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Top Quotes | Khalil Mack's First Press Conference as a Charger

Mack full transcript 2

On joining the Chargers and being in Southern California:

"It's nice and warm out here right now. It feels good. You can feel the energy in the building. There's a lot of exciting energy. This part of the season, I wouldn't say that it's my least favorite, but there's a lot of work that needs to be put in, especially from my standpoint. I'm just looking forward to getting back into my routine and putting in the work this offseason."

On his initial reaction to reuniting with Head Coach Brandon Staley:

"I was in the room with my fiancé and my son. [Agent] Joel [Segal] called. I think we were watching [The Fresh Prince of] Bel-Air, which was kind of a strange coincidence. It was weird to hear, but understanding of the team and the coach, and having a relationship with Coach Staley — and knowing his mindset and his passion for the game — it kind of went from bittersweet to excited, knowing who I'm dealing with and the type of man that he is, first and foremost, and how much he truly loves the game of football. You can feel that whenever you speak to him — not just understanding the football aspect, but the man and the relationship that we have, and what we were able to do while we were together, I got excited."

On developing the relationship 'quickly' with Staley in 2018:

"That was the person that I spent the most time with when I first got to Chicago. We would be in the room together going over the playbook. I feel like I had a week to prepare for the Packers — not even a week, maybe like five, six days. It was a quick turnaround, and he was a big part of me consuming a big part of that playbook, which was complicated in the fact of understanding what [former Bears Defensive Coordinator] Vic Fangio likes to do."

On joining a defensive unit that features OLB Joey Bosa and S Derwin James Jr.:

"When you talk about Joey Bosa, Derwin James, [CB] J.C. Jackson, [CB] Asante Samuel Jr., all of these different intangibles — and these guys are very explosive players and explosive playmakers — I'm looking forward to it. Like I said, that's the easy part, to talk about it. But I'm an action guy. That's what I'm looking forward to, putting in the work and winning ball games, ultimately."

On returning to the AFC West Division:

"There are a lot of good quarterbacks. There's great quarterback play. A lot of great schemes when you're talking about [Chiefs Head Coach] Andy [Reid] and all of these different coaches. It's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead."

On if he 'anticipated' getting traded:

"That's the thing; you never really anticipate it, even if you know it's coming or think it's coming. Just understanding that, you're not really in that control position to know exactly what is going to happen and know exactly what is going to go on, but understanding that you have to be ready for it and be prepared, mentally and physically."

On if joining the Chargers gives him 'a boost of energy':

"Absolutely. That's always the mindset, new team or not. Understanding what the narrative about me is right now, I can't wait. I'm not a talker. I'd rather show y'all than tell you."

On 'what that narrative is right now':

"You turn on the TV and you hear what they're saying. It's like, 'OK, bet.' You know what I mean? I'll bet on myself any day."

On how joining the Chargers compares to joining the Bears in 2018:

"It's a little different, understanding what is established here, especially with the quarterback situation, the offense's situation, the defense. It's a little different. I can't really compare the two. Just understanding what I was able to do, and what we were able to do while I was in Chicago, it's really special to me, especially that first year. That first year there, having all of the pieces and the coaching staff together and everything like that, having the players — from [former Bears CB] Kyle Fuller, [former Bears CB] Prince [Amukamara], to [former Bears FS] Eddie [Jackson], to [former Bears SS] Adrian [Amos], to [Bears DE] Akiem, to [former Bears NT] Eddie Goldman, to [former Bears OLB] Leonard Floyd, [former Bears ILB] Danny Trevathan, [Bears ILB] Roquan [Smith], I can go on and on — just knowing what that felt like out there, playing with those guys, it was a special time, it was a special moment in my life. Those are four years that I'll never forget. I thank that organization for taking a chance on me. It's no different here with this organization taking another chance, understanding what I'm dealing with, but also knowing what I'm capable of. It's going to be fun. I know that you all are going to enjoy watching, for sure."

On joining the team in March, compared to being acquired by Chicago near the start of the regular season in 2018:

"It's very helpful, especially understanding that I was being thrown into a situation last minute, getting familiar with the system, getting familiar with the area, getting familiar with all of these different things that you have to be familiar with in order to get comfortable in a certain situation. I'm looking forward to it."

On previous relationships with current Chargers:

"That's hard to say. I don't really know everybody on the team yet. I feel like the person that I know the most coming into this situation is Coach Staley. Even though I have met [OLB] Joey [Bosa], [S] Derwin [James Jr.] and [WR] Keenan [Allen]. I've been seeing Keenan for years on the field. I'm in familiar territory, but it's going to be very familiar soon."

On Run Game Coordinator/Outside Linebackers Coach Jay Rodgers:

"It'll be a mix, I believe it will be a mix with [Defensive Line Coach] Giff [Smith]. It's the same thing, familiarity. When it comes to that, we weren't in the same room, but we had to be in the same room occasionally — D-line and outside linebackers."

On his experience in Chicago with Staley:

"Dealing with me coming in and having to stay longer, I'm talking about hours after everybody has already left. Seeing the time and delicacy that he had to put in that time. I mean, I don't think you really understand how fast I really had to learn a whole defensive playbook and he made it easy. He made it easy. You could just see his passion through it, understanding how much he knew I wanted to get out there for that first game. We were able to do it."

On his foot:

"It's good. 100 percent, good to go, whatever you want to hear."

On OLB Joey Bosa:

"I've been watching Joey from afar since his rookie year. And that guy has been flying off the ball. It's really special to see him. I could keep going on and on about this guy, it's understanding what we're going to do. It's a big picture. I just can't wait."

On what makes a successful season for him:

"I mean, ultimately, being able to change the game, whether it's getting to the quarterback or it's getting in the backfield and stopping the run. I just want to be a complete player, whether it's dropping in coverage and getting an interception — in any way, in any aspect of the game. I want to be able to change the game, whether it's getting turnovers, which I feel like I have a knack for. You say metrics, but I just want to be destructive in any way possible."

On being on the same team as QB Justin Herbert:

"That's going to be fun. That's going to be a fun guy to play with. He has a lot of different intangibles. Not just from a football aspect, but just the mindset. Just watching that mindset from afar, I've kind of admired it. I admire his mindset more so than his play."

On any discussions with Chicago before the trade:

"I got a call from [Bears General Manager] Ryan [Poles] after the fact, after I got off the phone with Joel [Segal], to be more accurate. It's not to the extent of knowing what was going to happen. It's a different GM, not the GM that traded for me, so you never know what can happen in those situations. I use common sense in certain situations, so I felt like maybe there was a chance, but who knows?"

On playing the Las Vegas Raiders and Raiders QB Derek Carr twice per year:

"My dog, Derek. It's going to be fun. Every time that I play against that guy, it's fun. He's a special, special guy as well. It's going to be fun to see him twice per year."

On Staley taking input from players and implementing that input:

"I feel like we talked a lot of ball, which is why I can say I know who he is as a person and as a coach. He definitely listened. I feel like it was a mix of him and [former Bears Defensive Coordinator] Vic [Fangio]. At the time, they listened to the input of the players and understand what positions to put them in and how to make them they're best self throughout the game. I feel like that's key. I feel like he had to trust in me, as well, to listen. I think that might be why he has been the way that he has been, as far as listening to the player's input, which is a good thing."

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