Oakland Raiders 2015 Preview: Playmakers forming defensive identity

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August 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) during the second quarter in a preseason NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals at O.co Coliseum. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack was criticized last year by some for his lack of sacks while he was the best 4-3 outside linebacker. But from my view, Mack was the best at what he was asked to do by the coaches. Outside linebackers the play in a 4-3 on teams that hardly ever blitz don’t get a chance to a lot of sacks.

But now, Mack is rushing off the edge from his hybrid Leo position nearly every play so he has opportunities. He can wreak havoc on opposing offenses because his job now is to get in the backfield. The Cardinals offense only scored three points on the Raiders D when Mack was in the game because Mack controlled the game.

He had two sacks, a tackle for a loss in which he forced a fumble and four quarterback hurries. And his hurries turned into either incompletions, interceptions or a sacks for one of his teammates. Mack has been a dominant player from day one but the way he’s being used now will make it count more.

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