By Evan Bleier / October 17, 2018

Belichick Rejects Khalil Mack Being Same Class of Player as Lawrence Taylor

The New England Patriots coach seemed almost offended at the comparison.

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 17: Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack (52) celebrates after a play in game action during an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and the Seattle Seahawks on September 17, 2018 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 17: Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack (52) celebrates after a play in game action during an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and the Seattle Seahawks on September 17, 2018 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There’s some debate about whether New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

One Giant whose Canton credentials have never been held in question is Lawrence Taylor, the 10-time Pro Bowler Bill Belichick had the privilege of coaching when he was the defensive coordinator for New York in the ’80s.

Now the coach of the Patriots, Belichick was asked how Bears linebacker Khalil Mack stacks up against Taylor in advance of New England’s game against Chicago this weekend.

While he gave Mack his props, Belichick was hesitant to put the current NFL star in the same breath as the ’86 NFL MVP.

“Wait a minute, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor now,” Belichick said. “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.”

In a previous conference call, Belichick did praise Mack.

“Big, strong and fast,” Belichick said Tuesday. 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.”

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