Bears star Khalil Mack criticizes his season: ‘Definitely wasn’t what I wanted’

A conversation with Mack went south at the onset, when he was asked an innocuous question about making the Pro Bowl.

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Khalil Mack has 7.5 sacks this season, which ranks 29th in the NFL.

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Khalil Mack bristled at the mention of his Pro Bowl selection Friday, and perhaps it’s because he doesn’t see anything worth celebrating in a disappointing season.

Mack, who hates talking to the media and has closed his open locker-room session the last couple of weeks, was quieter than usual when asked about being voted in for the fifth consecutive year.

“Next question,” he said.

OK. But is he going to play in it?

“Next question,” he repeated.

When pressed on why he didn’t want to talk about it, he answered, “Talk about what? Oh, man, next question.”

Mack made the team despite what is shaping up to be his worst statistical season since his rookie year. The man with the $141 million contract is 29th in the NFL with 7.5 sacks.

While coaches and teammates have defended Mack’s contributions by saying the numbers don’t tell the whole story, particularly after he recorded no stats against the Rams and a lone tackle against the Packers, he seemed unsatisfied with his season.

“It’s tough,” Mack said. “I’m a tough critic, especially on myself. It definitely wasn’t what I wanted to put on film all year. But it is what it is.”

That feeling could extend throughout the defense.

Coach Matt Nagy praised the group and said it certainly played better than the team’s 7-7 record suggests. It hasn’t been the overwhelming force it was last season, when it led the NFL with 36 takeaways, but the Bears rank eighth in yards allowed and third in opponent scoring.

They’re No. 6 against the run and No. 13 against the pass, which should have been good enough to contend. They were undermined by one of the league’s worst offenses.

“The scoring wasn’t where it needs to be on offense to help the defense be on the field less,” Nagy said.

But that doesn’t make Mack feel any better. Competing for a championship is what matters most at this stage, and the Bears weren’t even close.

“Only thing you can really count on is getting to the playoffs,” Mack said. “That’s my mindset. So you can’t really say it’s a success in that form or fashion.”

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