clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Key Raiders training camp match-up: Kolton Miller vs Khalil Mack

New, comments

Kolton Miller vs Khalil Mack will say a lot about the Oakland Raiders’ present and future.

NFL: Oakland Raiders Rookie Minicamp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Left tackle Donald Penn as a free agent and Khalil Mack as a 1st-round pick were new to the Oakland Raiders in 2014. And from the time they got together for their first training camp, they’ve had battles that have been described as epic.

“If he tries a move and I stop it, he asks me what I saw, what I’m looking for. If he does get me with a move, he asks me how it worked. Penn told SI back in 2015. “We just go back and forth. We tally it up at the end of practice in the locker room. We have fun with it. We talk a lot of trash with it. He’s getting better and better everyday. He’s practicing the moves on me, I see him improving but I can’t let him win all the time.”

This ‘iron sharpening iron’ no doubt helped Penn to be named to Pro Bowls in 2016 and 2017 after not going since 2010 while Mack earned three Pro Bowls, two All-Pros and an NFL Defensive Player of the year in his first four years. Now, it’s time for Mack to sharpen some new iron in 2018 1st-round pick Kolton Miller and get him ready for the NFL.

To keep it 100, the most important thing about Miller vs Mack in camp is it means Mack is in camp. Now is not the time for him to miss camp with the new help he has on the defensive line. As for Miller, giving Mack a good battle in camp could mean he’s ready to play, which would justify his draft status and prove offensive line coach Tom Cable right.

“I think two things, how he’s looked so far. One, it’s not too big for him. He’s looked just fine. He’s kind of put an exclamation point on our choosing of him,” Cable said of Miller at minicamp. “What I saw in him was a lot of really good characteristics of a left tackle. He’s very athletic. He’s very smart. For a tall kid, he can really bend. I think that’s really important. Everybody, you worry when they get too tall sometimes. The guy can unfold, as we say. He has a quiet toughness to him that I think has really shown up a lot. His consistency already as a young player in spring football has been amazing. We’ll get to camp. We’ll really kind of dial it in and get him competing when it’s combative and those sort of things. But like the guy, like the pick”

If Mack is in camp and he competes well with him, he’ll love the guy and love the pick.