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.

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

  1. 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. 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!!!!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. .
    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. @slick50ks:

    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.

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