Oakland Raiders identity starting to show

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December 21, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Bills 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Dominant Edge-Rusher

The first thing Del Rio and Norton did is put 2014 No. 5 overall Khalil Mack in the Leo position. For those that don’t know, the Leo is a hybrid DE/OLB whose primary job is to rush the passer. Mack detractors were down on him because of his sack numbers but that wasn’t his role last year as a 4-3 OLB.

There were times, like when the Raiders played the New England Patriots last year, that he Mack got to rush the passer a lot. He didn’t have a sack in the game but he single-handedly kept the game close. Mack took control of that game on defense by hitting quarterback Tom Brady and setting a hard edge.

And that’s what we saw Friday as he had what looked like a piece of a sack and a pressure that led to one. The one’s weren’t in very long but when Mack was out there, he couldn’t be blocked. So the 2014 Top-100 football player will go from dominant 4-3 OLB in 2014 to dominant edge-rusher in 2015.

Next: Offensive Coordinator