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Oakland Raiders: Rolando McClain...Time for You to Play the Gatekeeper!

Raider Card Addict@RaidercardadictSenior Writer ISeptember 12, 2010

NAPA, CA - AUGUST 01:  Rolando McClain #55 of the Oakland Raiders works out during the Raiders training camp at their Napa Valley Training Complex on August 1, 2010 in Napa, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Some have to wonder, is this what the Raiders had in mind when their pick was announced during the first round of the draft?

Week one, against the Titans.

Chris Johnson, getting the ball, runs towards the line. With a stutter-step, he slips between a tackle and guard, rams into Kirk Morrison, and flattens him.

76 yards later, the crowd is going wild, as the Titans have an early lead.

Not exactly a pretty picture.

Now, back to the draft. Most of the coaches, front office and players know the Raiders need help against the run. A team has a problem winning when your safeties lead the team in tackling....it means your front seven are revolving doors. The one that probably doesn't think the team needs help, Al Davis....where'd he go?

So Tom Cable and a small batch of minds look over the charts. There is a large wall of a man, named Rolando McClain on the board....just came from a national championship team in college.

Why not?

So Oakland, going against their habit when Al Davis is making the call, picks up a player who stands to actually help the Raiders. From the get-go, he carries himself as a leader. Not proud, stuffy, or ego-driven, he wants to be a leader. He's requesting information, even before he's signed by the club.

Come time for camp, he performs in the preseason like a veteran, surprising some.

Still, the naysayers will crow, everyone looks good in the preseason...if they don't they get cut.

Sure.

But here's the view I'm waiting for.

Again, Chris Johnson takes the snap. He heads for a tackle, slips between the guard and finds a large jersey waiting for him. As he tries to move around for another spot, two arms grab him and then push him back, then down to the turf. Vince Young looks at this exchange and wonders if Rolando McClain was fed raw meat before the game.

It turns out to be a long day for Chris Johnson...someone is playing the gatekeeper on the line in Oakland.

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