People around the Oakland Raiders facility are expecting a breakout season for second-year linebacker Khalil Mack.

That's not to say that the 2014 No. 4 overall pick disappointed in his rookie year. Far from it. But the young defensive stud has yet to even approach his ceiling as an impact player. The new coaching staff in Oakland is hoping to transform him into that kind of difference maker by allowing him to rush the passer much more frequently than he did last year.

"Going into it, you heard stories about Khalil before we came and how he was such a young talent. To get here and work with him, to talk to him, to see him show up every day, to see him have a growth mindset, to have a thought process that he's going to improve, he shows up every single play," Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. "Everybody is saying how good he is and he got four sacks, I thought to myself, 'How many great players have four sacks.' You have to get in double digits. So he has a lot of growth to make. If they're thinking he's this good and he's done so little, imagine when he actually does what he's supposed to do. He has the work ethic. He has a ridiculous, ridiculous work ethic. In my experience again, that turns into really good football players."

The Raiders mustered just 22 total sacks last year, tied for second fewest in the league. As Norton noted, Mack contributed just four sacks but he also added 51 QB pressures and 25 QB hits, top marks on the team despite rarely being asked to rush the passer. The talent and ability are clearly there; all Mack needs is the opportunity and head coach Jack Del Rio plans to give it to him.

"Yeah, I want that number up. I want his numbers up. I want our numbers up," Del Rio said. "What he is is he's a young man who has come into the league in his first year, he's got a nice start to his career. There is a tremendous amount of growth in front of him and opportunity in front of him to begin to accomplish some of the things that he was brought here for."

To help transition into more of an attacking linebacker, Mack put on 10 pounds of lean muscle over the offseason and now weighs about 265 pounds. The added bulk will help him hold up against the larger offensive tackles in the league, something he is very much excited for.

"That's what this game is now," Mack said. "It's a throwing game, so you're going to have more opportunities to rush the passer and that's what I'm looking forward to."

So are the coaches.