|National Football League|
Raiders' McClain apologizes for bad publicity
By JOSH DUBOW
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain apologized Tuesday for bringing bad publicity to the team following his recent conviction in Alabama for assault and other charges stemming for allegedly threatening to kill a man and firing a gun next to his head.
Decatur Municipal Judge Bill Cook convicted McClain last week of third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm in the city limits last week and sentenced him to 180 days in jail.
McClain's lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, said he will appeal to Morgan County Circuit Court and seek a jury trial. McClain is out on bail and rejoined the Raiders this week at the team's offseason workouts.
McClain spoke to the media to give his apology and thank coach Dennis Allen and his teammates for their support. But he did not take any questions, citing the pending legal matters.
"I apologize for the bad publicity that has been put out there," he said. "It is a legal process so I can't talk much about it but I think in due time if the Raiders and the Raiders fans that are out there, we'll all see, it will all come to an end and it is what it is. I can't really talk much about it, but it will be resolved in the near future."
The NFL is reviewing McClain's case to determine if any punishment is warranted for violations of the league's personal conduct policy. The Raiders will wait for the NFL to rule on discipline for McClain.
"Rolando's part of our family, he's part of our team," Allen said. "We're going to let the whole process play out before we do anything and once the whole legal proceedings are finished then we'll determine what if any action we need to take."
McClain was the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft, but has failed to live up to the lofty expectations that came with that selection. He had 85 tackles, a half-sack and one interception as a rookie.
He showed signs of improvement last season with 99 tackles and five sacks but still had problems in coverage and sometimes took bad angles in the run game, leading to big plays.
McClain has allowed 73 completions in 115 pass attempts for 794 yards and seven touchdowns in his two seasons, according to STATS LLC.
"I think he's done a real good job from a leadership standpoint," Allen said. "I think he's very instinctive. He's smart out there. He's taken command of the huddle. Those things I've been pleased with. Physically, I think as you look at him, I think what he needs to improve on, and he knows this, is a little bit of the pass coverage aspect."
McClain has said he has been slowed the past two seasons by chronic pain in his knee and ankle. He told the Birmingham Press-Register earlier this offseason that he had a doctor inject fat cells from other parts of his body into his knee and ankle. McClain said he was able to sprint again without pain.
McClain took part in a voluntary minicamp last month, but missed last week's OTA because of the trial. Allen said he has had no trouble learning the new defense.
"He's not behind at all," Allen said. "He's actually ahead. He's really smart. He understands the defense and he's done a real good job in that regard."
NOTES: The Raiders signed free-agent QB Kyle Newhall-Caballero, who was a two-time All-Ivy League player at Brown as the fourth quarterback. ... WR Denarius Moore and LB Aaron Curry were rehabbing soft-tissue injuries on the side. DL Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), C Stefen Wisniewski (shoulder) and WR Louis Murphy (hamstring) remained sidelined as well. ... DL Tommy Kelly missed practice to deal with a personal issue, while S Mike Mitchell remained sidelined following knee surgery and likely won't practice until training camp.
Updated May 22, 2012