Khalil Mack addressed the media Monday, the day before the offseason program officially starts for the Oakland Raiders at their Alameda, Calif., practice facility.
The second-year linebacker spoke about several topics ranging from his offseason schedule to his excitement about getting back to work in 2015, but here are some takeaways from his time behind the microphone.
I. Reviewing the tape from 2014.
"You have to look at in totality, like you said. You have to look at everything you did on film, different things throughout the year that you see you see in certain games that guys use against you. You have to go back and look at all that stuff and progress and take it forward from there."
II. Looking forward to playing under new defensive coordinator, Ken Norton, Jr.
Ken Norton, Jr. joins the Raiders as defensive coordinator after spending the past five seasons as the linebackers coach with the Seattle Seahawks. The three-time Super Bowl Champion spent 13 seasons playing in the NFL and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
"These coaches are excited, as well as I am and I'm ready to go out and play ball right now, for real. You can sense it. You can sense it as a player that he's [Norton, Jr.] excited and he's a competitor. You almost can feel that intensity that you can feel on the defense when you're out there and it's fourth down and you have a guy like that out there. It can only help."
III. Realizing the importance of going through a full offseason program.
The 2015 offseason marks the first time in his professional career that the former Buffalo Bull will have the benefit of going through a full offseason program, and heading into year two, Mack knows that taking advantage of his time at the practice facility will be crucial for his success going forward.
"It's going to be very important, especially from the approach of knowing the things you can get better at this season and knowing what you didn't do so well last season. It's going to be very important for me as a player, progressing forward."
IV. He won't miss running a 40 though.
A year ago Mack was spending his days training for the NFL Scouting Combine and the array of drills that go along with it, including the bench press and the shuttle drill. One thing he won't miss about that time in his career though? Running the 40-yard dash.
"It's exciting knowing that you can just get what you need to do instead of running 40s all the time. You have guys you can race against and all those different things to keep that competitive nature, but knowing that it's more important to turn that edge and try to sack the quarterback and focus on that, that's exciting."
On a side note, QB Derek Carr popped his head in the media room during Mack's presser and asked the linebacker who was faster. Mack said they would settle the dispute Tuesday.
V. Looking forward to meeting the newest members of the Raiders linebacker corps.
The next time Mack sits in a meeting with his fellow linebackers he will see some new faces in the classroom. The Raiders have been active in free agency, bolstering depth to the position by signing LB Curtis Lofton and former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith.
"You can sense it from the guys upstairs, they told me about Curtis [Lofton] and how he's a vibrant guy, how he's a leader and how he affects the defense with his tenacity and his motor. Like you said, Malcolm [Smith] and all those guys, I haven't really spoken with them, but from seeing their work and how they play, it should be a good thing that they're on this defense."
VI. Trust in General Manager Reggie McKenzie's draft plan.
The NFL Draft is under a month away and there is a lot of speculation about what the Raiders will do with the fourth overall pick. Mack, however, won't be spending too much time listening to the outside noise about what needs the Silver and Black will address through the draft, and is instead looking forward to welcoming his new teammates.
"I don't like to deal within that too much. I know [General Manager] Reggie [McKenzie] is cooking up something and he doesn't tell anybody what's going on. We'll see. We'll see."