The media had to wait awhile to speak to Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack. A Monday meeting was pushed back to Friday, then to Saturday, then to Saturday afternoon. But when a ridiculously-ripped Mack finally spoke to reporters on Saturday, he made it well worth the wait.
Mack met with the media via Zoom, and he did so while working out on his Peloton. It was clear he had been working out prior to the start of the interview, and he spent the entire 12+ minute media session continuing to work out on his bike, fielding questions as sweat fell from his forehead. Mack’s interview was wildly entertaining, and fans and media alike were here for it:
Khalil Mack’s first media appearance of 2020… and it comes on a Peloton! https://t.co/6d4EFwAjnK
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) August 22, 2020
I am afraid to ask what Khalil Mack’s output on a rise is.
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) August 22, 2020
— “Hollywood Cole” (@DolphinLoaf) August 22, 2020
Now maybe my boys will back off me when I said that he wasn't 100 last year. Expect the best and beyond this season. #52.
— Tyrone N. Talley (@TNT53) August 23, 2020
Bears are all-in. Nagy, Pagano big riders. Players, too. This is like the Seahawks and the yoga craze a decade ago.
— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) August 22, 2020
— Dan O'Donnell (@DanODonne11) August 22, 2020
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Mack Thinks This Bears Defense Could Be Something Special
Mack said that the team’s disappointing 2019 season is fully in the past, and he won’t be dwelling on it. He’s looking forward instead. “I don’t have anything to prove. I know myself. Know what I’m capable of. And this is gonna be fun, man. I can’t wait to get out there with my teammates and make plays and give ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ to the TV crowd.”
When asked what his workout routine has been like this offseason, he didn’t get all that specific. “Just grinding. Keeping my head down and grinding. I have my little brother up here with me, so it was fun,” Mack said, referencing his brother LeDarius, an undrafted free agent who is hoping to make the team’s roster.
Mack then shared his thoughts on this Bears defense, which has been a top five unit since his arrival in 2018.
“I don’t really see a ceiling for that group, man. Whatever we want that’s what we’re gonna get. And that’s what we’re working towards right now. Getting caught up, being behind all these months — it doesn’t seem like there’s been any drop off. We picked right back up,” Mack said, adding that the Bears aren’t setting any expectations. “That’s the group we were in 2018. Not really knowing, not really setting any expectations, going out and ballin’ and having fun. That’s what it’s gonna be.”
Bears’ LB Coach Ted Monachino Says Mack Has Been a Monster This Offseason
Ted Monachino, the Bears’ senior defensive assistant and outside linebackers coach, said the following about Mack a few months ago:
“He’s training like I have never seen anybody train before. Motivation is not an issue with Khalil; never has been. But what I’ll tell you is that he has approached this offseason with something to prove — and that’s something that I think we all can be encouraged by. I think that that’s something that’s exciting, when a player of his caliber approaches his work the way he has approached it.”
For his part, Mack is beyond anxious for the season to start.
“It’s gonna be fun, man,” Mack promised. “I love this game and I just can’t wait, man.” Neither can Bears fans.