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News

Mack Looking to Make Major Impact

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Rookie LB Khalil Mack spoke to the media at the conclusion of the Raiders mandatory mini-camp.

Q: How did your first mini-camp go?

Mack: “It went well. I got some good work in. It’s been productive so far. I’m learning a lot, so yeah, it went well.”

Q: Talking to Justin Tuck, he said that he’s impressed that you were asking a lot of questions. Is that something that’s on your mind, that you’re asking the veterans what to do?

Mack: “No doubt. You have a lot of knowledge out there on the field, with a lot of veteran players out there. It would be dumb for me not to ask questions, especially knowing the skill level that they play with, and that they’re pretty much the best in the game when it comes to pass rushing, so I have to ask those questions.”

Q: It’s mostly about the pass rushing?

Mack: “It’s mostly about pass rushing and playing with my hand down.”

Q: How do you feel mentally about all the stuff the [the coaching staff] is doing?

Mack: “It’s a challenge, and I’m open to the challenge. I’m trying to go out there every day and work on something that they want me to work on, and get better at it. And try not to make the same mistakes; that’s my biggest thing. I try to go out there and do what I can to make plays and be in the right position. That’s all they’re trying to do; put me in the right position to make plays. I’m thankful for that part.”

Q: Now that you’ve been through [the offseason program] do you look forward to a little bit of down time?

Mack: “That’s the thing about me. I want to keep getting better. Now that I know what I need to do to continue to get better, yeah, I want to work on stuff tomorrow if could. That’s just the way I think and that’s how I am. I’m a hard worker and I like to do things the right way the first time. I don’t want me being a rookie as the excuse of my head spinning or anything. I want to do what I can to prepare myself, especially for training camp, and come in and be that immediate-impact player.”

Q: What are your plans for the next month?

Mack: “For the next month, I’m obviously going to go home to Florida for a little while and spend some time with my family, but while I’m down there I’m going to be working out, in Orlando probably, with Tom Shaw maybe. Even then, I’m going to be working my techniques and different things that I’ve learned here throughout this time I’ve been here with Coach Bob [Sanders] and JT [Jason Tarver]. Just going over different things, maybe even meeting up with some of the veterans and doing some off the field training.”

Q: How do you feel about the expectation level?

Mack: “That’s a thing that I can’t control. I try to do what I can control, which is work hard, go out there and work hard every day, and show my teammates that I’m here for a reason, and that’s to help win. That’s all I care about. All I can care about is what I can control, and that’s the way I think.”

Q: Do you expect that of yourself, to come in and be a dominant player?

Mack: “I expect myself to come in and do what I can to make an impact on the team, in any way I can. Whether it’s playing on special teams, whether it’s being a pass rusher or whether it’s dropping back in coverage. I want to be able to make an impact on the football game.”

Q: Does that pressure to what you’re doing right now, does it add pressure to every stage along the way?

Mack: “That’s the thing, I’m a relaxed individual. I don’t really think pressure, pressure, pressure. I think more, okay, this is what it is. Work on this and work on that. Just do your job, and this is a job now, and I have to be a professional. There’s no more redshirt, no more baby steps, I have to go out and play football, and that’s what I love to do.”

Q: They’ve lined you up mostly on the strong side, is that what you did a lot in college?

Mack: “Yeah, strong side you can say.”

Q: Tight end side?

Mack: “Yeah, same thing.”

Q: Do you think when you rush the passer, it’s going to be from the weak side?

Mack: “You never know. There’s so many different things that Coach JT likes to do, and blitz is one of them. You could be coming from anywhere on the field.”

Q: Any surprises your first month as a pro football player?

Mack: “Like I told you, I go with the flow. I was surprised today because, I wasn’t late to the meeting just now, but I had to do a quick physical, and I went into the team meeting room and they made me get up there on stage and try to sing something. They caught me off guard with that. Other than that, no big surprises.”

Q: Did you sing?

Mack: “I tried.”

Q: School song or what?

Mack: “I tried. Somebody wanted me to sing R. Kelly and somebody else wanted me to sing Usher.

Q: You didn’t bring your guitar?

Mack: “That’s what I’m saying. I didn’t have any background music, so I couldn’t really do what I wanted to do.”

Q: After this mini-camp, what would you say you’ve become most comfortable with?

Mack: “That’s a good question because I’m not really comfortable yet. I can’t really get comfortable yet, other than the fact that the guys have been great. They’ve embraced me and they’ve been trying to teach me, along with the coaches, and teach me a lot of different things; put me under their wing and show me different things about the game. You could say that’s comfortable, but I don’t like to get comfortable. Not yet.”

Q: A lot of the guys have been talking about how the communication out there is really a lot better than it had been before, do you feel that or is still just a lot of voices coming at you?

Mack: “It’s a lot of voices behind my head right now, trying to figure out what safeties are saying, and you have different calls. It’s a lot of communication, like they said, but you have to listen to the right things while you’re out there and that’s what I’m trying to do right now. I’m trying to break down and assess the game at a fast and a high level like those guys are at right now.”