Raiders rookie linebacker Khalil Mack unconcerned about great expectations and is looking forward to training camp


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.

Q: Sing?

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.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • J Hill

    So are we going to hire Marc Jackson too?

    Allegedly, LeBron would like to play for Jackson.


    Co-rookies of the year.

  • Dakota

    Sure, if that is what it took lol.

  • Dakota

    …….mind blowingly awesome!

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    would that mean contract extensions for DA & Shob, then?

  • J Hill

    Schaub is going to the pro bowl, bruh.

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    Carr & Mack = ROY?? no love for Gabe Faneca or Vince McGill ??

  • J Hill

    Schaub will start for 2 years.

  • J Hill

    So what is the team going to look like with Bosh as the center piece?

  • Dakota

    Norm van brocklin/sonny Jurgensen situation?

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    just saying … if the guy leads our pathetic team to the playoffs there is almost no reason NOT to hold out for a new deal. next year he’s due to make $5 mil (peanuts) none guaranteed

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    big 3 returning, Carmelo makes it Big 4

  • J Hill

    Hold out???


  • They would be a worse team then last year if that happens.
    They would be better off adding Iman Shumpert or Tim Hardaway Jr. from the Knicks.
    At least they run the floor, move the ball, and especially PLAY DEFENSE.

  • J Hill

    Carmelo is not going to Miami for the mid level exception.

    Stop it.

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan


  • Dakota

    Melo? Lmao…..are wade and bosh going to give up all their money for that?

  • J Hill

    Bosh would have to opt out and then resign.

    You think his agent is that stupid?

    Miami would give Bosh’s $ to someone else and tell him “sorry”.

  • Or Klay leaves after next year when his contract is up, Love goes elsewhere, and Minny drafts future All-Star Aaron Gordon with the #7 pick.

  • J Hill

    Carr would be the starter.

  • Well thank gawd for that, Barnes is a stiff.

  • Dakota

    Vegas, what do you think of the warriors plan to revitalize the lakers? Thompson to the lakers, 7th pick to minny for love, and then love plays one year in GS and then signs with the lakers as a free agent. Gotta love it!

  • J Hill

    Klay leaves where after next year?

  • He is going to be a FA and go to the highest bidder, whatever team he is on this year.
    But he will want to move as far away as Kobe as possible.

  • J Hill

    Love is not part of the Laker plan.

    I know HE wants to be here. But WE don’t want him and his no defense arsse.

  • Seems pretty stupid for the Lakers, to give up the #7 pick with all kinds of future all-starts available in one of the best drafts in years, to get a guy like Klay Thompson who is purely a system fit, will never make an All-star team, plays the same position as Kobe, and is a FA at year end.

  • Dakota

    No defense? What are we, the 1990s pistons?

  • willy91137

    the rookies I am looking forward to seeing them play this year CB Magill & S Downing

  • J Hill

    He’s know and loved Kobe 2/3 of his life.

    Are you friggin kidding me???

  • Dakota

    Wait, you have previously stated that this draft is one of the most overrated in history…..

  • J Hill

    Kobe MIGHT play 1 more year.

    And he will be playing PG if/when he comes back.

  • Top of the draft is. Wiggins, Embid, Axom, Randle will not live up to the hype.
    Parker is a stud, Gordon is the next Amare, Napier will play 12 years in the league, Cleanthony Early is a potential All-Star.
    This is an incredibly deep draft. The notion of tanking for Wiggins or Embid was ridiculous.

  • He’s under contract for 2.
    LMAO at PG

  • marks hair

    2 yr not at point.

  • J Hill

    No, but Dantoio isn’t coaching here anymore either.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist


  • marks hair

    Thompson would be a good offensive fit . But bad for the D. And he wouldn’t be enough for the 7th pick imo.
    we might be able to sign him as a free agent soon enough.

  • Dakota

    He should play pg…..imagine the legend he would create if he played well at pg in the twilight of his career!

  • J Hill

    Kobe was getting 8-9 assts per game when he got hurt last season.

    Kobe, Klay, and Lebron is what you need to focus on.

    Those 3 CERTAINLY blend together.

  • Dakota

    Thank god!

  • J Hill

    He’s about to get his Magic impersonation on to finish his career.

  • marks hair

    LeBron will only go to a championship lock team… he’s kind of a bítch

  • J Hill

    I agree with your take on his personality.

    If the Lakers get Klay and hire Marc Jackson, that roster is way better than what Miami has.

  • marks hair

    Id probably be able to jump on that bandwagon



  • willy91137

    which will come first we will get a new stadium or DA gets fired

  • J Hill

    You are thinking about this from the wrong angle.

    The Lakers might be trying to figure out how to get LeBron here.

    1st step would be a coach he wants to play for = Mark Jackson.

    Mark Jackson LOVES Klay Thompson.

    Mark Jackson can talk to LeBron right now.

    This could be THERE plan.

  • Blackholepriest

    Klay T happens to be one the better perimeter defenders in the NBA.


    the latter, unless he coaches for ten more years.

  • marks hair

    While that does sound like a Laker move,.. I haven’t heard any news on the march Jackson front at all..