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Old 11-10-2010, 03:00 PM    (permalink
Texas Homer
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Default Rolo McClain

Raider fans, why the lack of tackles for this guy this season.

I'm a BIG McClain fan. I just thought that he would be a Monster in the pros like he was in college.

Just a rookie thing?...I thought he would be racking up tackles.

I'm not writing him off. I'm just curious...
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:15 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Texas Homer View Post
Raider fans, why the lack of tackles for this guy this season.

I'm a BIG McClain fan. I just thought that he would be a Monster in the pros like he was in college.

Just a rookie thing?...I thought he would be racking up tackles.

I'm not writing him off. I'm just curious...
Rookie adjustment, different scheme. He's used to being free up to make tackles by D-lineman taking up blockers. Well, our DTs are more dynamic and make plays or try to make plays themselves. So he has to do a lot more sorting through traffic "on the run." Last game he got hurt. He is third in tackles behind our two S. He'll be fine. I am so excited about how the defense is coming together.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:17 PM    (permalink
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Rookie adjustment, different scheme. He's used to being free up to make tackles by D-lineman taking up blockers. Well, our DTs are more dynamic and make plays or try to make plays themselves. So he has to do a lot more sorting through traffic "on the run." Last game he got hurt. He is third in tackles behind our two S. He'll be fine. I am so excited about how the defense is coming together.
You're not concerned your two leading tacklers are safeties?
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:54 PM    (permalink
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You're not concerned your two leading tacklers are safeties?
Yeah. I'm not a Raider fan and the last Raider on commented on I was dead wrong on so please correct me if on off base, BUT... I was never a fan of McClain coming out. Too soft-too slow imo and on my brief look ins at the Raiders this season I see a guy far from an enforcer in the middle and much too slow to go sideline to sideline or keep up with guys in the flat or running a wheel. D.Washington is the better rookie ILB thus far.
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:49 AM    (permalink
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You're not concerned your two leading tacklers are safeties?
Raiders DT's Kelly and Seymour are playing pretty good.. Both should be around 50 total tackles by years end. McClain has been fine he is getting better each game.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:58 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Texas Homer View Post
Raider fans, why the lack of tackles for this guy this season.

I'm a BIG McClain fan. I just thought that he would be a Monster in the pros like he was in college.

Just a rookie thing?...I thought he would be racking up tackles.

I'm not writing him off. I'm just curious...
He's not a liability by any means, but he's certainly not an enforcer. Watching him play now, I'm not entirely certain why I thought he would be more of a force coming out. He's largely invisible out there, but that's not all bad. He doesn't get beaten badly in man coverage. No boneheaded plays. He hasn't been circled on Playbook and shown out of position on a big TD run.

The lack of tackles is interesting. But, when you look at how the D-line is playing right now, it kinda makes sense. Seymour and Kelly are playing out of their minds right now. Running inside on these two is a really hairy proposition, as both have done a terrific job of getting into the backfield and forcing plays outside and honestly causing coordinators to shoot more for the edges. That takes away some opportunities for McClain to pick up stats. Still, he should be doing more with his opportunities at this point. But he's definitely showing the smarts that Nick Saban raved about. I think he's doing the defense a lot of good in that department at least.

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You're not concerned your two leading tacklers are safeties?
It sounds worse than it is. Oakland rarely plays both safeties back, and uses a ton of 3 safety nickel packages. Huff, the only true FS of the bunch, spends a lot of time up near the LOS or in the slot. Raider safeties may not be real playmakers this year, but they definitely have their noses in there in run defense. Huff's tackling has been much better. Branch and Mitchell can both play the run and spend most of their snaps in the box doing just that.

Also bear in mind that the defense didn't find its stride until a few games ago. Prior to that, opposing offenses were giving Raider safeties lots of tackle opportunities.

Fates willing, McClain will join the party by next season.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:15 AM    (permalink
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McClain has been a bit timid this year. He's not playing even as instinctual as he was at Alabama, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt considering he's been the defensive play-caller since the preseason and has improved markedly week to week. It's not like he's a liability out there, but he's just playing too careful right now. I have no idea how much he'll get in that department, but I have imagine it'll get a bit better. You could tell his head was swimming early in the season.

Also, as someone already noted, not a lot is coming his way. Kelly and Seymour are stopping the run really well (as well as being #2 and #3 in the NFL in sacks by DT's, respectively). Teams have traditionally been attacking Oakland's edge and McClain is mainly being asked to watch interior gaps.

