Rolando McClain Arrested: How His Possible Absence Affects the Oakland Raiders

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIDecember 1, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Caleb Hanie #12 of the Chicago Bears runs with the ball stiff arming Rolando McClain #55 of the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on November 27, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Disturbing news has been pouring in today about Raiders MLB Rolando McClain.  First it seemed like the same thing that happened earlier this year when McClain was involved but not responsible for a shooting in his hometown of Decatur, Alabama.  

But the more we learn, the more it looks like McClain is about to be unemployed very soon.  Roger Goodell will surely hand down a suspension like in the case of Plaxico Burress.  Burress, though, only shot himself, while McClain fired past another person's head.  

I rarely see this kind of character in McClain in his interviews where he talks like he has been sharing purple drank with someone else the Raiders know very well.  Suddenly he has this mean streak off the field after his grandfather's funeral.

Whatever happens to McClain will happen.  Maybe he will be found innocent—who knows?

What I am concerned about is how this leaves the Oakland Raiders at the middle linebacker position going forward.  This is the most important position on the defense, especially in the 4-3 the Raiders use.  

Coach Hue Jackson has long said "next man up" when dealing with injuries so I am sure that will be the strategy here.  If that is the case, the Raiders' new MLB will be Daryl Blackstock.  

Blackstock in a former UFL MLB where he worked with Raiders defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan so I am not worried about his knowledge of the system.  I am worried about his skill set.  He has played before as the MLB and his most extensive playing time was when the Tim Tebow-led Broncos ran for almost 300 yards.

There have been calls for the resurgent Aaron Curry to switch positions and play the middle.  That would allow Quentin Groves back into the starting lineup where he was earlier this year as weak-side linebacker.

I would rather see Lofa Tatapu get a call from Hue Jackson.  The Raiders looked at him back in training camp and he is another former Seahawk, like Curry.  

All I can say is thanks to Rolando McClain for screwing up a promising season.  How will this hurt the Raiders' hopes of their first playoff game in nine years?