Khalil Mack can be compared to a lot of players in NFL history. One though that might catch some people by surprise is Reggie White. Now obviously both were and are great pass rushers. White though was a far different physical specimen. However, they do share something else in common. A unique personality trait. One where they look to seek and destroy on Sundays, but once the final whistle has blown are among the nicest, most helpful people one could hope to meet.
This was on display after the Bears’ wild 16-14 victory in Denver against the Broncos. Mack had a dominant game. He applied pressure on Joe Flacco eight times and sacked him once. One of the men who faced the unenviable task of blocking him was Broncos left tackle Garret Bolles. It was a forgettable afternoon for the former 1st round pick, who was flagged an unprecedented four times for offensive holding during the game.
It was a game that has many in Broncos fandom calling for his head. It’s not hard to imagine how the guy must be feeling. One person though who offered some encouragement? None other than Mack himself.
Bolles explained an offer the Bears star made to him after the game.
“He gave me a big hug after the game and told me, ‘Keep your head up. Let’s get together this offseason,’” Bolles said. “I give him mad credit. When you’re going against a guy like that, those are the games that can change your whole life. You can put yourself in a situation where you can take care of your family for a long time.
“I feel like I did a lot of good things tonight. I feel like I did block him and move him along, but there were times that we were going at it, and that’s what’s going to happen. Calls are going to happen, but with him giving me a hug, we were talking, he said I was a good football player. I believe I’m a good football player, I believe he’s a good football player and I’m just really grateful for his respect. I’m grateful I get to play people like that because it makes me better.”
It’s little wonder Khalil Mack is so respected
Simply being great at football is one thing. Mack could content himself with being that. Just terrorize QBs every Sunday, collect his paycheck and go home. That he chooses to reach out like that is a testament to the person he is. It is why he is such a respected leader in the Bears locker room. More and more it becomes clear why GM Ryan Pace was so willing to give up such a hefty trade package for him. Not only were the Bears getting a great player on the field, but off it as well.
This only reinforces the utter incredulous line of thinking the Oakland Raiders were going through when they signed off on that deal. It’s something they are still regretting even now. Watching Patrick Mahomes light them up again on Sunday while being pressured just 11 times all game. Their defense ranks 32nd in the league against the pass despite all their rampant changes this offseason. Chicago should be grateful for that lapse of insanity every day.