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Mack striving to make most of next opportunity


University at Buffalo defensive end LeDarius Mack burst off the edge and smothered the quarterback for a strip/sack Wednesday night against Toledo.

It was the type of impact play that his older brother, Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack, has consistently produced since entering the NFL in 2014 with the Raiders.

"He's doing some good things, man," Khalil said Friday. "I saw that play as well and every time I see him make a sack or get the ball out, so he's taken the coaching. It feels good. I'm proud of him, but he has to keep going."

The Bears star, who has been voted to four straight Pro Bowls, is following his own advice to "keep going." Double- and triple-teamed on a regular basis, Mack has recorded just one sack in his last six games after compiling 4.5 in his previous three contests. Asked how he keeps from getting frustrated, Mack said: "Just understanding I have another opportunity to go out there is all I need, and I'm looking forward to making the most of it."

That opportunity comes Sunday against the Giants (2-8), who will limp into Soldier Field with a six-game losing streak. New York is led by rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, who has committed 16 turnovers in eight starts but also has thrown for 1,984 yards with 15 touchdowns and an 88.0 passer rating.

"You can see the opportunities [to create takeaways], but you see a player who is progressing every week," Mack said. "They are throwing different things at him and he's adjusting. He's one of the more impressive guys I've seen, just kind of his knowledge of the game. You can tell than he can read coverages and things. When it comes to getting the ball, that's my forte. So that's what I'm going to be looking forward to doing this week."

After Mack failed to appear on the stat sheet last Sunday night against the Rams, defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano defended the All-Pro player.

"You saw the game plan and how they attacked us," Pagano said. "We understand how they are attacking him and how they're taking care of him, how they're tending to him. They were going to come out and try to run the football and keep it third-and-manageable. A lot of third-and-one, third-and-two, third-and-three; never really any opportunities other than four times to really rush the passer for anybody, not only him but for our defense. So, just because he doesn't show on [the stat sheet] doesn't mean he's not doing his job."

Mack no doubt appreciates the support from his coach but acknowledged Friday that he wasn't pleased with his performance.

"I like to make an impact on the game," Mack said. "A team is going to do what they feel like they need to do to kind of keep me away from them. But even then, there are no excuses from me."

Pagano knows that he'll continue to get Mack's best effort every time he's on the field.

"Khalil is a unique guy," Pagano said. "He's a great person, he's a great pro, he comes to work every single day, even though this is happening from the first snap to the last snap. He's a hard-charger. He just continues to go out there and grind and do what he has to do for this football team. 

"I think the biggest thing for him is he wants to win. And that's the biggest thing for everybody in the locker room and everybody on the defensive side, coaches and players. There is only one thing that matters and that's winning. All the other stuff will come."