Mack Omission Part Of Smokescreen Game?April 29th, 2014
Wait a minute.
In a feature about beastly University at Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack yesterday, fight-instigating, barista-training, pedestrian-bumping, olive oil-lapping, popcorn-munching, coffee-slurping, fried-chicken-eating, oatmeal-loving, circle-jerking, beer-chugging, cricket-watching, scone-loathing, college football-naïve, baseball box score-reading Peter King of SI.com and NBC Sports Fame, omitted the Bucs as a team Mack visited.
Here’s the excerpt from King’s column that included quotes from Mack.
Mack’s best fit is as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL, though he says he can also play 4-3 end or outside ’backer, and, at 251 pounds, it’s not impossible that he could play inside as well. But his edge-rushing ability would be best employed coming off the edge in the 3-4. That’s what the Texans play. And he’s frothing at the prospect of playing on the same front seven with J.J. Watt. “I met him the other day,’’ said Mack. “It’d be perfect for me. He is one great player.” Mack visited six teams: Jacksonville, St. Louis, Houston, Detroit, Atlanta and Minnesota. All are in the top 10. It’s likely he’ll go in the top five on May 8.
He’d like to go in the top one. He’s not handing the crown of best defensive player in the draft to Jadeveon Clowney.
“I’m so competitive,’’ he said, “that I want to be the best, and I mean better than any rusher in the NFL now, or anyone coming in. I want to be better than Aldon Smith, all those guys. I respect Jadeveon, but I really don’t care what he does. I don’t care about the hoopla, the hype or any of that. I just want to go out on the field and compete and win. When I get out on the field, I turn on a switch and believe I can be the best person out there. Coming from Buffalo, I know I had to work hard to get to this point, and I did.”
Now why did King not claim the Bucs as a visit for Mack? Did Mack forget to tell him? Did his agent? Did King have a brain freeze? Or was Mack told by the Bucs to keep the visit confidential?
Joe reported Mack was visiting Tampa Bay because Mack’s college buddy, Bucs defensive end Steven Means told Joe — and Joe confirmed with Means a couple of times.
This is just a good example of the Season of Smoke, aka the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft. Speculation is rampant. Half-truths are everywhere. Fiction is considered fact. Facts don’t often matter. Film does lie.
One thing that is real is the exclusive Bucs locker room interview below of Means, who talks about his closeness with Mack and some of Mack’s attributes.