High praise for Rolando McClain

One of the players who could most benefit from Dennis Allen becoming the Oakland Raiders head coach is middle linebacker Rolando McClain.

McClain, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2010, is entering a critical point in his career. McClain, who could potentially face league discipline stemming from an ongoing assault case in Alabama that occurred last season, needs to make strides both on and off the field.

While he has had his moments, McClain has made a lot of on-field mistakes, and he hasn’t made the impact he has been expected to make. One of Allen’s biggest jobs is making McClain a consistently productive player in 2012.

In a radio interview, Allen pointed out McClain as a player who has had a strong training camp.

“A guy I think that has been exceptional has been Rolando McClain,” Allen said. “He’s been a guy that has done everything we have asked him to do. He’s smart. He understands the defense and the concepts we are trying to run, and if he continues to improve the way he has been improving and continues to fit within the scheme the way he has done so far, I would expect him to have a good year.”

Allen doesn’t strike me as a coach who pumps up players just for the sake of doing it. So, his comments might be a good sign of things to come for a player who desperately needs to improve.