The newest member of the Raiders linebacking corps is Curtis Lofton. The veteran middle linebacker was signed as a free agent after being released by the Saints. This week he hit the practice field for the first time for his new team, but has been observing his linebacker teammates the past month. Over that time, he has formed a very high opinion of second year linebacker Khalil Mack.
"Monster," Lofton said emphatically. "I mean, he's young, he's got so much more. I'm really impressed with him. He comes in every day to work. He studies and goes out there and executes it on the football field. Some guys out there have a good year that first year as rookies and then they kinda, you know, are Mr Joe Cool, and that's not him, he comes to work every single day."
Lofton had an impressive 145 tackles last season for the Saints and has averaged 128 combined tackles over seven seasons as a fulltime starter with the Falcons and Saints. So, when he is found shaking his head in amazement about a teammate, it means something.
Mack has gotten a quite a bit of positive mention this offseason. It seems as if the more the rest of the NFL study his rookie season, the more they like. Lofton is getting that experience intimately.