Defensive End Khalil Mack
The Oakland Raiders completed their first official practice of Training Camp 2017 Saturday afternoon, and reigning AP Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack seemed thrilled to be back on the field. Mack is entering his fourth season in the NFL, and is looking to continue his progression as one of the best pass-rushers in the league. Following practice, he took the podium to speak with reporters about a productive first day.
Here are the quick hits from his media session:
Mack spoke briefly about what it's like seeing alumni of the team come out to Napa Valley for training camp.
"It's always great to see those guys, and be amongst them, and learn from them. Glad to see them every time they're here."
Hall of Famer Howie Long said Mack has yet to reach his full potential, but as good as he already is, No. 52 feels like he needs to accomplish more.
"It speaks volumes when you hear from a guy like that, but just the mindset I have in general I'm not even on… What'd he say? Level four? Level three? Yeah, I'm not even that close yet. I'm just out here trying to get better every day."
After recently attending Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller's summit in San Francisco, Mack reflected on what it was like to be there.
"It was dope, man. I thought at first it was going to be something for the kids out this way in San Francisco, but when I got there it was only NFL guys, and I was like, 'what's going on?' And he was like, 'bro, we came here to get some work.' Luckily I had my cleats and I was like, 'alright, cool.' It was good though, man. Got a lot of great information from Demarcus Ware and all the other guys that were there, and it was something that helped me."
**With the rookies now in the fold, he's taken notice of former Wake Forest linebacker Marquel Lee, and is anxious to see him play.
"I mean, I wouldn't say in regards to me, because it's a whole different kind of perspective, and whole different kind of position. But at the same time he's a hell of a player, I can see it already. He has that juice in him, you know what I'm saying? It's something that I kind of talk to him here and there just to see where his mind's at, but it's something we'll figure out throughout the camp. When we put the pads on, that's when you can really figure out what type of player you're dealing with."
Mack touched on what's next for the Raiders defense in the coming weeks.
"The next step is what you see now: training camp, coming out here, getting the camaraderie right, getting the cohesiveness together, getting everybody on the same page. You got everybody believing in one thing, and focusing on one thing, and trying to achieve one thing, and focusing on that, it'll be sky's the limit."