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Mack Starts First Training Camp as a Pro

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Rookie LB Khalil Mack just started his first training camp and he can't wait to put on the pads and get his first taste of contact.

Q: How was your first practice out there? Was it what you thought it would be or was it faster or was there anything that jumped out at you?

Mack: “Not too much, other than the weather was really nice today, everybody felt that. It was a great day and everybody got better.” 

Q: I know you haven’t had a chance to go full speed yet, but can you give us a difference of college and here, what is the toughest adjustment so far?

Mack: “The toughest adjustment so far, I think the playbook would be one of them, paying attention to detail, the level of detail on this level is at a, yeah, [linebackers] coach Bob [Sanders], he always sets a high standard and he wants you to come out here and get better every day. If there’s something small that you can work on, he wants you to work on that. So, the level of detail and the playbook is a lot different.” 

Q: Can you give yourself a grade for where you’re at right now?

Mack: “I’m starting at the bottom right now, trying to work my way up. I know I’ve got to get a lot better, so I can’t give myself a grade, I know it wouldn’t be too good. But, hopefully I can improve a lot more.” 

Q: Do you have expectations that you put on yourself as a rookie?

Mack: “I’m going to go out and make an impact. Expectations, I want to be the Defensive Rookie of the Year and that’s what I’m going to hold myself to while I’m out there on the field working, and remember that while I’m out there working hard.” 

Q: The expectations on the outside are pretty high. Do you like that, that people expect you to make an immediate impact?

Mack: “It’s easy for me not to think about that, these guys, I know they want me to come in and do what I can, but even then I’m just coming out here working every day, just like everybody else, trying to get better as a football player.” 

Q: How eager are you for Sunday with pads?

Mack: “Pretty eager, pretty eager even though the guys told me it’s going to be a lot faster. But, I just can’t wait. I can’t wait.” 

Q: If you were scouting yourself, what kind of player and linebacker are you?

Mack: “I would say I’m instinctive, play with instincts, play with quickness, thinks and I just try to get to the ball however I can get there, but I want to get there and make sure it’s behind the line of scrimmage.” 

Q: Have you gotten advice from veteran players?

Mack: “That’s been the best part so far, learning from all the veteran guys and getting their advice, especially on days like today. Just getting their feedback, figuring out what I can work on, just communicating with them, on the field and off the field.” 

Q: What’s the most important thing they’ve told you so far?

Mack: “So far I got a little advice from [Justin] Tuck, to use my hands a lot more, make it easier on my pads. He told me I’ve been working against myself and it really does feel like I’ve been working against myself, so that’s been a help, as well as, LaMarr [Woodley] told me about working on tight ends and just being more physical on them instead of trying to finesse them. So, yeah, it’s been things like that that they’ve helped me with and I’m looking forward to keep getting better.” 

Q: Are you asking for that advice or do they see it and come up to you and tell you?

Mack: “Most of the time I’m asking, but even then, they’re looking at certain things and they can tell what I need to improve on. Whenever they see things, they are looking forward to helping me and I appreciate it.”