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Reggie McKenzie not holding Rolando McClain's past over him

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Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain (55) at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility.
Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain (55) at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility.

When Reggie McKenzie came aboard as the Raiders' new General Manager, he inherited the sticky situation in which Rolando McClain finds himself. McClain still faces several charges stemming from an incident in his hometown of Decatur Alabama midway through last season. A judge ruled him guilty of all charges but McClain's attorney immediately requested trial by jury and now that process is playing itself out.

The Raiders will still have to deal with the results from the court as well as from the league. But despite the looming possibility of McClain serving jail time and/or a suspension, Reggie McKenzie is not too worried, saying "Yes I'm comfortable with that."

For now the team is going about things as if McClain will be around for the foreseeable future or at least until they find out otherwise.

"Part of our deal is just sitting and waiting for that process to kind of take its course," said McKenzie. "The only thing we can do is sit and wait.

Then there is the question of character.

McKenzie puts a strong emphasis on the character of his players. And in that regard, he approaches it the only way he can-to worry only about those incidents that occur on his watch. And since the McClain incident occurred well before he arrived, he has a clean slate.

"You know, since we've been here he's been great," said McKenzie. "I'm not going to hold anything over his head about what he's done in the past. We're only concerned with what he does from here on out. Coaches preach to the players about being accountable, being disciplined on and off the field, so we'll take care of the issues as they come."

The message right now is essentially that things are great until they're not.

The best case scenario at this point is McClain's situation doesn't interfere with the Raiders 2012 season. And in the meantime, as well as after that, he gets the message and gets a healthy dose of maturity. There is actually a chance that this whole incident results in a positive career change for McClain.