Stacy McGee got to Raiders teammate Nick Roach before Roach even got up from his interception 20 yards down the field last Sunday. Which is pretty good, since it was McGee's pressure and hit on Houston quarterback Case Keenum that set up the interception.

"I got a little excited," McGee said. "It was cool. Need more, though."

While Oakland has seen its first two draft picks struggle with injuries this year, they are excited about the quick rise their sixth-round pick out of Oklahoma has made. McGee will get his second straight start at defensive tackle against Tennessee on Sunday.

"The interception that Nick Roach had, the two guards went to block our other guys so (McGee) had a one-on-one and he got by the center and he caused that interception," defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said. "That was a big-time play in that game. Stacy had a few really good plays in that game."

The turnover helped stake rookie quarterback Matt McGloin to a 14-0 lead.

Like McGloin, McGee picked up the playbook quickly this season.

"It wasn't that hard for me learning the defense," said McGee, who was credited with half a sack against Pittsburgh on Oct. 27. "And I was used to the physical aspect of it. In the Big 12, all they do is run the ball hard."

McGee was ranked among the top 15 high school defensive tackle prospects in the country out of Muskogee, Okla., but off-field problems almost derailed him in college. There was a DUI arrest, a citation for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, plus suspensions for unspecified violations of team rules at Oklahoma.

McGee said that stuff is "in the past", and he "learned from it and had to grow up and be a man." Just hearing that wasn't enough for the Raiders, who did a lot of homework on McGee. General manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen had numerous discussions with him.

"We felt like he was a guy to whom we wanted to give a second opportunity," Allen said after the draft.

If you are going to try to give a prospect a second chance, it helps that he is a 6-foot-3, 308-pound defensive tackle with 34-inch arms and quick feet.