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Conversation with Rolando McClain


LB Rolando McClain during Monday's practice. Photo by Tony Gonzales

On teams knowing what the Raiders defense would do: "I think the Raiders have been so accustomed to playing straight man and everybody know what we're going to be in and now it's been a little diverse, changing things up. I think it'll benefit us some, but at the same time, offenses they're still game planning. Eventually they'll see our pressures and they'll pick up on them, so it's just about executing the defense whatever is called no matter if it's a pressure or straight zone, you just have to execute and play your rules, and what happens happens."

On Jason Tarver: "Crazy little guy. He's just a fiery coach. We need somebody on this side of the ball that's active. I like him, he brings the energy to the defense."

On a defensive head coach: "I don't know. It's good to have a defensive head coach, but at the end of the day, the players have to go play. You can have the best coach in the world, but the players have go out and make plays, so that's how I feel about it."

On becoming a leader: "I wouldn't say learning. I was a pretty good leader in Alabama in college, but it's different here. It's just different. You're not dealing with guys your age, you're dealing with grown men and being a leader is not just about yelling or trying to get guys to work, it's about understanding the guys that you're working with. Different people respond to different things in different ways. It's just figuring out your teammates and the way they respond to things to get them to work, so it's still a process, but I think for the most part, everybody is just being accountable to the team. They're just doing the right things on their own so I really don't have to say too much right now."

On Miles Burris and Philip Wheeler: "So far so good. The real bullets will start flying on Monday and that's what matters. We don't get paid for preseason or practice, we get paid for what happens in the games so we'll see."

On Miles Burris in a starting role: "There's not a lot of pressure on him. You've got two veteran guys beside you, me and Philip [Wheeler], so we just try to tell him to relax. He gets excited, he's a very energized guy and we love it, so the hardest thing is just telling him to calm down. He always wants to make plays. You have to be calm. He's a great young guy and I'm excited to see him play."

On getting after guys if they mess up: "That isn't really my personality. I'm a man that when I'm out of line I can correct myself and I really don't want or need somebody to tell me when I'm out of line. I know, so I correct myself. The way I was raised, you don't have to be yelled at, you don't have to be cursed out or whatever, you know you're wrong, fix it."

On if he has to straighten out the younger guys: "I'm not really in there with the younger guys right now. The guys I'm around are all veterans besides Miles so those are the guys I'm in with."

On past defensive struggles: "I've told you in the past, it's a new year. The past is the past for a reason. It's a new year and we have a chance to go out there and be as good as we want to be."

On possible suspension: "No, I don't think I've ever had a talk or anything about a suspension. I haven't heard it. I guess there's always speculation."

On staying focused: "It's football, I get paid to play football."

On vibe in training camp with new GM and coach: "I don't know how you determine a vibe from training camp. It's training camp. You go out and work. That's the vibe."

On if it's run how Nick Saban ran things at Alabama: "We have a great head coach, we have a great general manager and I think they're doing things the right way. I don't know if it's Coach Saban's way so to say, but I think they're doing a great job."

On stem cell treatment: "Yeah, I feel fine. The stem cell stuff was just so I wouldn't have these nagging injuries and they didn't prolong until the season and right now I feel good going into the season, so we'll see."

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