Maxx Crosby Compares Raiders to NFC Contenders: ‘That’s Gonna Be Us’

Raiders Maxx Crosby wants Antonio Pierce to be the team's next coach.

Getty Raiders Maxx Crosby wants Antonio Pierce to be the team's next coach.

One thing about the Raiders’ Maxx Crosby, he has not shown any bit of shyness about what he thinks Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis should be doing with the open coaching position his team has. Crosby wants the Raiders to keep interim head coach Antonio Pierce on board, and has gone so far as to threaten a trade demand if Pierce is not retained.

Anyone watching the playoffs on Sunday might have an inkling as to why that is. Crosby thinks the Raiders can follow in the footsteps of the Detroit Lions in the NFC, the team that got their first playoff win in 30 years by topping the Rams, 24-23. Crosby sees some of fiery Lions coach Dan Campbell in Pierce.

“We’re a few pieces away from being in contention. We all feel that, we know that,” Crosby said on his podcast, “The Rush,” this weekend. “We feel like we should be playing right now, this weekend. That’s what sucks the worst. At the same time, we know we’re going in the right direction. It almost feels like how Detroit felt last year, like they missed the playoffs by a sliver but in the offseason everyone knew, Dan Campbell has these guys going in the right direction and they’re gonna be favorites to win the division next year.”

Raiders Maxx Crosby Strongly Backing Antonio Pierce

But Crosby has made clear that he feels a Raiders resurgence is contingent on Pierce staying put. The Raiders have begun formal interviews for the coaching vacancy left when the team fired coach Josh McDaniels in October.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Saturday that Pierce is the favorite to keep the job. But the Raiders are also interviewing former NFL head coach Leslie Frazier, too.

As Schefter posted on Twitter/X: “Interim coach Antonio Pierce has emerged as the leading candidate to become the full-time head coach in Las Vegas, with the support of key players there, per league sources. There will be other options for Raiders’ owner Mark Davis to consider, but as one source said, ‘I would be blown away if Antonio weren’t the pick.’”

Crosby said keeping Pierce sets up a Lions-like result next season. “Like, we keep AP and we build on what we already started, I feel like that’s gonna be us,” Crosby said. “We’re gonna be right in contention to be in the playoffs next year, without a doubt, if we just keep things going in the way it’s going.

“But if we blow sh** up again, then it’s a bunch of question marks and we start from ground zero again, and I’ve gotta question what we’re doing, you know what I mean? On a personal level. Because I want to win. I mean, I am sick of losing, I am sick of being in limbo all the time, where there’s always change, there’s always something new.”

Dan Campbell a Good Comp for AP

There are similarities between Pierce and Campbell, who were contemporaries in the NFL in the early 2000s. Campbell (who was a tight end as a player) got started as a tight ends coach, was briefly an interim head coach in Miami, but got his first real shot with the Lions in 2021.

Pierce, similarly, was a linebacker and got started as a linebackers coach. That was the role he was in with the Raiders this season. He has had no prior head-coaching experience in the NFL or college. But his fiery leadership style and willingness to listen to his players earned him quick respect.

That resonated with Crosby, who feels he has earned the right to have his voice heard on the coaching choice.

“For me, from a personal standpoint, I show up every day, I am in the building more than any coach or player on a yearly basis, I train all year round,” Crosby said. “I am showing up every single day doing my best. Doing everything in my power to help this team win. So, I want everybody from the coaches to the front office to feel the same f***ing way. That’s how I feel about it.”

Read More