“Greatest NFL writer alive” Peter King (Seriously, Peter King is the best in the NFL writing game) is off on a month’s vacation so his weekly “Monday Morning Quarterback” column has needed a guest writer. A spot that literally could have went to anyone, and a column that is one of the most popular on the internet each Monday making it hard for anybody King asks to guest write to turn down as it is quite the honor to replace the MMQB for a week.
That honor went to the Raiders fifth overall pick Khalil Mack this Monday, who told his story of how he went from a promising pass rusher at a small school in the University of Buffalo to one of the most highly touted prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft on MMQB.com this morning.
Mack was the third writer to guest write MMQB while King has been on his summer vacation, the first writer was Niners tight end Vernon Davis before Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman shared his CFL experiences during “Canada Week” last Monday. With Rich Eisen being the final guest writer of King’s month long vacation/hiatus, Mack made a guest writer list that has quite a few accomplishments among them which is quite the praise for the rookie.
After talking about his experiences in playing at the University of Buffalo, the NFL combine and his experiences so far as a rookie, Mack even wrote “10 Things I Think I Think” where he talked about what he has learned from Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley during OTA’s and Minicamp practices.
An excerpt from Mack’s MMQB column:
1. I think I’m at my best as a wild card on defense, being used at multiple spots on the field, as strange as that might sound. That’s what the team has laid out for me, and I think that will be a good thing. I like the idea of being the guy other teams have to look out for.
2. I think I’m still figuring out which pass-rush moves will be most effective in the NFL. I usually use a dip-and-rip off the edge, and it’s pretty effective, but at the same time I have been learning a lot from Tuck and Woodley since I got to Oakland. I have a long arm that I think will be effective as well. We’ll see when we get into pads. But I have to be careful what I say for my opponents who might read this.
3. I think Tuck makes rushing the passer look easy, and he’s helping me get there. He told me I need to work on using my hands off the edge, because if I don’t, I’m making it a lot harder for myself than it needs to be. That’s what I was working on from that day on, and I think it was helping. I’m going to try to meet up with him during the break before training camp to keep working.
4. I think I want to cover tight ends like Woodley does. He was telling me that he had success on tight ends by just bullying them. “Are you strong enough to bully them?” he asked me. I told him, “I’m strong enough to bully them.” He said instead of using finesse coverage, he just beats them up. I can do the same thing.
Mack’s column was impressively well written, and it is a must read for any Raiders fan this Monday. It was extremely interesting to learn about Mack’s mindset as well as his goals as a player heading into his rookie season. After the Raiders last “can’t miss” linebacker in the draft turned out to be anything but an ideal player (Looking at you, Rolando) Mack’s attitude towards being a professional is a breath of fresh air that should have Raider Nation optimistic for the future. Wanting to become a complete linebacker and having no problems letting that be known, the future looks bright for the well spoken and already professional Mack in the NFL.