Raiders' Khalil Mack to rush QB on nearly every play


Khalil Mack's sensational rookie season placed him in the upper echelon of 4-3 outside linebackers.

The new Oakland Raiders coaching staff isn't pigeonholing their stud playmakers, however.

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Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area reports Mack has been working "a ton" at defensive end during training camp in base and sub packages.

Whether or not they change Mack's roster designation from linebacker to defensive end, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport notes that at the very least the Raiders plan on unleashing Mack after the quarterback on nearly every play.

"He's pretty dog-gone good getting after the quarterback," general manager Reggie McKenzie said before Monday's practice. "He's really good going forward, and it's an opportunity to do a lot of different things with him. They're going to use Khalil in all kinds of ways. That's the way it should be.

"He's a dominant defensive player, so you want to let him do what he does best. We'll move him around and play him at different spots. That was the outlook for the defensive staff this offseason, was to put him in position to make plays."

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Mack earned just four sacks in 2014, but compiled 52 quarterback pressures. The Raiders plan to increase those numbers by leaps and bounds in 2015.

It will be interesting to see how coach Jack Del Rio deploys Mack during the preseason. The coach compared the young Mack to a more powerful Von Miller, whom he coached in Denver. Last season Mack dropped in coverage on 75 of his 514 passing downs -- for comparison Miller dropped back 108 out of 593, per Pro Football Focus.

All indications are that Mack's snaps in coverage will dwindle significantly. Given what his game tape showed last year, that'll be bad news for opposing quarterbacks.

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