McClain, who played in 16 games for the Panthers in 2010, joined the Falcons prior to this season after Carolina and the Jacksonville Jaguars passed up on the 24-year-old out of Connecticut. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera told Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that, since then, he's witnessed McClain excel with the Falcons:
I've watched him on tape, and he's a solid football player. Sometimes all you need is an opportunity, and that's what he's got. Kudos to Robert."
McClain has earned the respect of his teammates, as well as his former coach, by racking up 42 tackles and an interception while seeing significant playing time due to injuries. Falcons safety William Moore knows the team found a diamond in the rough with McClain:
"Dude can play some ball. The day he stepped in he took over. He's been lights out. I know for sure he's going to get better down the stretch."
McClain has played against his former team once already this season, contributing three tackles in Atlanta's 30-28 win over Carolina on Sept. 30. The rematch will kick off at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, and will be televised on FOX.