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Khalil Mack senses urgency: Bears 'gotta win now'

No one would define Khalil Mack as an old man, but the Chicago Bears' pass-rushing bully spoke like a man with urgency to win it all before it's too late.

"Absolutely," Mack said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. "You've gotta win. Gotta win now."

Mack is only 28 and enters just his sixth NFL season. The dynamo could have another decade in the league depending on how life breaks. Yet, the sage, blunt defender said he learned from former veteran teammates Charles Woodson and Justin Tuck early in his Raiders tenure how quickly a career can slip away without winning if you're not urgent.

"You're running out of time, man," Mack said. "All these older dudes let us know at an early point in my career, man, we ain't got no time to waste."

In Mack's four years in Oakland, the Raiders enjoyed one winning season. The All-Pro pass rusher earned the second playoff bid in his career with the 12-4 Bears in 2018. Mack's teams lost both post playoff games.

The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, three-time All-Pro, and four-time Pro Bowler isn't close to the back nine of his career, but that doesn't mean his urgency is fabricated. And it certainly rubs off on other players, even the offense.

"It helps you get better," running back Mike Davis said. "You're not going to see another guy like Khalil Mack out on the field. He's making us better."

The Bears came up short last season in the postseason. Mack fears a future where he's known as a great player who was always on teams that failed in the big spot.

The quarterback-disrupter knows in order to get to where he wants to go, he'll need teammates similarly committed to the cause.

"That's what it's all about," Mack said. "This game is all about making everybody around you great, not so much about making myself great."

Talent combined with urgency to win makes for great players. Whether Mack can help make the Bears a great team depends on whether his teammates buy into that sense of urgency and perform with that earnestness for 16 weeks from September through December.

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