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Stacy McGee getting the 'hump' out as Raiders' sack leader

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- All-Pro Khalil Mack, who racked up 15 sacks last season, is on one side of the Oakland Raiders defense. Bruce Irvin, who has 24 career sacks, is on the other.

And the team's sack leader through five games? Try fourth-year defensive tackle Stacy McGee, who has 2.5 sacks, including 1.5 in Sunday's win over the San Diego Chargers.

So what would McGee say about this development were he an outside observer?

"That man's working hard," McGee said with a smile Tuesday, "trying to be somebody."

McGee, a sixth-round pick of the Raiders out of Oklahoma in 2013, entered this season with half of a sack in 42 career games. But after his showing against the Chargers, at least one of his techniques was being compared to that of a Hall of Famer.

Think Reggie White's "Hump" move to get an offensive lineman off him on the way to the quarterback.

"I think his confidence has grown a little bit," Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. "Stacy has done some good things for us. He's flashed some rushes and been really close on a couple this year, so it was nice to see him finish on the two he did [against San Diego]."

As far as that Hump move goes, McGee said he was tutored in it in 2014 by former Raiders defensive lineman Antonio Smith in Oakland.

"I guess it took a couple of years to really figure it out and get it done," McGee said.

"To actually see it pay off is different, and the atmosphere and everything around here [is different]. We all push each other to be good. And I've been pushing myself a lot harder this past year, probably a lot harder than I have in the past years, just trying to be better and just help this team win, because I just want to win."

Despite defensive deficiencies-- Oakland has surrendered the most yards in the NFL and given up the sixth-most points in the league -- the Raiders are winning at an impressive clip.

The Raiders' 4-1 start is their best since 2002. They are in a first-place tie in the AFC West with the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos with the Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) coming to Oakland this weekend off their bye week.

The difference in the locker room from McGee's first two years in Oakland, is palpable.

"Above all, everybody cares; we want to win," McGee said. "We feel like everybody's here for a reason. We know we have the talent, but we've just got to make it all work. Everybody meshes together and takes care of their responsibilities, and just go out there and handle business."