McClain still trying to prove Panthers wrong

McClain still trying to prove Panthers wrong
June 5, 2013, 9:00 am
Share This Post

Right when it happened, Terrell McClain was more shocked than anything.

After the Panthers used the first pick in the third round of the 2011 draft to take McClain, a defensive tackle out of South Florida, he started 12 games as a rookie before he sprained his left knee, which ended his season.

And that was the end of his career with the Panthers.

Carolina cut him on Sept. 2 before last season and added veteran defensive lineman Dwan Edwards.

“Absolutely. Absolutely,” McClain said when asked if he still aims to prove that the Panthers were wrong. “Every day I come out here and try to get better, trying to prove myself, that they did make a terrible mistake. Everything happens for a reason.

“I don’t really want to harp on it. Whatever happened, happened. The fact that it did happen, I can’t really complain. I ended up here in this great organization. I’m thankful for what they did, letting me come here that I can prove myself and can be in the NFL.”

After being signed by the Texans during the 2012 season, McClain is at OTAs fighting for a job to stay in the NFL. It’s a far cry from where he was two seasons ago.

McClain entered his 2011 rookie season as a starter on the Panthers’ defensive line until his knee injury forced him to shut it down. McClain was the second player taken by the Panthers in the 2011 draft. They took quarterback Cam Newton with the first-overall pick and didn’t have a second-rounder.

At the time he was cut by the Panthers, McClain was the highest drafted player from the 2011 draft class to be cut by his respective team. Shortly thereafter, the Eagles cut second-round pick Jaiquawn Jarrett.

After he was waived by the Panthers, McClain wasn’t picked up immediately. It took almost a month before another NFL team signed the former first teamer on the All-Big East team.

“At first, I wasn’t really upset. I was shocked,” McClain said. “After it dawned on me a couple weeks in, after I wasn’t getting picked up, I was kind of angry but I knew that wasn’t really going to help me get back on the field. I had to put that to the side, put my ego to the side and start working hard.”

McClain said he worked out for a bunch of teams but wasn’t picked up by one until nearly a month later, when the Patriots signed him at the end of last September. His stay in New England was short-lived. Less than a week after he signed with the Pats, they cut him again.

Within a year and a half, McClain went from being the first pick in the third round of the draft and a starter in the NFL to being cut twice by two different teams in a month’s span.

From there, McClain was on the street for about another month before the Texans signed him after David Hunter went on the IR with a toe injury. McClain said the Texans liked his ability to move for a big guy; he’s listed at 6-2, 304 pounds, which is very similar to the size of Earl Mitchell, this year’s starting nose tackle. McClain played just 21 snaps in three games with the Texans in 2012.

During OTAs this offseason, McClain said he’s been working inside and outside on the defensive line and has been trying to learn all the positions. It was a “little bumpy” at first but all the reps he’s been getting have helped.

He isn’t sure where the Texans see him fitting in and he said he’s told them he’ll play wherever they need him too. Either way, there are players ahead of him on the depth chart and he knows it. Taking mental reps helps and watching players like J.J. Watt will only make him better, he’s determined.

McClain’s still trying to prove the Panthers wrong. And he’s still trying to live up to being the 65th player taken in the 2011 draft.

“A little bit but not as much as if I were in the first round,” McClain said about the added pressure. “It’s not as much, but it’s a little bit on me. I put pressure on myself to strive because I know I have greatness in me. I just have to show it on the field.”
But does McClain think he has a chance to make the 2013 Texans roster?

“I think I do. I’d be a fool if I didn’t,” he said cracking a smile. “But I really do think I have a chance. We’ll just see what happens.”

Texans - Team News
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Arian Foster's caddie is in no danger of missing Week 9.
Oct 30 3:41PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. Johnson was never in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. With six teams on bye for Week 9, Johnson is a WR1.
Oct 30 3:40PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. The Texans are just managing their superstar back's reps. With DeMarco Murray facing the Cardinals' elite run defense, there's a case to be made for Foster as Week 9's No. 1...
Oct 30 3:39PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
Oct 29 5:15PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Oct 29 3:43PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
Oct 29 3:18PM Read More
Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
Oct 28 4:04PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
Oct 26 4:53PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
Oct 26 4:44PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
Oct 26 4:24PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
Oct 26 4:11PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed just 19-of-35 passes for 227 yards, one touchdown, and zero... Fitzpatrick was pretty bad for most of the day, begging to be picked off, but the Texans rode Arian Foster's legs to victory. Fitzpatrick's lone touchdown went to Foster on...
Oct 26 3:45PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-16, Week 8... Foster managed just 36 yards on his first 10 carries, but broke a 34-yard touchdown and had no trouble finding holes in the Tennessee defense from there on. Foster caught a...
Oct 26 3:21PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is active for Week 8 against the Titans. Clowney will play on a "pitch count," likely in pass-rushing and third-down situations. Good luck with Clowney and J.J. Watt, Zach Mettenberger. Inactive for the...
Oct 26 10:34AM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is likely to play against the Titans, but will be on a... "I thought what he did what he had to do this week," coach Bill O’Brien said. "I think he’s got a good shot to play on Sunday." Clowney has been...
Oct 25 9:13AM Read More

More Team Talk