Chicago Bears spoke to the media recently. From what he says, he’ll have a big year and be a big headache for opposing offenses in 2020.
As the offseason progressed we’ve heard from some of the Chicago Bears players and coaches. We hadn’t heard from the best player on the team, however. Well, that was until now.
Linebacker Khalil Mack spoke to the media on zoom last week. He showed how focused he was on having a great season to make up for last year’s disappointing season. He didn’t even take time out from his workout to speak to reporters — he did the session while riding on his Peleton.
Mack didn’t have a bad season in 2019. Yes, the team was disappointing, finishing with a record of 8-8. Mack wasn’t just disappointed with the record, he was disappointed that he didn’t have a usually great Mack season.
Mack finished 2019 with 8.5 sacks, his lowest total since his rookie season. Injuries and poor play contributed to that, though. Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks did a great job of opening up space for Mack. In fact, in the first four games of the season, Mack was on his way to another monster year, recording 4.5 sacks. Then Hicks injured his elbow and only played in one game for the rest of the season. That, and Leonard Floyd‘s failure to play well enough to attract any attention away from Mack caused him to face double and triple teams.
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While his sack totals were down, Mack still was among the leaders in quarterback hurries. That is incredible considering how many bodies he went through on his way to the quarterback.
This season, Hicks got himself healthy and the Bears released Floyd instead of paying him the over $15 million due in 2020. In his place, the Bears signed former All-Pro Robert Quinn. Quinn is someone who will attract some attention, freeing up space for Mack. With Hicks and Quinn helping, opposing teams can’t continually double or triple team him.
Mak knows that and he’s looking forward to having a big season. He heard the whispers about last season being the beginning of his decline and he is anxious to dispel that thinking. So anxious, in fact, that he said “can’t wait” ten times while speaking to the reporters.
The expectations that I have for myself, I definitely didn’t reach last year. So knowing that, I know I’m supposed to pass whatever the expectations were last year for myself and it’s a challenge to myself… I know myself. I know what I’m capable of. And this is gonna be fun, man.
Mack has confidence in his team…or in his defense
How much confidence does Mack have? Well, when reporters asked about the Bears’ quarterback situation, he said it didn’t matter who won the battle, the Bears will win games. If that’s the case, it’ll be the Chicago Bears defense shutting down opposing teams and the offense doing just enough scoring to win games. Mack promises to do his part in making that happen.
It’s good to see a great player like Mack feel unsatisfied despite still having a good season. He made the Pro Bowl but knows it wasn’t his typical season. He’s always searching for greatness and he’s ready to show his critics that he’s still great.