A transcript of Raiders rookie linebacker Khalil Mack’s press session with the Bay Area media:
Q: How did it go, first minicamp?
Mack: It went well, it went well. Got some good work in. Productive so far. Learning a lot.
Q: Justin Tuck said he was impressed asking lot of questions . . . something on your mind, making sure you ask veterans?
Mack: No doubt. You have a lot of knowledge out there on the field, a lot of veteran players out there. It’d be dumb for me to not ask questions especially knowing the skill level they play with and they’re pretty much the best in the game when it comes to pass rushing. I have to ask those questions.
Q: Mostly about pass rushing?
Mack: Mostly about pass rushing and playing with my hand down
Q: Coach Allen said yesterday your head was spinning and that’s a good thing, throwing a lot at you until they narrow it down . . how do you feel mentally?
Mack: It’s a challenge. It’s a challenge. I’m open to the challenge. I’m trying to go out there every day and work on something they want me to work on and get better at it and try not to make the same mistake. That’s my biggest thing. I try to go out there and do what I can to make plays and be in the right position. That’s pretty much all they’re trying to do, put me in position to make plays and I’m thankful for that part.
Q: when you were drafted, you said you wish you could go on the field tomorrow. Now that this camp concluded, do you look forward to down time or do you still want to go out tomorrow?
Mack: I mean, that’s the thing about me. I want to keep getting better. Now that I know what I need to do to continue to get better. I want to work on stuff tomorrow if I could. That’s just the way I think and that’s how I am. I’m a hard worker and I like to do things the right way the first time. I don’t want me being a rookie as the excuse, that my head’s spinning or anything like that. So I want to do what I can to prepare myself, especially for training camp and be that immediate impact player.
Q: Plans for next month . .
Mack: For the next month, I’m obviously going to go home to Florida for a little while and spend some time with my family while I’m down there. But I’m obviously going to be working out with Tom Shaw maybe. But even then I’m going to be working my techniques and different things that I learned here throughout this time I’ve been here with coach Bob and JT, and just going over different things, and maybe even meeting up with some of the veterans and doing some off-the-field training.
Q: A lot of people are eager to see you in pads, veteran player impressed by you so far, coach Allen mentioned Von Miller as guy compared you to. How do you feel about the expectation level, that people expecting you to come in and be a dominant player right off the bat?
Mack: There’s things I can control. I try to do what I can control, which is work hard, try and go out and work hard every day and show my teammates that I’m here for a reason and that’s to help win and that’s all I care about. I care about what I can control and that’s what I think.
Q: Do you expect of yourself, to be dominant right away?
Mack: I expect to come in and do what I can to make an impact on the team in any way I can, whether it’s playing on special teams, whether it’s being a pass rusher, whether it’s dropping back in coverage. I want to be able to make an impact on the football game.
Q: Does it add pressure to what you’re doing right now, that your own team wants an immediate impact, does it add pressure to every stage along the way . . .
Mack: That’s the thing. I’m a relaxed individual. I don’t really think pressure, pressure, pressure. I think more, OK, this is what it is, work on this, work on that, and just do your job and this is a job now and I have to be professional. No more red-shirting, no more baby steps. I’ve got to go out and play football, and that’s what I love to do.
Q: Strong side is that what you did a lot in college?
Mack: Yeah, strong side, you could say. You could say strong side.
Q: Tight end side . . .
Mack: Yeah, yeah, tight end side.
Q: When you rush passer weak side?
Mack: You never know. You never know. There are so many different things coach JT likes to do, and blitz is one of them. You could be coming from anywhere on the field.
Q: Any surprises in first month?
Mack: Surprises in what regard?
Q: Practices, meetings, people approaching you weren’t ready for?
Mack: Like I told you, I go with the flow, man. I was surprised today. I wasn’t late to the meeting just now but I had to do like a physical. I had to do a quick physical, and I went to the team meeting room and they made me get up on stage and try to sing something. They caught me off guard with that. But other than that, no big surprises.
Mack: I tried.
Q: What did you sing?
Mack: Somebody wanted me to sing R. Kelly and somebody else wanted me to sing Usher.
Q: Didn’t bring guitar along?
Mack: That’s what I’m saying, I didn’t have the background so I couldn’t really do what I wanted to do.
Q: After first minicamp, what have you become most comfortable with?
Mack: I mean, that’s a good question because I’m not really comfortable yet. I can’t really get comfortable yet other than the fact that the guys have been great. They’ve embraced me, and they’ve been trying to teach me along with the coaches, and put me under their wing and show me different things about the game. You could say that’s comfortable but I don’t like to get comfortable. Not yet.
Q: Communication improved, can you feel that or at this point just a lot of voices?
Mack: It’s a lot of voices behind my head right now, trying to figure out what safeties are saying and you’ve got different calls. It’s a lot of communication, but you’ve got to listen to the right things and that’s what I’m trying to do right now. I’m trying to break down and assess the game at a high level like those guys are right now.