Khalil Mack says he’ll try — he’ll really try — to make sure his emotions don’t get the best of him Sunday in London when the Chicago Bears face the Oakland Raiders.
But Mack also admits that he wants to make Oakland “pay” for last year, when the Raiders and Jon Gruden shipped him off to another team rather than pay him what he’d earned as one of the NFL’s best pass-rushers.
‘Vindictiveness? I like that word’
Mack met with media on Tuesday, and of course the subject of facing his old team for the first time was a topic.
Via the Chicago Tribune, Mack was asked if there’s a feeling of vindictiveness for him, and he responded with a wide smile.
“Vindictiveness?,” he said. “I like that word. Yeah. I mean, that’s the whole point, man. You can’t play this game with too much emotion, man. Ultimately, I try to stay focused on the task at hand and understanding the situation and understanding what they’re going to be thinking that I feel.
“But ultimately, I’m going to go out there and do what I do. And that’s play football and love the game that I play.”
He is happy to be in Chicago, and said he knows he can’t let his emotions take over.
“Absolutely there’s feelings that you suppress, but it’s also no big deal to me. I’m here. I love the Bears. We’re gonna go out and try to get this win,” Mack said.
‘Make then pay for it’
That doesn’t mean, however, that this is just another game and that he won’t be fueled by his feelings toward the Raiders.
“Yeah, man. You can’t tell?,” Mack said. “You could say I’m suppressing the emotional side, but the other side is to go out and make them pay for it.”
But if you’re looking for chirping, you probably won’t see it from Mack.
“I mean, you could talk all day, man. But I ain’t a talker. I just want to go out and show it. And I’m going to let that be that,” he said.
When the Raiders drafted him at No. 5 in 2014, he thought he’d start and finish his career with the organization.
“That’s the expectation, man,” he said. “When you get drafted to a team, you want to be there for the long haul and bring championships and all those good things. It’s the business side of it that doesn’t really let you do that.”
Mack was traded 13 months ago, with Oakland getting two first-round picks in the exchange; the Bears have gotten 17 sacks and 22 quarterback hits in his first 18 regular-season games in Chicago, and Mack signed a monster $141 million contract.
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