Organized Team Activities for the Oakland Raiders kicked off today at the team headquarters in Alameda, California, meanwhile superstar linebacker Khalil Mack sat down for a few minutes with reporters and offered his thoughts on everything Raiders.
"We can be so much better."
– @52Mack_ talks with the media on opening day of the Offseason Workout Program
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) April 17, 2017
“It’s exciting, you look at what we did, but we could be so much better.”
-Khalil Mack briefly reflecting on last season
Having won the Defensive Player of the Year award in conjunction with a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2002; Mack finds last season’s success both humbling and motivating. Mack, ever the workaholic, acknowledged squeezing in two off days at the behest of his mom. When reflecting on the current pinnacle of his career, Mack would explain just what it meant to him.
“It meant a lot to me and my family. It’s a testament to hard work, not only those coaches, players my teammates. Everybody took part in that it wasn’t just me. It’s a big deal.”
Mack is very team oriented, making him the perfect leader of the defense and an elder statesman for the team. His dedication to the team’s success and willingness to “tow the company line” is refreshing in an era of “me first” players. Mack touched briefly on how much the loss of Mario Edwards Jr. meant to the season, calling Edwards a “special player” capable of doing special things.
Has Mack gotten got by Marshawn Lynch? With nothing but praise and admiration for the physicality of Oakland’s finest; Mack recalled a moment when he experienced it first-hand.
“It would be a great treat to have him on the dark side, right now we’re enjoying the grind. My second year they [Seattle Seahawks] ran a power right at me and … I remember that play. He is the most physical I have played against in terms of running back in my short career.”
Throughout the interview, reporters peppered Mack with questions about engaging in physical competitions against the “White Mamba”. In a game of basketball, according to quarterback Derek Carr, Mack was allegedly held scoreless. Carr even mentioned to a reporter that he could beat Mack in a foot race. Eliciting a deep belly laugh from Mack as he set the record straight.
“C’mon when did he say that? Man would y’all tell Derek to quit lying to y’all. Derek is still mad, I’m still mad too, but he doesn’t know it. I went number five. I wanted to go one you know what I’m saying? Why couldn’t I go one?”
The ugly topic of relocation would of course rear its ugly head again as it will serve to be a distraction until the move is completed. Mack responded by saying how weird the situation feels. Players don’t have control over these things and the ultimate focus for the team is to lock in on what has to be done in the now. But acknowledging Raider Nation is everywhere, Mack had this to say. “Every time, wherever I go they show up and they show up big.”
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