Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., Breaks Down Khalil Mack, Talks Defensive Identity And More

For the second day in a row, defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., was able to see his defense flying around in full pads.

The Silver and Black have Tuesday off, but after Monday's practice the man in charge of the Raiders defense spoke to the media and addressed a multitude of topics, including his initial thoughts from training camp as well as some analysis of linebacker Khalil Mack.

IT'S GOOD TO BE IN NAPA

Norton is beginning his first training camp as an Oakland Raider, and so far he is happy with all that the team's Napa Valley Training Complex has to offer.

"[I'm] really excited. Really like Napa. Really nice town. The team is really working hard and I'm really happy to be here, putting my stamp on this defense and it's been really exciting so far."

HE'S ALL ENERGY ALL THE TIME

Since he was hired as defensive coordinator, Norton has brought the same type of energy to the Raiders defense that he did when he was playing in the NFL.

For him, that's just how he approaches the game.

"I've always patterned my coaching after how I played, and I'm going to approach it that way, with a lot of energy, with a lot of enthusiasm and really enjoy what I do, and it's contagious to my players."

THE WHOLE ROOM IS HIS ROOM

Norton spent the past five seasons as the linebackers coach with the Seattle Seahawks, but now the entire Raiders defense is his responsibility.

It has been an adjustment to make for the former three-time Pro Bowler, but it's an adjustment he's embracing.

"The biggest difference is that I don't have one position to coach. I'm coaching all the positions now. I have the whole group. In the old days it was just the linebackers, now the whole room is my room. The whole room feels who I am, what's important to me, and I'm able to spread myself amongst others."

INTENSITY, INTENSITY, INTENSITY

During his 13-year career as a linebacker, Norton established himself as a player who never lacked for intensity, and he's carried that mentality over to the sidelines.

Norton is hopeful that intensity will rub off on the Raiders defense in 2015.

"Very competitive, smart, tough, enthusiastic, and just playing really hard. I want them to know that we coach effort first. What are they made of? How hard are you playing? When you guys watch them play I want them to jump off the film, that these guys really want it. They're really playing hard."

HE LOVES FOOTBALL

Within minutes of hearing him speak, it's evident that Ken Norton loves his job and loves the game of football.

"I think if you love what you do, it's not work. You just wake up clapping, and you just go to work, and this is what we do. I want to make sure everybody enjoys being here. If you don't enjoy being here you're in the wrong place. We love ball."

THE IMPACT OF LINEBACKER CURTIS LOFTON

Curtis Lofton was signed during free agency this offseason to serve as the middle linebacker for the Raiders defense.

As the quarterback of the Oakland defense, Lofton has a wide variety of responsibilities, and as of now, Norton is pleased with what he has seen from the veteran.

"When you have a former middle linebacker as your coordinator, and a former middle linebacker as your head coach, that position becomes very important. You look at Curtis' background, he's played a lot of football for a long time and hasn't missed any games. He's very, very productive, very smart, knows how to play ball and knows how to run the defense. I'm glad we have him."

TIME TO DEVELOP THE YOUTH IN THE SECONDARY

Norton realizes that the secondary in Oakland is young in 2015, but he's looking forward to seeing their development as training camp progresses.

"We've only been here for a little over a week. The competition is there. The young corners that I've been with in the past, they started out with no one knowing who they were and then all of a sudden they're the stars of the league, and it's a matter of coaching, developing, time, energy, effort and just the whole village raising everybody. I'm real happy with where we are and we still have a long ways to go."

HIGH PRAISE FOR KHALIL MACK

It's no secret how valuable Khalil Mack is to the Raiders defense both in 2015 as well as in the future, and when asked about Mack, Norton couldn't help but gush over the stud linebacker just a little bit.

"Khalil is special. There are a lot of players that might be similar, but he's in a class of his own. [Defensive end] Bruce Irvin in Seattle was similar, but at the same time, Khalil's built. He's athletic. He's talented. He's smart and he's relentless. He's amazing and he's the type of guy that you want to surround him with good football players."

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