It’s been almost two years since the Raiders made the decision to trade Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears. While it’s still hard to know who won the trade, it will probably be debated for years to come. Mack was beloved by the Raiders when he was there but there was clearly animosity when he played them last season.
The Raiders signed one of his former teammates this offseason in linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski. He was asked if Mack gave him any advice upon the news and revealed what the All-Pro had to say.
“He was happy, but no advice. No,” Kwiatkoski told reporters on Monday.
Kwiatkoski also mentioned that Mack congratulated him. It appears that maybe he’s finally gotten over the trade.
Kwiatkoski Talks About First Impressions of Raiders
Due to the unprecedented offseason, free-agent signees like Kwiatkoski barely got to meet their new coaches and teammates at the start of training camp. Kwiatkoski was asked about his first impression of the team.
“So far, it’s been great,” Kwiatkoski said. “Rich history … that’s part of the reason why I came here. The communication from top to bottom has been great since we’ve been here.”
For the first time in his career, Kwiatkoski is heading into training camp as an unquestioned starter. The Bears were loaded at linebacker while he was there so he didn’t get too many chances to start. He now comes to the Raiders and expectations are very high. He’s about to have more responsibility than he’s ever had but he seems up for the challenge.
Follow the Heavy on Las Vegas Raiders Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Kwiatkoski Addresses Fact That He’ll Wear Green Dot
The Raiders brought in Cory Littleton on a big contract to help revamp the linebacker corps. While he’s making more money than Kwiatkoski, the former Bears will be in charge of running the defense. He revealed that he does have some experience wearing the green dot.
“Yeah, I did it a bunch in Chicago,” Kwiatkoski said of wearing the green dot previously. “Off and on since the time I’d been there. It’s something I’m used to. … Right now, it’s just working on communication with Cory [Littleton]. He’s right next to me and helping with calls. And then, just overall communication with the defense. We lost a lot of time in spring so right now, that just a big part of what I’m trying to do on the field.”
With the way the Raiders run their defense, there are usually only two linebackers on the field at a time. That means there’s going to be a lot of pressure on Littleton and Kwiatkoski to hold down the fort. Fortunately, they both seem up for the task. The Raiders have fielded some of the worst linebacker corps in the NFL over the last decade or so. With Kwiatkoski and Littleton, the team finally has some athleticism at the position. What was once Las Vegas’ biggest weakness might be one of their biggest strengths. Kwiatkoski will have a bigger role than he’s ever had but there’s no reason to believe he won’t thrive in the new role.