T Chad Wheeler -- November 28, 2018
Q: On the matchup against Khalil Mack on Sunday:
A: It will be a challenge against Khalil Mack, heís a good player, so youíve obviously got to bring your A game.
Q: Is he different or more special, more talented than other guys you see on tape? What is it about him?
A: Of course. Heís a great edge rusher, he has a good combination of speed and power. He brings a lot to the table, so weíve got to do the same.
Q: There was a time in this league where people thought the right tackle could hide a little bit. That isnít the case anymore as youíve seen earlier in the year. Have these challenges helped you speed up your growth as a player this year? Itís not like you havenít seen the best of the best so far.
A: Yeah, obviously, you always see good talent on the right side constantly, week in and week out. Yeah, it used to be a run block inside, now you have to block the best pass rusher.
Q: So much was made about your matchup with J.J. Watt when you got put in the lineup, it seems like years ago. Can you take anything from that matchup and apply it to Mack, or is two completely players?
A: Itís two different animals. Theyíre both really good at what they do, but they do different things so you canít just do the same thing for one guy. Everybodyís different.
Q: What about the mindset for you to take on a player like that? Is that something you can take from?
A: Just a very professional mindset. Itís my job, so whatever I can do to get an edge, Iím going to do it.
Q: Do you feel better prepared now because of the experience youíve had this season?
A: Yeah, obviously you gain some confidence, but it would be better if we won some games with it, too. That will ultimately be better.
Q: When you watch Mack on video, what stands out?
A: Heís just relentless. A great player, he has an internal drive that sometimes I match, so youíve got to bring it.
Q: How do you think your season has gone personally, since that first start you made?
A: Personally, it could be better. Could be a lot better. Obviously, I want some plays back in the run game, pass game, can always be better.
Q: Were you on the right side in Oakland last year?
A: Yeah, I was.
Q: So this isnít the first time youíre facing Mack?
A: No, itís not. Itís the second time.
Q: Do you go back to watch that matchup?
A: Yeah, I want to see what he saw and breakdowns in my pass protection and run blocking, see if Iíve fixed those or not. Thatís going to help me out.
Q: Is that weird, getting ready to prepare for a guy but youíre also watching him and what he did against you last time?
A: Yeah, itís not weird, but obviously if thereís something in my game I can fix from last year, Iím going to obviously do that.
Q: Is he different from one year to the next, because itís a different defense?
A: He plays on the left side a lot, too, so heís not just on the right side. Heís both.
Q: You mentioned his internal drive. How does that show up, just in the fact that he doesnít quit on plays?
A: Just the fact how relentless, thereís a chip on his shoulder. You can tell. Some players in the league have a chip on their shoulder, theyíve got some X factor that makes him, I donít know, different or unique. Thatís what I think of when I see him.
Q: Has he taken his game to another level this year? He was one of the best defensive players last year.
A: I think heís the same guy every year, thatís why heís so great.
Q: You didnít go back and watch last yearís game yet, or you did?
A: I did.
Q: Did you see a different player in yourself?
A: Yeah, I did. I saw someone whoís more comfortable (now) obviously a lot more, especially dealing with these blocks and stuff. I look a lot (calmer) in the zone.
Q: Do you have a chip on your shoulder?
A: Obviously yeah, an undrafted free agent, passed up on by every team. Yeah, thereís a drive in me.
Q: Do you think thereís a similarity there? (Mack) wasnít a huge college prospect.
A: There is something in that with players. A lot of these great players, they donít really come from much at first, but they make something of themselves in the long run.