It's tough enough being a rookie in this league, but being a rookie and having expectations as high as Rolando McClain is a success story fresh out of the gate.
McClain is surrounded by plenty of talent, and a defensive coordinator John Marshall with over 30 years of experience. McClain chances of meeting expectations are great.
He has arguebly the best cover corner to ever play the game with two time pro bowler, Nnamdi Asomugha. He also has two time pro bowler defensive tackle John Henderson, and three time super bowl champion, and five time prowler, defensive end Richard Seymour.
McClain is not in the position of Michael Huff, the 2006 free safety drafted first round by the Oakland Raiders, to a defense with a bunch of holes.
Neither is he in the position of the 2007 quarterback JaMarcus Russell, selected 1st overall by the Oakland Raiders with no offensive line to protect him, no experienced receivers to catch his passes, and not even a experienced offensive coordinator to call plays.
He's not in the position of the 2008 running back drafted fourth overall, without a offensive coordinator to use him effectively, and he's definitely is not in the position of the "critically unacclaimed" wide receiver drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2009, Darrius Heyward Bey.
McClain is one of the most prolific linebackers in Alabama history. He often called audibles from middle linebacker, he's a film juckie, something like a Payton Manning on defense.
McClain led the 2009 Tide defense to a Nationally fourth ranked in total defense, and second in rush defense. There's no questions about it, McClain has all the attributes to be the essense of this Raider defense.
McClain led the Tide defense in tackles with 105, and was tied for the lead in tackles for loss with 14.5.
A lot of McClain success is strictly off the credentials of his former head coach, Nick Saban one of the most smartest defensive minds to ever coach the game, but in order for his defense to work effectively it requires a coach on the field, with the work ethic, and the ability of Rolando McClain.
McClain is very complacent about what's ahead. He's thrilled about the 4-3 defense that Raiders are supposedly switching to, saying "I should be more dominant without having to wrestle off guards to get to the ball."
McClain has a sense of confidence without the cockiness, often compared to 11 time pro bowler Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis. I think we should start preparing ourselves, because this guy is about to start a legacy of his own.