The Raiders coaches and players have done nothing but sing praises of 2014 fifth-overall selection Khalil Mack. However, fans are grumbling that he’s not done enough. The coaches have continued to stick by their man.
“I guess people are worried about it. I’m not worried about it. I think he’s going to be a really good player for us,” said head coach Dennis Allen, who said he expects the Buffalo product to make an instant impact in the regular season.
Luckily for the Raiders and the their fans, Mack doesn’t like being wrong. It’s what motivates him to improve. So it would come as great surprise if his struggles continued.
“Khalil got better from Week 1 to Week 2,” defensive coordinated Jason Tarver said. “A lot was made that he didn’t hit the stat line, but he had solid edges, he worked with the guys well and we continued to give him more reps. I really like Khalil in that when he makes a mistake, he learns from it. He doesn’t like being wrong. He’s had very few major mental errors as we’ve gone through, which is going to create more opportunities for him to make plays. He works with the veterans well. So I’d say Khalil is right on pace with where we need him to be. He was better in the little things in coverage last week, definitely. There just wasn’t as much to his side of the field.”
Perhaps it’s a good sign that there wasn’t a ton of activity coming his way — it could mean offenses were sending the ball away from him. Good linebackers, however, find their way to the ball one way or another. Mack should be no exception. Still, the Raiders aren’t sheltering Mack. They’re going to continue to throw it all at him.
“Yeah, he’s still a rookie and there are still a lot of things that he has to learn and every day is a new learning experience for him, but he’s continuing to get better. We’re going to increase his role and do some different things with him.”