One of the more impressive Titans players throughout the pre season has been Isaiah Mack. Signed as a UDFA out of Chattanooga, Mack has made his presence known in practice and the first two pre season games. I think he has an excellent chance to make this final 53 man roster.
I caught up with Mack to discuss how he ended up with the Titans, how the defensive line group has helped him make the transition from college to the pro’s, what he’s hoping to achieve over the last two pre season games and more.
JM: The Titans signed you as an undrafted free agent on May 10th. That was about two weeks after the draft concluded. What were those two weeks of waiting like for you?
IM: Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds. I knew I was gonna get an opportunity somewhere. I had to be patient and wait for the right opportunity. It wasn’t a big deal honestly.
JM: Playing your college ball at Chattanooga, did it feel good to know you were staying in Tennessee?
IM: Yeah, it was definitely a good feeling. You have to make an impression when you come in as a UDFA. You only get so many opportunities to do that. Staying in state helped me just focus on football. I didn’t have to worry about moving across the country or anything like that. It just allows you to focus on the things you have to focus on. It limited any potential personal distractions for sure.
JM: We’re a couple of pre season games down. How did it feel to finally suit up for an NFL game?
IM: It was an amazing feeling. It’s tough to put into words honestly. It’s just a great feeling. I can’t even explain it. It’s crazy to be out there. I’m living out my dreams.
JM: How comfortable are you with this defensive line group right now?
IM: I feel extremely comfortable around them. I’m around a great group of guys. They’ve done a great job showing me the ropes. Everyone has been really friendly and eager to help. We have an “us” mentality, not a “me” mentality. We wanna play great as a unit.
JM: Has there been one veteran guy in that room that’s been especially helpful?
IM: I can’t really single anyone out honestly. They’ve all done a great job. They all have a lot of experience. Brent Urban has been great to me. I’d have to mention DaQuan Jones, Jurrell Casey and Austin Johnson as well. They’ve all done a great job showing me the things that I didn’t know when I got here.
JM: This coaching staff is extremely hands on. What are maybe one or two things you’ve learned since you’ve been here in Tennessee?
IM: I’ve really improved on how I run to the ball. I credit the coaching staff and my teammates for that. I’m really understanding how to find the ball and run towards it. I’m doing a better job of that now than I did in college. I’m learning how to practice like a pro. Everyone has such good practice habits here and I’ve really learned from that. It’s rubbed off on me. I’ve always enjoyed practice but it’s different at this level. I’m just learning from the best. There’s a different mindset at this level.
JM: Who’s the funniest Titan?
IM: I would have to say Dicky by far. Matt Dickerson. He’s by far the funniest player on the team. That’s a hilarious guy right there.
JM: The third pre season game is slated for Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s usually treated as a bit of a dress rehearsal for the regular season. What message are you hoping to send to head coach Mike Vrabel and general manager Jon Robinson?
IM: I just wanna let them know that I’m gonna do whatever I gotta do to get on the field. I’m gonna play whatever role they need me to play.
JM: Practicing against the New England Patriots for that week, was it a bit of a welcome to the NFL moment to get to practice against Tom Brady?
IM: It was a good week of practice. It was different. You get used to practicing against your own players for so long. When they finally bring somebody new in, there’s a bit of a sigh of relief. You get to change it up a little bit. I welcomed that. You get tired of hitting your own teammates. It’s cool to get a glimpse of the competition you’ll be going up against.
JM: I’ve appreciated your time tonight. In closing, what are you hoping to achieve over these final two weeks?
IM: I’m just trying to keep making splash plays. I wanna keep my name in people’s mouths. I wanna continue to show that I can play football at this level.