It’s been an impressive start for Maxx Crosby. The Las Vegas Raiders defensive end has 2.0 sacks through two games and leads the NFL with 16 quarterback pressures. Crosby looked awesome as a rookie and finished the year with 10.0 sacks. He fell off a bit in Year 2 as he only had 7.0 sacks.
He clearly wanted to get back to rookie form this year and looks better than ever. Though he didn’t have a sack in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers but was constantly in the backfield. There was one impressive play where Crosby just outmuscled the Steelers’ right tackle and was really close to getting a sack on Ben Roethlisberger. One player who took note of the play was former Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro right tackle Mitchell Schwartz.
He claimed that Crosby wasn’t even trying on the play and looked slow off the ball.
Many Raiders fans took that as Schwartz shading his former AFC West rival. However, he made it clear that he was actually paying Crosby a compliment.
Schwartz played against Crosby when he was still with the Chiefs so he knows the defensive end quite well. He believes that he’s seen better from Crosby than the play that was showcased.
Obviously, the Raiders and Chiefs despise each other so fans will take any chance to stir up a bit of controversy. In this instance, it looks like it was just one big misunderstanding.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
What Clicked for Crosby This Season?
Crosby has looked like a steal for the Raiders since Day 1. He came to the team as a fourth-round pick and quickly became their top pass rusher. While his sack numbers have always been strong, he hasn’t been one of the elite players at pressuring the quarterback consistently until this season.
A big reason why we’ve seen him take a step this season is that he’s healthy. Though he played all 16 games last year, he was dealing labrum tear and a broken metal plate in his hand for most o the season. Now that he’s healthy and is in a new defensive system, we’re seeing the best version of Crosby yet.
Gus Bradley Praises Crosby’s Energy
For the first time in his football life, Crosby was named a team captain for the Raiders this season. He’s developed into a great leader for the team despite the fact that he’s only 24-years-old. Defensive coordinator praised Crosby for the energy that he brings the defense every day.
“You got Maxx Crosby and Yannick [Ngakoue], those guys have a lot of energy themselves and I think it just permeates through the whole team, so that part of it each week,” Bradley said Thursday.
“Sometimes you come off a big win like we did the first week, what’s going to happen the second week? How are we going to handle that part of it? And I think that part of it is probably the most pleasing. They are really not satisfied, it’s always we played here, let’s change that standard now and it’s really not about the opponents, it’s really about the standard that we have.”