ALAMEDA -- While Rolando McClain played in a season-low 17 snaps during the Raiders' 23-20 loss at Atlanta on Sunday, he apparently made he most of his limited opportunities."He responded well," said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. "He responded well, and he actually, he played well. He had his most productive play on a per-play basis in that football game."According to the gamebook, McClain had three tackles, including one for a loss, the big 3rd-and-goal stop of Jason Snelling at the 1-yard line that pushed him back to the 2 and forced the Falcons to kick a field goal.The reason for McClain's limited play was the Raiders moving into a nickel defense on obvious passing downs, which, against the pass-happy Falcons, is on most downs. An extra defensive back replaced McClain on the field and rookie Miles Burris and first-year Raider Philip Wheeler played every snap.Of course, against a more run-first team like Jacksonville, McClain figures to see more time."Yeah, I mean, you've got to see what personnel grouping theyre trying to run out there on the field," Allen said. "If theyre playing a lot of base personnel then hell probably play more snaps."But in those nickel packages going forward, the Raiders defense looked faster and quicker to the ball with McClain on the sidelines."Well see how the season plays out," Allen said, "but I would anticipate that well stick to that nickel plan."
McClain thrives in limited role
October 18, 2012, 3:46 pm