#1 them, and president Art Rooney II knows it. T von miaowang123 21.03.2019 02:04

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Former Oakland Raiders first-round pick Rolando McClain is considering a return to the NFL. The 24-year-old McClain retired last year after signing a one-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens. Hes been taking classes at the University of Alabama, working out and spending time with his two young sons but isnt ruling out playing somewhere in 2014. "Im not going to wait for the door to be closed," McClain said Wednesday after attending the Crimson Tides pro day. "Right now, I think its still open. Ive still got some things to get in order before we make that decision." McClain said agent Pat Dye Jr. has spoken with the Ravens, but hes not sure if hed wind up in Baltimore or elsewhere. The Carroll County Times in Maryland cited an anonymous source Monday in reporting that McClain plans to return to football for the upcoming season. McClain said he needs only two courses over the summer to graduate from Alabama. "Right now, Im just focusing on finishing up my degree," he said. "Ive been working out to stay in shape, but Im only 24 so its hard to get out of shape. I dont know. Football is football. Right now, I dont have any plans." McClain said the factors in his decision are the same ones that led him to retire. "Just getting the personal life and everything else in order before you can even try to focus on football," he said. "I feel better as a person overall," he added. "My two little boys have been doing a great job. Theyre 2 so theyre wild, but they keep me busy." He had off-the-field issues during his three-year NFL stint, including an arrest in his Alabama hometown 10 days after signing with the Ravens on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He pleaded not guilty. It was the third time McClain was arrested in Decatur, Ala., since 2011. He was previously charged in a 2011 shooting, and police arrested him in January 2013 on charges of having his car windows tinted too darkly and trying to lie about his identity. McClain was sentenced to jail on an assault charge after the shooting, but prosecutors later dismissed the case. A city judge dismissed the January charge against McClain of trying to lie about his identity. He pleaded guilty to the window tint violation and paid a $182 fine. McClain had 274 tackles, 6-1/2 sacks and an interception in 41 games with Oakland over three seasons. He was the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft after winning the Butkus Award as the nations top linebacker. These days he said his sons are his top priority and his daily routine consists of "class, workouts and being a parent." "Anybody, when you do have kids, youre forced to grow up even if youre not ready," McClain said. "Theyre just two good little boys." 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The Tinkoff-Saxo rider was still dealing with the right shin he broke in a crash which ended his Tour de France on Stage 10. He hoped to defy his doctors and race in the home Grand Tour he won in 2008 and 2012, but he says there have been complications in his recovery.PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Pittsburgh Steelers took a calculated risk last spring when they opted not to re-sign quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with two years remaining on his current deal, opting instead to focus on bolstering the roster elsewhere.Its going to cost them, and president Art Rooney II knows it. Then again, there are worse positions than negotiating with a player coming off the best statistical season of an already remarkable career.Ill take that problem, Rooney said with a laugh Wednesday.It may be one of the easiest ones to solve over the next few months for the AFC North champions. Pittsburgh returned to the playoffs in 2014 after a two-year absence, going 11-5 and riding a dynamic offence and a perfect December to its first division title since 2010. While Rooney called it a good season with a lot of positives the Steelers last Super Bowl appearance is becoming an ever smaller speck in the rearview mirror.Obviously we didnt achieve our ultimate goal, Rooney said.Maybe, but Pittsburgh looked closer than in consecutive 8-8 seasons in 2012 and 2013. Rebuilding is nearly complete, at least on offence. The Steelers set franchise records for points and yards behind Roethlisberger, All-Pro running back LeVeon Bell and All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown. Press Rooney on if this means the franchises identity has shifted away from its roots on the other side of the ball and he politely disagrees.Id say we still strive for a team with a strong defence and thats something well always try to have, he said while adding the offence was fun to watch.The goal is to make it just as enjoyable when the defence takes the field. That part might be tricky. The Steelers finished 18th in yards allowed, their worst performance since 1991. Hall of Fame defensive co-ordinator Dick LeBeau resigned earlier this month and the status of longtime fixtures Brett Keisel, Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu and James Harrison is uncertain. Rooney said it will be a few weeks before any decision is made on who to bring back and who to let walk. Keisel and Polamalu both have a year remaining on their current deals while Taylor and Harrison are free agents, though Harrison didnt rule out one more season after occasionally brilliant play at age 36.Whoever returns out of that group would be short-term investments at best, and likely a relativvely inexpensive one.dddddddddddd. Thats not the case with free agent linebacker Jason Worilds. The team placed the transition tag on Worilds last spring, and he responded with 7.5 sacks. With little established depth at outside linebacker — where former first-round pick Jarvis Jones has struggled to stay out of the training room — Worilds provides some stability.To retain him, the Steelers will need to pay him like hes one of the elite at his position even if Worilds has yet to make a Pro Bowl. Rooney declined to put Worilds in any particular category, saying only the team would like to have him return in part because his specialty happens to be the current groups biggest weakness.Weve got to get more sacks and put more pressure on the quarterback and I think in the games we were successful, we were able to do that, Rooney said. Thats a key piece of the puzzle that we have to look at as we build this defence going into next year.While Rooney doesnt believe new defensive co-ordinator Keith Butler — promoted after more than a decade as an assistant — will make drastic changes from the 3-4 scheme favoured by LeBeau, he does expect Butler to offer more than tweaks. Finding new and creative ways to become disruptive in the backfield is a must.It is a challenge now for a defensive co-ordinator to keep up with these high-powered offences, Rooney said.And it will be Butlers responsibility to build around a core that includes defensive end Cam Heyward and linebacker Lawrence Timmons. There is a significant need for help in the secondary, especially if Taylor and Polamalu do not return. Rooney lauded the play of converted special teamers like Antwon Blake but understands defensive back will be a major need when the draft comes. The Steelers havent taken a cornerback in the first round since Chad Scott in 1997.That may have to change if Pittsburgh wants to get serious about returning to leagues upper echelon. Rooney anticipates having a bit of money to spend in free agency, though the team rarely splurges on high-priced veterans.If theres an opportunity to sign somebody like that, well look at it, he said. I wouldnt rule that out at this point but it kind of depends on whats available to us and what were able to do at that point in time.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '

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