Khalil Mack plays with emotion, but doesn’t let that emotion impact how he plays.
It’s how he compartmentalized his feelings prior to and during the Bears’ Week 5 game against the Oakland Raiders, the team that traded him to Chicago just before the start of the 2018 season. It’s how he hasn’t shown any frustration with getting double- and triple-teamed over the last few weeks, in which he only has one sack since Akiem Hicks went on injured reserve.
And it’s why he was able to provide an interesting perspective on the shocking incident involving Cleveland Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett on Thursday night, which led to Garrett being suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
“It was kind of like a disbelief moment,” Mack said of his reaction to Garrett hitting Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with his own helmet. “But ultimately it’s definitely something you don’t want to see transpire.
“Football is an emotional game, right, but you have to know how to control those emotions. It was real crazy.”
It’s hard not to have an opinion on the Browns-Steelers melee. One Bears offensive lineman defended Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who received a three-game ban for kicking and punching Garrett after Rudolph was hit with his helmet (the gist of the defense: You have to be there to defend your quarterback). Other players took to social media to point out Rudolph’s role in instigating the brawl.
While Garrett may not have started the fight, though, he escalated it to the point where it’ll be attached to his name for the rest of his career.
“I learned a long time ago, it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you handle it,” Mack said. “And so, yeah. It’s one of those learning moments.”