OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Dustin Keller #81 of the New York Jets is tackled by Rolando McClain #55 of the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter during an NFL football game at the O.co Coliseum September 25, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The Raiders' Rolando McClain gave a rare interview with the media on Monday, and one of his quotes is getting plenty of play. It is a perfect quote for an opponent to use as bulletin board material. Here is the quote:
This is just a finesse team. I mean, Tom Brady’s a smart guy, has many weapons around him, with his receivers as well as his tight ends. His tight ends are playing great right now.
I don't think McClain didn't meant this as a slight. He was comparing the difference of the Patriots vs. Jets. However, "finesse" is not a word that most NFL players want to be associated with. The Patriots are going to be hell bent on showing McClain and the Raiders that they are much more than "just a finesse team."
The Raiders will have to be ready for this, and McClain in particular. He needs to be ready to show that the Raiders are the bully in this game.
To that end, McClain has been up and down this year. He has missed too many tackles, and he has been handled by too many blockers.
McClain is going to have a huge role in this game. The Patriots are going to have plenty of passes going over McClain's middle. He needs to prove that the middle is his turf. The Pats will also target McClain when he is matched up on TE Gronkowski.
Also, and maybe most importantly, Tom Brady is a master of line of scrimmage adjustments. McClain needs to make sure his defense is in a position to assert their inner-bully.