Paul Guenther took over as the Raiders defensive coordinator this offseason and he’s spent the last couple of months installing a new defense.
He’s installed most of a new defense, anyway. One big piece of the puzzle has been left untouched because Khalil Mack has not been in attendance at the team’s voluntary practices as he looks for a contract extension with the team.
Oakland’s voluntary work ends this week and they’ll have a three-day minicamp next week to wrap up the offseason program altogether. Guenther said Tuesday that he doesn’t know if Mack will be taking part, but that he’s going to be well behind the rest of the team whenever he does report to work.
“He’s going to have a lot of catching up to do,” Guenther said, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We’re going to have to have a plan for that, for sure. Really, I’m concerned about the guys that are here now working. These guys have been busting their tails every day — coming in early, meeting with the coaches, being great in the meeting rooms, communicating on the field. We do a lot with one-minute situations today, so it was really good to see.”
As much as Guenther may be focused on the guys who have been there, Mack’s presence would be significant. Guenther called him the centerpiece of the defense when he got the job in January and it’s hard to imagine that view has changed over the last five months even if Mack hasn’t been around the building.