Rolando McClain Looking Strong After Solid Game in Raiders’ Loss to Cardinals

This offseason, the Raiders decided to invest their first two draft picks in sturdy, run-stopping defensive players.

Defensive tackle turned defensive end Lamarr Houston immediately impressed, as he and the Raiders' defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage during the preseason.

The Raiders' first pick of the 2010 draft, however, did not have quite as quick a start.

One of Rolando McClain's highlights of the preseason was when he overran a play, giving Matt Forte a huge hole to run through on his way to an 89-yard score. McClain spent much of the preseason looking hesitant and slow to the ball.

In the Raiders' first game of the season, McClain looked fine but was nothing impressive. He finished the game tied for second on the team with six tackles but did not seem to impact the game.

The start of the home opener against the St. Louis Rams went pretty much the same way. McClain was getting tackles here and there, but none were anything to talk about.

Then, in what almost seemed like an expression of his own frustration, McClain picked up St. Louis wide receiver Danny Amendola and slammed him to the ground. Yes, McClain was flagged for the play, but it didn't seem to matter. McClain had made a statement. He was sick of watching the game go on around him and was ready to start impacting the game.

McClain finished the game against the Rams with a team-leading six tackles and was starting to look like a real leader of the defense.

In their third game of the season, the Raiders traveled down to Arizona to face the Cardinals. There were two stories that surrounded the lead-up to the game. The first was the start of Oakland quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, and the second was the 2010 debut of Beanie Wells.

After Arizona running back Tim Hightower ran for 115 yards in their Week 2 game, many believed that the return of Wells meant it was going to be a lo...

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