You know this would all be different if the Raiders had beaten Miami, 34-14, rather than the other way around. The NFL doesnt do morality it does results, and when you win everythings cool, and when you dont ... But they lost, and lost big, so when Hue Jackson said he would wait to see what the league would do about Rolando McClain and his alleged Alabama indiscretion before doing something himself, one wondered what kind of Raider decision-making is this.The McClain situation is in the system now, but at the very least it seems clear that he lost a little attention span when he went home for what the Raiders have said was his grandfathers funeral. We make no conclusions about his guilt or innocence.
What we know, though, is this. The Raiders historically have done one of two things with legal issues regarding their players. They either ignored them for the betterment of the team, or they acted unilaterally for the betterment of the team. The sliding scale was always determined on the basis of how important the player was, and the punishment, or lack thereof, was determined by the team first.
Waiting for the league first ... well, that just wasnt done. Al Davis always viewed the league as the guys who arent us, never the Raiders as members of the greater whole.Which is why Jackson caused a new round of head-scratching with his, if the league ... thing. If McClain needs help, or a stern kick in the hinder, it seems clear that the Raiders dont need to wait for Roger Goodell. They are not only allowed to act first, theyre pretty much obliged to do so.I mean, who is supposed to care about McClain more than his team? The league office? The NFL has 1,700 McClains players, I mean and they cant be everywhere and do everything, minor would the 32 client-states which comprise the league. Each team takes care of its own, no matter how gentle or stern the remedy.This is what the Raiders were when they advertised their rogue nation status, and this is what they ought to be now in the post-Al era. Rolando McClain is their responsibility, and the idea that Hue Jackson will wait for the league to do something before doing something himself seems plainly antithetical to team-building.Players need to know that the team has their backs, whether in this case it is McClain or the rest of the roster. He is their issue, first and foremost, and Jacksons declaration should have been with that as the central theme:We will deal with Rolandos situation as we learn more about it. We will work with the league as required, but he is first and foremost a Raider, and the Raiders are responsible before anyone else for any discipline that might be required, or any help that is needed.Of course, all this might change as Jackson reflects on it. He is, if nothing else a very malleable fellow that way. He has to know, as the head of the football department, that his must be the first say on the players. It may not be the last one, but it should be the first.