McClain: 'I ain't got nothing to say'


McClain: 'I ain't got nothing to say'

ALAMEDA -- Rolando McClain, who was reduced to a backup role at middle linebacker as well as slated to see time on special teams, played the role of scout team running back at Raiders practice Thursday, complete with the green beanie over his helmet to signify as much.

His two-game suspension over and his being placed back on the active 53-man roster following Wednesday morning's meeting with rookie coach Dennis Allen, McClain was also in the locker room during media access period.

He declined to speak to reporters, though.

"I ain't got nothing to say," McClain said with a shake of his head.

"Coach covered everything you could ask me."

Allen, though, has said repeatedly he would not get into specifics regarding the McClain suspension.

Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver was asked how McClain had responded since returning to the practice field.

"He's worked well at practice," Tarver said. "He's worked well at practice. He was a little under the weather on Wednesday, but he's worked. And so, that's how he's doing, day by day. And those two days, have been good days."

Tarver was also asked if he expected McClain to get on the field Sunday.

"I don't know," Tarver said. "We're going day by day. And 'I don't know' is an answer on that one. But he's working. And that's good. And he, and (to) the rest of us, (is) not a distraction. Just working."

Injury report: DT Stacy McGee missing from Raiders practice

Injury report: DT Stacy McGee missing from Raiders practice

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Raiders pass rush has improved in recent weeks, though head coach Jack Del Rio believes a stronger push is required on the interior.

That would be harder with Stacy McGee out. The defensive tackle missed Wednesday’s practice at the IMG Academy, and it seems unlikely, though his status remains uncertain, that he’ll be able to play Sunday against Tampa Bay.

McGee has shown improvement as a pass rusher, with 2.5 sacks in this early season. He injured his knee early in Sunday’s victory over Jacksonville and did not return, which hurt the Raiders interior rotation.

Head coach Jack Del Rio did not update McGee’s status when asked earlier this week.

The Raiders were only missing two players during Wednesday’s work. McGee was out, as was running back Taiwan Jones. He watched practice from the sidelines due to a knee injury that has limited him in recent weeks and kept him out of the Jacksonville game.

The offensive line is getting healthier by the day, with Menelik Watson inching closer to a return. He was limited in Wednesday’s work, as he was during the previous practice week. He did not play against the Jaguars, and hasn’t since straining his groin in Week 3 against Tennessee.

Brynden Trawick, Andre Holmes and Vadal Alexander were also limited.

Raiders participation report
Did not practice:
RB Taiwan Jones (knee), DT Stacy McGee (knee)
Limited participation: Vadal Alexander (ankle), S Brynden Trawick (shoulder) OT Menelik Watson (calf), WR Andre Holmes (hip)

Buccaneers participation report
Did not practice:
RB Doug Martin (hamstring)
Limited participation: DE Robert Ayers (ankle), C Joe Hawley (ankle), DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring)


Raiders enjoying change of scenery in Florida, but focused on football

Raiders enjoying change of scenery in Florida, but focused on football

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Raiders hope central Florida is a home away from home. They’re treating this week in picturesque Sarasota as a normal practice week, with freedom to roam after practice and meetings and meals.

While that makes it sound like Raiders can take advantage of this beautiful beach town and the Ritz Carlton amenities, that isn’t exactly true. While there have been dinners and trips to the hotel’s beach club, most have become familiar with the quarantined event space housing most non-practice activities.

“I looked out this morning and realized there was actually water close by,” head coach Jack Del Rio said with a smile. “It only took me three days to realize that. We’re just going about our business really. Happens to be a beautiful city, but the work’s the same. Put the last game behind you, get ready for the next. Understand what they like, what they’re good at, who their strong players are. Who are some guys that are not as strong? We want to make sure we attack them, things like that. It’s very normal in terms of the preparation and the way we’re going about our business.”

The Raiders have a fixed routine through the heart of his practice week. They have morning meetings as always, with a walk thru conducted in a hotel ballroom. Then they eat and head out to the famous IMG Academy, located 16 miles north in Bradenton. Their first full practice was conducted Wednesday afternoon. 

The school/training space has some famous alumni and trainees including Cam Newton, Tim Howard, Andre Agassi and Amar’e Stoudemire.

A few Raiders have trained there as well. Amari Cooper participated in a national 7-on-7 tournament there, and three offensive linemen did pre-NFL draft work at a massive facility that also acts as a school for athletic children.

“I’ve never seen anything like that. It’s pretty nice,” Crabtree said. “I just don’t when all those guys go to school. It seems like it’s sports year round. That’s a nice facility and that’s good.”

The Raiders hope to mimic a typical game week, but it’s not always easy. This still feels like a road trip, though it’s a pretty nice one with perfect weather and a postcard’s backdrop.

“It’s just a change of scenery. I feel like we’re just enjoying it,” Crabtree said. “It’s beautiful. Sarasota, this is nice. Taking it all in and at the same time, we’re working every day. You can’t beat this weather. You can’t beat this scenery, the Ritz, you can’t beat none of this. I’m just taking it all in, enjoying it and playing ball.”

Raiders linebacker Malcolm Smith compared this experience to training camp in Napa where a team really comes together, though it comes with a bit less stress.

“As far as team bonding goes, this has been a great experience,” he said. “It’s better than camp because we’re not fighting for jobs and things like that. This is our group, and we’re focused on getting ready to play."

There are ancillary benefits to a long Florida trip as well.

“I love it, man. The weather’s nice and there’s no state tax here,” Carr said with a laugh. “That’s always a good thing for the people that live here. (laughter) It’s been awesome. The people here have been great.”