The new Bears sensation Khalil Mack is enjoying being recognized in Chicago.
Leaving the Raiders seems to be one of the best things that the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year could’ve done. Since then, he is having one of the best seasons of his career, his team is leading the division, his jersey is one of the most sold in the NFL, he’s making the amount of money he wanted, and on top of all these, the people from Chicago are making him feel more than welcome – something that, apparently, wasn’t happening back in Oakland.
"Come on man ... here in Chicago, it's real aggressive," Mack said on Wednesday. "It's real aggressive right here in Chicago. Yeah, everybody kind of recognizes you. It's a good feeling.
"It's everywhere, it's everywhere. That's the difference (from Oakland). It's everywhere. It doesn’t matter where I’m at -- HomeGoods ... It could be a mother of two. And she’ll be a fan. And it’s random as hell to me."
And there are big reasons for people in Chicago to be big fans of their new pass rusher. He has made an immediate impact in the Bears since his arrival. Mack has racked up 17 tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles, a pick-six, and a fumble recovery, which earned him the NFC Defensive Player of the Month in September.
Even though the Bears haven’t won a championship in more than 30 years, the franchise has been playing in Chicago since 1921, establishing one of the most loyal fan bases around the league. This makes football an important part of the Chicagoans and Mack has realized that already.
"You feel that and that's another reason why you want to go out and make them proud," Khalil Mack said.
"To me, it has been [different playing for the Bears]. For me and my family it has been [different], they can tell. Absolutely."
With a $141 million contract and playing for a team with high expectations to make the playoffs this year, Mack may be playing with a lot of pressure, although so far, he has been able to bear it (no pun intended).