For the first time in a long time, the Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive line is showing some promise. The team added Yannick Ngakoue this offseason and just signed six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy. The group has a chance to be very good this year if they can put everything together.
One player who should benefit greatly from the extra talent on the defensive line is Maxx Crosby. He got off to an impressive start during his rookie season and notched 10 sacks. He fell off a bit last season and only had seven. With a lot of focus going from him to Ngakoue, Crosby could be in for a huge year. He thinks the defensive line is much improved but believes they still have a lot to prove.
“I’m fired up about the room,” Crosby said last week. “We have a lot of potential, but I’m sick of saying that word. I hear it every single year. I’m just ready to go out there Sundays and play at a very high level.”
Crosby is headed into his third year and he believes he’s ready to hit full potential.
“I am sick of waiting,” he said. “I just want to be the full version of Maxx Crosby that I envisioned. Myself being, so just being a leader. I think that is a role that I feel natural at. I feel I can be a positive influence just like talking about Coach Bradley by being a positive leader and being a ball of energy. That is what I want to be and I want to help and lead the guys.
“I don’t care about having the title ‘OK, Maxx is the leader,’ like whatever. I’m just being myself and having fun when I’m out there.”
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Crosby Planning to Be Disruptive
With new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley coming in and implementing a Cover 3 defense, it’s very important the Raiders’ defensive line is able to generate a pass rush. If they can’t, the defense will be eaten alive. Crosby is planning on being a difference-maker this season.
“I want to be as disruptive as possibly I can be,” Crosby said. “That is what I plan on doing this year.”
Crosby has been a disruptive force over his first two seasons but there is room for improvement. He wasn’t fully healthy for most of last season so if he can keep his body right, he should be much more effective.
Jon Gruden Believes Crosby Leads Raiders in Effort
Crosby has a lot of athletic talent but that’s not what makes him a good player. He works incredibly hard. In fact, head coach Jon Gruden believes that he works harder than anybody on the team.
“He leads our team in effort. He does,” Gruden said. “You are talking about a guy that’s here in the offseason. I think he lived in the facility. My car is here, his car is here. I drive by the facility and his car is still here …
“He’s incredible. He’s in incredible shape. He can go all day, and I tried to wear him out today with a fourth quarter pass rush in the last drill and he’s ready for the 15th round. He wants to keep fighting. I love him. I love the way he’s working, and guys look up to him.”