HENDERSON (Nev.) — His voice cracked the first. His eyes became redder and more moist.
Maxx Crosby was overcome with emotion just hours after he was informed he had been named to his first ever career Pro Bowl.
“I was in rehab almost, like, two years ago, and now I’m in the Pro Bowl,”Crosby was the popular and effective defense end for the Las Vegas Raiders Monday night, after his team beat the COVID-ravaged Cleveland Browns.
“It’s just a blessing, man. I show up and I try to be the best teammate …”
“I try to be the best teammate every day and show my guys that I care,”He continued. “That s— just hit home, man. It’s special. It makes my family proud, my girl. Everybody around me is calling and blowing up my phone.”
“I’m crying like a baby because I just know I’ve worked so hard,”He added, “and it’s starting to pay off.”
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Crosby was the Raiders fourth-round draft selection from Eastern Michigan in 2019. He reminded Mike Mayock of Ted Hendricks and Mark Davis. He found clarity after his rookie year. He told ESPN that he did so after his rookie season. rehabYou can stay for one month. “alcoholism runs in my family and I’m an alcoholic.”
March will mark his second year of sobriety. He said that the irony is that his rookie season, in which he racked-up 10 sacks, was his best season sackwise.
But he was also racking-up mileage off the field. So, there was a need to make changes.
When the Raiders moved from Oakland last year to Las Vegas, he contracted COVID-19. He was forced to quarantine at his desert home during camp. He practiced pass-rush moves on a single palm tree in his yard and picked out splinters afterwards.
His brethren named him a team captain at this camp, which was another step in his journey to sobriety. Rich Bisaccia, interim coach, noted that he was not trying to get emotional about the topic, but he did. “monumental”Crosby’s journey.
“It certainly showed that he had the power of example that others wanted to follow,”Bisaccia stated this before he was able to transition into Crosby’s football production. Crosby stated that he only has five sacks for this season.
“What [he’s] teaching people to do is look beyond the numbers,” Bisaccia added. “Look at the relentless effort that the guy plays with every game and look at the relentless effort that he puts into practice. So, he has become the power of example in a lot of ways. The other thing that he’s done a tremendous job of in his time here is because of the things he’s gone through, and [tight end] Darren Waller has done this as well, they’re speaking out. They feel like if they can help one person, if they can just get to somebody, not only on our team, but on the outside, both of them have done both, with our team and with people on the outside.”
It is clear that life is more important then on-the field accolades. He has been able to achieve these accolades by getting his life in order. Crosby noted that his five sacks rank only 50th in the NFL.
Pro Football Focus has Crosby putting in an All-Pro season thanks to its analytics.
Crosby led all edge rushers in pressures (78), was tied for first place in pass rush win percentage (25.2%) and was second in pass rush grade (91.8) and PFF grade (90.9). This pressure has been beneficial for the Raiders (7-7), who will host the Denver Broncos Sunday at Allegiant Stadium (4.25 pm. ET, CBS) in a crucial game if they want to remain in the playoff hunt.
Crosby is one the three Raiders who were named to the NFL’s All-Star Game, which will take place in Vegas on February 2, with Denzel PerrymanAJ Cole and Shane Lechler, Raiders’ first Pro Bowler middle linebacker since Matt Millen in 1988, were also selected as Raiders punters. Ray Guy and Ray Guy are also included.
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Who was the last Raiders Pro Bowl edge rusher? Khalil Mack was the name of this guy, and we all know what happened. Mack, the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, decided to wait in 2018 and play under his $13 million fifth-year option, rather than risk losing his contract extension. He was traded to the Chicago Bears by the Raiders.
Las Vegas could face a similar problem this offseason. Carr’s five-year, $125m deal signed in 2018 has only one year remaining. Crosby’s rookie contract expires after the 2022 season.
With so much uncertainty facing Raiders this offseason — New General Manager? What’s the name of the new coach? New QB Crosby has been a stabilizing influence on the defensive lines and he gave credit to Rod Marinelli, a veteran D line coach.
“He pushes me every day,”Crosby said. “He pushes me every day to be the best, best player I can be. And I want to kill him sometimes. He wants to kill me. He wants to kill me.”
Crosby laughed once more.
“But he just wants the best for me,”He said. “He knows what I want; I want to be the best in the league and he pushes me to be that guy every day.”
Marinelli spoke out about Crosby’s growth: “It’s like watching the Grand Canyon grow. It took a million years before it was finished and its the same way as a player. It’s slowly evolving, day by day. Then when you look back, you say, ‘Woah, man, has he grown.’ It’s that type of process and he’s been very diligent at it … to see him grow, he’s come million miles away from last year. Day by day.”
We are back at the beginning — a stunned Crosby trying desperately to absorb it in the bowels a stadium on Lake Erie.
“I just put in so much work,”He said. “For having my teammates, my peers, people, coaches around the league, it’s a dream come true. It’s awesome. Individual awards are cool, but something like that, you think about that as a kid … I just want to show people out there it’s not all about stats.
“It’s not just your impact in the locker area, but also your impact on the field. It affects the game, regardless of what stats you get. I believe that I do this every Sunday, and that’s what my goal is to do. It was indeed very special.