The next step in the off-season for the Raiders has arrived - Training camp. After OTA's and minicamps in which there is no pads and no contact, very soon they will be putting on pads again. And few Raiders are more excited about it than rookie first round pick, Khalil Mack.
"I'm very excited, very excited," Mack said of his first NFL training camp. "Just putting on pads and getting a feel for the game again, you know. It's been probably like six months [inaudible] get back on the field."
Pads won't go on immediately but the day is coming. The Raiders are allowed to put on pads after the third day. That's when it really gets interesting.
But even as anxious as the fifth overall pick linebacker is, his demeanor is the same as it always is.
"I don't know. I don't want to say I'm calm but I'm just relaxed and laid back," Mack added. "I'm looking forward to the process, taking it day by day. All of this - the media stuff is new to me but - football I've been playing it for a while and this is what I love to do."
This is obviously the huge milestone for Mack. The last major milestone he had was when he signed on to play at University of Buffalo. At that time he chose the number 46 because that was his EA Sports NCAA video game rating. He used it as motivation to prove his doubters wrong.
Just the other day, he received his Madden NFL 2015 rating. He got an 81 rating which was the third best rating of all the rookies. But he still plans on trying to outdo it.
"That's exciting too but even then I'm looking forward to getting better, better than the 81." Said Mack.
He can't wear the number he was given because only receivers are allowed to have numbers in the ‘80s. He knows this, I know this. But his response to me asking about it was pretty funny none the less.
"I don't think you can do that. I don't think you can wear 81. If I could I would, probably. You never know."
I don't really think he needs to have it on his chest to be motivated to outdo it.