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Quick Hits: For Defensive End Khalil Mack, The Grind Never Stops

Posted Jun 15, 2017

The Oakland Raiders finished up their last day of Mini-Camp practice Thursday, and won't rejoin until Training Camp in July. Defensive end Khalil Mack will use that time to work.

Defensive End Khalil Mack

Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack has established himself as one of the premier defensive players in the league over the course of his short career. Wednesday, NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus presented Mack with the pro Butkus Award in front of the rest of his teammates, and Thursday afternoon, following the team’s final day of Mandatory Mini-Camp, he shared what it felt like to receive the honor.

Here are the quick hits from his time at the podium:

Mack shared what it felt like to receive the Butkus Award.

“That was amazing, man. I had no clue. Coming in and I was walking passed him and I was like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on here today?’ Then [he was] introduced. Walked in and saw the cameras and I’m like, ‘What’s going on today? Coach got something going on today. I’m thinking we’re going back on the go-karts or something today.’ (laughter) And out of nowhere, they show us highlights and his highlights are crazy. Dick Butkus highlights are crazy. And I’m like, ‘What’s going on today!? We getting a presentation, like what’s going on?’ Out of nowhere he announced it and I was like, ‘What?’ Got up, it was a pleasant surprise man. In college I wanted to win it, and being like I won it now, it’s a surreal thing.”

He talked about this offseason, and how is helped the team grow closer.

“Bringing the team together, camaraderie, timing. I feel like it’s very important just being able to work with all the guys that they bring in and get a feel for what they can do. Just working with new guys and working new stuff and getting better. I feel like it was great for us to see and be amongst that.”

Mack provided input of his first impressions of tight end Jared Cook, running back Marshawn Lynch, and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

“Oh man, they’re great teammates, first of all. They come in, they have great chemistry with all of the other guys already and everybody wants to see everybody do well and get better. You can see that form those guys especially. Marshawn, he’s out there getting on the DBs and getting on the linebackers because he wants to see those guys excel and do well. So, it’s one of those things where they brought a lot of that and we appreciate it.”

No. 52 discussed the impact of defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr., and how his presence affects the defense as a whole.

“That’s the thing, it’s not just me. It’s the whole defense as a whole. We’re excited to see him penetrate and get off that ball and wreak havoc in the backfield. That’s what he does so well and I can’t wait to see him do it.”

While several members of the team will probably spend their break before Training Camp relaxing, Mack will continue to work.

I mean, I was thinking about it today. Everybody’s talking about what they might do, but I doubt it. (laughter) I’m going to stay away from the beach. I grew up in Florida, I had 18 years to go out and walk on the sand, the beach sand and stuff. So, I’m over it. (laughter) I’m going to be working.”