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Khalil Mack’s “head spinning,” but he’s enjoying the challenge


One of the things that scouts loved about linebacker Khalil Mack heading into the draft was that he was a versatile enough player to fit into the defensive scheme of any team that wound up selecting him in the first round.

The Raiders were the team that got Mack with the fifth overall selection and they spent a lot of time this offseason putting Mack into different positions to see how he’ll be most effective.

“We’ve got his head spinning right now,” coach Dennis Allen said, via Scott Bair of “That’s a good thing. We’re going to try to throw as much at him as we can throughout the rest of this offseason and really even into the early part of training camp, and then at some point we’ll settle down to the things that we can execute as a team and execute at a high level.”

Mack admits to being overloaded with information right now, but says he doesn’t feel bothered by it because there are “no more baby steps” once you get to the professional level and he knows that the Raiders are trying to find the right formula to put a winning team on the field.

“It’s a challenge, and I’m open to the challenge,” Mack said. “I’m trying to go out there every day and work on something that they want me to work on, and get better at it. And try not to make the same mistakes. 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 all they’re trying to do, to put me in the right position to make plays. I’m thankful for that.”

No single player can fix every flaw all by himself, but he can lift the players around him if he plays at a high enough level. The Raiders and plenty of others think that Mack can be that kind of player and being flexible with how to deploy him should help him fulfill those expectations.

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24 Responses to “Khalil Mack’s “head spinning,” but he’s enjoying the challenge”
  1. JSpicoli says: Jun 22, 2014 11:31 AM

    I can’t wait to see him play this out on the field. Everything sounds very positive.

    I don’t trust the coach though. Defensive coach or not, he shows the innovation of a Dodo bird.

  2. bornahawker says: Jun 22, 2014 11:37 AM

    Crush Manning!
    Go Hawks!

  3. daneraider1 says: Jun 22, 2014 11:38 AM

    AFC west QB’s gonna get S-MACKED!

  4. hanspard says: Jun 22, 2014 11:46 AM

    Thank God the Jags took Bortles and pushed Mack down to us. I celebrated as much as any Jags fan when that pick came in.

  5. socalraider909 says: Jun 22, 2014 11:55 AM

    its been a while since I’ve been this anxious for the season to start Reggie has had a great off-season/draft cant wait to see Mack & Tuck

  6. slickdadick11 says: Jun 22, 2014 12:01 PM

    The best defensive player N that whole draft… The kid is relentless,I don’t know how N the hell he drop 2 the 5th pick…smh. JT is going 2 have him terrorizing QBs.. I can’t wait! RAIDERS!!!!!

  7. jagsfanugh says: Jun 22, 2014 12:08 PM

    Dude is going to be a dominate force for years IMO.

  8. gojags says: Jun 22, 2014 12:11 PM

    Dwight Freeney 2.0

  9. donchscks says: Jun 22, 2014 12:17 PM

    Let’s not over-complicate this DA, the 5th overall pick needs to get to the QB.

  10. 4grammarpolice says: Jun 22, 2014 12:19 PM

    It’s because of Khalil Mack that Sio Moore will have 12 sacks this season.

  11. raiderapologist says: Jun 22, 2014 12:23 PM

    They might be moving him around this summer, but he’s already bumped Sio Moore to the weak side, so we know where he’ll be when the season starts.

  12. nativeraider says: Jun 22, 2014 12:29 PM

    I wanna see if the RAIDERS use more 3-4 this year. They can blitz Mack Moore and have Burris as the other LB or put Woodley in the LB spot too.

  13. scrotiemcb says: Jun 22, 2014 12:43 PM

    You have three things in life you can count on: Death, Taxes, and the Raiders finding the guy in the first round who will bust.

    Sorry, K Mack. You didn’t deserve it.

  14. radrntn says: Jun 22, 2014 12:47 PM

    there is no doubt the raiders have the personnel to play 4-3, or 3-4 with McGee, or Ellis rotation. For me biggest questions marks are Menelik Watson, and DJ Hayden….Also looking forward to seeing a healthy T.Branch playing with C-wood this year.

    Go Raiders!

  15. r502 says: Jun 22, 2014 1:08 PM

    Contrast Mack’s desire to learn and seek advice from veterans like Tuck and Woodley to Clowney’s take that he might be ready by camp after sports hernia surgery. Houston is about to find out what busting out is all about. Ask Raider fans, they have seen plenty of it over the past 12 years. Not this time, Mack will be a real player. With Clowney, it will always be something that prevents him from being a winner.

  16. 6ball says: Jun 22, 2014 1:15 PM

    I’m sure he can handle the pass rush situation, but in the NFL you have coverage responsibilities also. That’s more difficult for young LBs to master.

  17. philvil41 says: Jun 22, 2014 1:24 PM

    Mack = DROY. Mark it down.

  18. justwinbaby29 says: Jun 22, 2014 1:29 PM

    The worm is turning for the better for the Raiders. I expect 8-8 in 2014 and postseason in 2015 (with likely 14 teams with expansion).

    Mack will have double digits sacks. Print it.

  19. slick50ks says: Jun 22, 2014 7:12 PM

    We’ll always wonder what he could have been had anyone but the fade drafted him.

  20. raiderapologist says: Jun 22, 2014 7:57 PM

    slick50ks says: Jun 22, 2014 7:12 PM

    We’ll always wonder what he could have been had anyone but the fade drafted him.
    Over here, we still wonder why the Chokes burned the first pick last year on Eric Fisher.

  21. enigma2742 says: Jun 22, 2014 11:13 PM


  22. slick50ks says: Jun 23, 2014 7:21 AM

    raiderapologist says:
    Jun 22, 2014 7:57 PM
    slick50ks says: Jun 22, 2014 7:12 PM

    We’ll always wonder what he could have been had anyone but the fade drafted him.
    Over here, we still wonder why the Chokes burned the first pick last year on Eric Fisher.


    You’ll find out how important LT is while we’re racking up another double digit sack total in ONE game against your joke of an o-line again this year.

  23. araidersfan says: Jun 23, 2014 11:31 AM


    I’ll venture to say that I think that the chefs’ record last year was a fluke (they certainly tailed off towards the end of the season, not to mention the playoffs).

    I think their 2014 record will be somewhere between their 2012 2-14 mark and last year’s 11-5 record. In other words, I’m predicting that the chefs will finish 6-10/7-9 which may be good enough for the division cellar.

  24. natelan says: Jun 24, 2014 10:54 PM

    So he’s not good enough to fit right in, is what I got out of this post.


    Raiders suck.

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