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Mack excited to play against former team


Khalil Mack is eager to face his former team Sunday when the Bears battle the Oakland Raiders at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

The star outside linebacker was selected by the Raiders with the fifth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and spent his first four NFL seasons with Oakland before being acquired by the Bears last Sept. 1 in a blockbuster trade.

"It's another game, man," Mack said Tuesday at Halas Hall. "It's going to be a fun one because I know a few of the guys out there. But it's going to be a good one. Can't wait."

Mack arrived in Oakland in the same draft class as quarterback Derek Carr, who was chosen in the second round with the 36th overall pick. The two formed a close bond when they were teammates and remain friends.

"That's my brother," Mack said. "I love him, but it's going to be fun to compete against him this week. When we were there trying to change the culture, just going through that process together, it was real special."

Mack excelled with the Raiders. Starting all 64 games over four seasons, he compiled 40.5 sacks and nine forced fumbles and was voted to three Pro Bowls. He was also named NFL defensive player of the year in 2015 after registering 15 sacks.

Mack continued to dominate in his first season in Chicago last year, earning first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors after leading the Bears with 12.5 sacks, a career-high six forced fumbles and 18 quarterback hits.

The 6-3, 269-pounder has picked up this year where he left off last season, generating 4.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in the Bears' first four games.

Mack thought he'd spend his entire career with the Raiders, but he understands the business aspect of the game. He most certainly wants to show Oakland what it's missing, but he won't allow that incentive to disrupt how he prepares this week or performs Sunday. 

"You can't play this game with too much emotion," Mack said. "Ultimately, I try to stay focused on the task at hand and understanding the situation and understanding what they're going to be thinking that I feel. But ultimately I'm going to go out there and do what I do and that's play football and love the game that I play.

"There are feelings you suppress. But also it's no big deal to me. I'm here. I love the Bears and I'm going to go out and try to get this win."