Captain Who at MLB? McClain's Already Knee Deep In The Playbook

jeremy barilCorrespondent IApril 30, 2010

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 01: Willie Harper #21  of Western Carolina has his helmet knocked off as he is tackled by Paul Silvey #53 and Rolando McClain #25 of Alabama on September 1, 2007 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

I'm starting to fall in love with Rolando McClain. Everyone from Alabama I know tells me he's a stud MLB. McClain is known for being a relentless worker. As a freshman he started at MLB and started to improve his defense by his play and knowledge of keeping his defense properly positioned. The Alabama defense proceeded to improve every season until this past year when they won the national championship game based on the play of a solid defense. 

Now word has come out that the day after being drafted he requested the playbook and dvd's so he'd be ready these 3 days. That's dedication. Even if he never becomes a stats driven LB, if the defense plays well with him and he continues to have a habit of being in the right place at the right time because of his study habits and the defense is always prepared, the Raiders should be much improved at the MLB spot. 

I'm not going to compare McClain to a young Ray Lewis, Patrick Willis, or any other stud LB out there, but knowing this guy's coming with his lunch pale every day and has a ton of talent, but most of all he has shown in college he has heart and leadership ability like the aforementioned players I'm really looking forward to seeing the development of his career. The fact he's already studying and is a film junkie leads me to believe the whole defense is bound to become a group of players willing to finally play for each other. Al Davis finally struck gold with Rolando McClain. It's going to be nice to see how much the defense grows this season. 

If he's as good as a lot of people say he is, I expect a defensive rookie of the year award and to see the run defense improve by leaps and bounds. Combine this with the addition of LeMaar Houston and the continued solid play from the D line with Richard Seymour, Matt Shaughnessey, Tommy Kelly, and Desmond Bryant, Oakland is finally looking like a much improved team and we should see the defense make major improvements in technique and knowledge of assignments. 

I really look forward to seeing Trevor Scott, Kamerion Wimbley, and Rolando McClain become an outstanding Raiders group of LB's led by a young but extremely talented Rolando McClain who will know more about the playbook and opposing defense than most of the players and probably some of the coaches.

It's about hard work and Tom Cable is bringing these players in. Every player drafted since '09 with Cable as head coach has been an extremely hard worker. It's starting to show on the team and McClain is Cable's centerpiece on the defense who is going to outwork everyone and be the leader of the defense.