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Bill Belichick: Khalil Mack not in same class as Lawrence Taylor

The Sports Post logo The Sports Post 10/17/2018 David Ruiz, The Sports Post
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Video by NFL.com

Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack has been a beast since being traded from Oakland. So good, in fact, that Chicago has the No. 1 defense in the NFL. But the Bears host the red-hot New England Patriots at Soldier Field this Sunday. And head coach Bill Belichick has praised Mack’s dominance so far. But, he wouldn’t go as far as loving the guy outright.

Speaking to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss, Belichick was asked on Wednesday if Mack resembled former Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor. And he actually seemed irritated by the question.

“Wait a minute, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor now,” Belichick starts. “I’m not putting anybody in Lawrence Taylor’s class. Put everybody down below that. With a lot of respect to a lot of good players, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor.”

Taylor took to Twitter after hearing Belichick’s comments about his status and reacted:

Now, Belichick did coach Taylor when he was defensive coordinator for the New York Giants during the 1980s. During that time frame, Taylor played 13 seasons while registering 132.5 sacks and nine All-Pro nods before he cemented his legacy by heading to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

Mack, according to Bears head coach Matt Nagy, is listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury he sustained during their overtime loss against the Dolphins. Nagy explained Mack's situation: 

“He’s day-to-day right now. We’ll have to see as we go, even the next couple of hours, with where he’s at practice-wise. We’re not 100 percent sure yet if that’s going to happen. We’re just going to continue to keep an eye on it and make sure whatever we do, we’re more cautious than anything. I believe in that, and I think it’s important to go that route.”

Through six weeks, Mack has mustered five sacks, four forced fumbles and one pick-six. But Belichick knows his Patriots must be ready to handle him despite his injury.

“He’s big, strong and fast. He’s got a lot of power. He does a good job of power-rushing, and he’s fast enough to get the edge. He has good ball awareness, so he does a good job of tackling the quarterback when he has to tackle him, but if he has a chance to get the ball out, he’s got good ball awareness and can strip it out.”

With their win over the Chiefs on Sunday night, the Patriots are 4-2 on the season. After a slow start, they’ve won three straight and once again sit atop the AFC East.

Related slideshow: Best of NFL season (provided by photo services) 

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