt it!

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      JWS, you’ve got your “facts” out of whack and out of order. Revisionist history to support your argument I presume.

      Epic fail!

      • jws on said:

        Out all I said you had an issue with one line when I misspoke that he failed with the Ravens the year before? What other facts did you have a timeline issue with? This is excatly what you do all the time! He was signed in April 2013 is that giving him a chance? 3 weeks later he got arrested for the 3rd time since entering the NFL in 2010. You missed the point and refused to respond to my question if YOU would hire him? Few if any media writers agreed with you he should be given another chance. You could have easily responded with that one issue and answered the quiestions but you were making apoint with your article spin and that would have created doubt from your fans that love most of everything you say. but I reveiewed your writings from the last 4 years and they have lots of bad suggestions and evaulations and have been wrong conclusions.

        • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

          Of course I’ve been wrong. Haven’t you? (Apparently not as much as me).

          Would I give someone with a checkered past a second chance? If the leverage was all mine and I had nothing to lose and everything to gain while giving the person a chance to redeem his or herself, then “YES” everyday of the week and twice on Sunday!

  8. bruce on said:

    I’d rather McClain get a shot then Ha Ha Clinton Dix! For heaven’s sake not another mediocre safety in the first round.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Dear Bruce, Isaac and Patrick,

      Are you all college roommates? Surely 1 person wouldn’t repeat the same message from the same IP address now would he?


  9. Hollywoodheiz on said:

    A team that is always preaching about players not becoming a distraction, are creating one every time they bring this guy around. Time to move on and away from Rolando McClain.

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