I'm still glad to have him and I'm interested to see what happens when he's more confidence in the gameplan side of things.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:26 AM    (permalink
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I wouldn't trade him for Kirk Morrison. That much is for certain.
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:51 AM    (permalink
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But he ran 0.2 seconds faster than Brandon Spikes!!!
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:14 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by descendency
You're not concerned your two leading tacklers are safeties?
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It sounds worse than it is. Oakland rarely plays both safeties back, and uses a ton of 3 safety nickel packages. Huff, the only true FS of the bunch, spends a lot of time up near the LOS or in the slot. Raider safeties may not be real playmakers this year, but they definitely have their noses in there in run defense. Huff's tackling has been much better. Branch and Mitchell can both play the run and spend most of their snaps in the box doing just that.
Huff has really stepped it up since his move to FS & shown the playmaking potential that he was hyped to be.

And lots of teams have safeties as the leading tacklers, college & pro, no complaints from them though. If safeties are playing the run well in the NFL with almost all the teams carrying a Feature Back or pair of backs who get 30+ carries/gm. then they're doing their job. From what little I've seen of McClain this yr (note that some Raider home games didnt sell out until hey started winning) he's been better than expected for a rookie in coverage, & he was very good vs Denver in their blowout.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:41 AM    (permalink
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But he ran 0.2 seconds faster than Brandon Spikes!!!
I think that's funny, really.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:07 PM    (permalink
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I think its more of our defense as a whole has been playing lights out, then McClain not playing well. He is a young leader who is getting adjusted to the NFL and is doing his job. Our defensive line has been killing run plays which isnt allowing McClain to get any tackles. Look at our DT's. Seymour and Kelly have both been playing at Pro Bowl level, getting 5 sacks for Kelly and 4.5 for Seymour. If you watched our last game vs KC, it was clear Seymour was the best player on the field for us. He got into the back field probably 95% of the time.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:28 PM    (permalink
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I will echo a lot of what Crow Abaddon was saying about McClain. There are 2 factors relating to McClain's lack of tackles:

1) Seymour, Kelly, Houston et al are really making a lot of plays in the backfield. All of the Raider interior linemen are being disruptive at the line of scrimmage.

2) McClain is playing rather timid even-keel out there right now. As a rookie MLB, I would rather have McClain be out there not making mistakes than trying to make a big play and giving up big TDs. McClain right now is staying at home and doing a solid job of cleaning up whatever comes to him.

However, there is a 3rd and largely overlooked reason for McClain's lack of production and that is the DE play lately. Matt Shaughnessy is also playing out of his mind right now, making a ton of plays in the run game as well. We're not just talking about stretching on the runs to the outside, but Shaughnessy is doing an incredible job pushing through his blocker to make a play on runs off tackle and even runs behind the guard. The dude has 30 tackles already for goodness sake. This guy is one of reasons for the upswing in the defensive line play and as a result a key to the success of the defense as a whole.

I am not at all worried about McClain's play this year. He's not having a breakout rookie year like Patrick Harris did a few years ago, but that's okay. Look for him to find his stride as a defensive stud sometime before Week 8 of next season. Make no mistake, McClain is still a high impact defender with a great head and good athleticism. That will show up, it will just take a little time.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:48 PM    (permalink
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Matt Shaughnessy is also playing out of his mind right now, making a ton of plays in the run game as well. We're not just talking about stretching on the runs to the outside, but Shaughnessy is doing an incredible job pushing through his blocker to make a play on runs off tackle and even runs behind the guard. The dude has 30 tackles already for goodness sake. This guy is one of reasons for the upswing in the defensive line play and as a result a key to the success of the defense as a whole.
The silly thing is that Shaughnessy hasn't even been playing full-time (although his snaps in that rotation have steadily increased over the course of the season).
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:52 PM    (permalink
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Simply put, McClain is doing his job instead of making that extra impact, and right now our whole defense is clicking. So the extra impact isnt needed. Im sure he will become one of the best ILB in the league in a few years. The kid just turned 21 a few monthes ago
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:24 PM    (permalink
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"Staying home" is something he does so much better than Morrison did. Kirk would either overpursue or get completely washed out, leaving the RB a lane to shoot through. Even when McClain is effectively blocked, he's usually not getting blown out.
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:29 PM    (permalink
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Pretty much in his rookie year he has already proven to me that he is better than Kirk Morrison
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:35 PM    (permalink
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Thanks for feedback y'all.

I've just been checking the box scores and seeing his tackle numbers. I know that Box Scores don't tell the whole story.
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