ALAMEDA -- He was signed off his couch last Thursday, then was not only active on Sunday, but took on the kickoff return role when Taiwan Jones strained a hamstring.This week, with Denarius Moore's ailing right foot most likely keeping him out of the game and his punt-return duties?Bryan McCann is ready for double-duty against Chicago on Sunday at the O.co Coliseum."Really, your mindset in the NFL is you've got to be ready to go regardless," McCann said. "So even if you're preparing for a week and everybody's healthy, all it takes is one play and somebody could go down in a game. So my mentality really hasn't changed. I'm preparing the same way that I would if the people who normally play those positions were still healthy."McCann played in nine games with Dallas in 2010 and had an interception return (101 yards) and a punt return (97 yards) for scores in consecutive weeks, against the New York Giants and Detroit, respectively."That was my second and third games I ever played in," McCann said. "It was a pretty nice introduction to the NFL."But he picked up a reputation as a butterfingers, of sorts, for the Cowboys in that he fumbled six times, losing two of them."I wouldn't necessarily say it was an issue," McCann said. "Some of them were kind of -- I mean one of them, I was hit as I was catching one and just different things like that. Butif the numbers show it, the numbers don't lie. It's definitely something if people say it's an issue. I've moved on from it and gotten better from it. Haven't had any fumbles this year."McCann appeared in two games with Dallas this season before he was released on Sept. 20. He then signed with Baltimore before the Ravens waived him on Nov. 5.Then came the call from the Raiders.Three days later against the Vikings, McCann returned two kickoffs for 58 yards, with a long of 36 yards."This team is fascinating to me that way," said Raiders coach Hue Jackson. "We get a guy off the street, bring him in, run him around for a couple days and, 'Get in the game, return the kick.'
"When he was returning a kick I saw the ball being loose, 'Hey, buddy, do me a favor. Make sure you take care of that ball for me.' 'Gotcha, coach.' He was switching the ball in the game, but that's the dialogue we have.
"Who knew last week that this was going to happen, that this young man was going to be in the game returning kicks? I looked back there and seen him, which I knew we were putting him back there, I almost lost my breath for a second because I had never seen him do it out here. So here we go. It's a credit to our coaches, it's a credit to our personnel department, then it's a credit to the player that they get themselves ready because he's carrying the whole organization under his arm and his teammates and everybody. He did a great job. I look forward to him doing a great job this week."
Yes, McCann has the requisite speed to be a Raiders return man. He said he was timed as fast as 4.28 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day at SMU in 2010. It came in handy against the Vikings.
"It was pretty cool," he said. "I didn't even really expect to play, and then we got in the game and they were just kind of asking, 'We got people going down, have you played this before? Can you step in? Can you do this?'"It's just part of the business. You've got to be ready to go at any moment."Against the Bears, he might not have any choice.