Offensive Tackle Matt McCants
Prior to the start of the 2016 NFL season, there was a lot of buzz surrounding the Oakland Raiders, and part of that was due to the team's stout offensive line. Through the first seven games this season the front line hasn't disappointed, allowing only seven sacks – the fewest allowed in the league through seven weeks. What's most notable is that the line has suffered a plethora of injuries at the right tackle position, but the team hasn't made excuses or complained about the injuries -- it has adjusted and continued to perform.
One member of the offensive line who has contributed for the Silver and Black is right tackle Matt McCants. The fourth-year player has endured a few injuries himself this season, but regardless of the issues has held himself accountable.
"Every day I come to work I have my positive attitude, 100 percent effort," said McCants. "That's the one thing I try to bring to the table is a positive attitude, and 100 percent effort every time."
There's not much more you could ask from a player than to give everything he has whether it's on the field or off of it. Since joining the Silver and Black in 2013, McCants has played in 28 games and served as a quality backup on the team.
What makes McCants special is the fact that regardless of if he plays, he's contributing all he can to help make the team better. This year, a new face moved into the locker next to him, rookie tackle Vadal Alexander. Since being locker-mates, McCants has tried to impart wisdom on the rookie, in order to help him progress and develop as a player.
"I've never been afraid to hold knowledge in," said McCants. "Because I feel like if the group is strong, we're strong as a team."
The offensive line has worked well keeping quarterback Derek Carr protected and out of harm's way. McCants has been able to provide insight and leadership to the young player, and help him execute at a high level.
His unselfish attitude and willingness to help those around him succeed shows his commitment to this team. When asked if his jersey number holds any significance, McCants provided a response that is a reflection of who he is.
"I've never really been big into numbers or anything," he said. "Just going out there and trying to do my job."
All the Alabama-Birmingham-product is focused on is the team; not himself, or personal accolades.
"Knowing when I'm out there I need to be accountable to my team, my coaches, and the fans," shared McCants. "Just a reliable guy."