Khalil Mack adjusts to life with the Chicago Bears
LAKE FOREST – For a franchise stuck in a playoff drought close to a decade old, “Where Were You” moments don’t really exist.
Saturday morning was an exception.
Many on the Bears were asked to describe the moment that they found out that one of the best defenders in the NFL was coming to the team via a trade just a week before the season. It came as a surprise to many, and when it was confirmed, it was met with joy.
That was the process for Mitchell Trubisky, when his rare day to sleep in on Saturday was interrupted by the good news by his mother.
“Someone came in my room and was like ‘You guys just got Khalil Mack’ and I said ‘Get our of here, leave me alone, I’m going back to sleep,'” said Trubisky. “They’re like ‘No, we’re serious.’ I said ‘No, you’re making me mad, get out of here. You can’t wake me up with that kind of news because you just don’t believe it.’
“But he’s here and we’re ready to roll, getting ready for Week One and we’re excited about it.”
You can credit some of that enthusiasm to the arrival of Mack, who was acquired in a trade then signed to a six-year, $141 million extension with $90 million guaranteed. But with initial excitement now past, the linebacker has a lot of work to do, considering that this week is the first time he’s been on the field this offseason.
“It’s what I do, man, that’s what I love,” said Mack, who held out of Raiders’ training camp in July and August. “It’s everything right now, getting back into the groove and practicing. I love the grind and that’s what the feeling is right now.”
While Mack kept himself in shape during the holdout, which will allow him to contribute immediately Sunday night against the Packers, he must now learn Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme in just a few days. He praised outside linebackers coach Brandon Stanley for his help in catching up on the scheme.
“I’m definitely in the playbook,” said Mack. “Like I told you, man, Coach Staley, we’ve been going at it. He’s kinda like my after school tutor right now.”
There are other things that Mack has to get done as well, since he had to arrive in Chicago immediately following the trade in order to get ready to play Sunday.
“I flew in from New York, so I’ve got to make sure I can get me some socks and some drawers, stuff like that,” said Mack of the quick move, which got a chuckle out of the gathered media.
After getting some supplies, he’ll try to find a permanent place to live.
“I’m trying to do that now,” said Mack of finding a house or condo. “I tried to get on my phone with my financial advisor to see what I can afford.”
That should be a lot, it’s just picking the place that remains one of the many things Mack is trying to do to adjust to life as a Chicago Bear.