Maxx Crosby: Everybody has a lot to prove, and that could be a scary combination

USA TODAY Sports

Though the Raiders finished last season eighth in total yards and 10th in scoring, the club’s poor defense led the team to an 8-8 finish.

Las Vegas made some significant defensive changes over the offseason, starting with bringing in Gus Bradley as the unit’s coordinator. Then the team signed free agents like Yannick Ngakoue, Quinton Jefferson, and Solomon Thomas to bolster the defensive front.

The Raiders already had Maxx Crosby, a 2019 fourth-round pick who’s led the club in sacks in each of his first two seasons. In an interview with Heidi Fang of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Crosby said the Raiders D-line additions have primed the club for success in 2021.

“I think it’s just a new energy that was much needed,” Crosby said on the “Takeaways” podcast. “I feel like Quinton has a lot to prove, Solomon has a lot to prove. There’s a lot of guys that are humble but also at the same time know what they can do and really want to go out there and show people their best football.

“I know I’m one of those people. I think I haven’t even touched where I can really be in this league. And Yannick as well, he knows he can be even better. Everybody just has something to prove and I feel like that’s going to be a scary combination once we all get out there together.”

Crosby has been the Raiders’ best edge rusher for the last two years, recording a total of 17.0 sacks. Ngakoue was arguably the top edge rusher on the free-agent market after recording 45.5 sacks in his first five seasons. A former fifth-round pick, Jefferson spent last season with Buffalo and recorded 3.0 sacks, three tackles for loss, and six QB hits.

But of the players Crosby mentioned, Thomas likely has the most to prove. The 2017 No. 3 overall pick, he’s recorded just 6.0 career sacks in 48 games with 30 starts. He’s also coming off a torn ACL early last season after the 49ers declined to pick up his fifth-year option.

7 responses to “Maxx Crosby: Everybody has a lot to prove, and that could be a scary combination

  1. Ever notice the defensive players with the biggest mouths run them a lot, and a mention of “total sacks” follows it?

    Then you look at the team’s run and total team D numbers and they are horrible.

    Every time.

    There’s to the DE or OLB position than sack collection. It may be the most overrated stat in sports.

  2. Let’s not forget the addition of vet CB Casey Hayward and the ballhawkin’ FS Moehrig out of TCU. We’ll be new and elite on the edge, new on the interior, new in the d-backfield and MOST IMPORTANTLY, new at the DC position.

    Gus Bradley was the single most important addition to this team this offseason and it’s not even close.

    The big question is whether or not they can change the culture. Can the combination of Gus Bradley and Gruden stop players from wanting to take a 4-week vacation when they get a paper cut? We’ll see.

  3. Maxx is a monster EDGE with a world-class motor. He’ll only get better at everything now that Paul Guenther is not there to hobble him.

  4. Maxx Crosby is the most average edge in the league, half his sacks were against the worst team in the league with 3rd string linemen.

  5. Maxx never seems to talk about Clelin Ferrel, does he think there’s no hope for him at all?

  6. This defense is BETTER with GUS in the house and New attitudes of joy and confidence that PAUL aint there to throw a nuclear/calculus/rocket science drawing of a play at them during a 3rd and ten. The defense will lead us to the playoffs for the new beginning of a DYNASTY for Carr and Grudens remaining career.

  7. There is absolutely nothing “BETTER” about the Raiders defense. Particularly since the Mack trade. The Raiders are 19-29 since that trade have not acquired a franchise QB nor have the built a reliable or even half decent defense.

    Good Luck with your fantasy pipe dreams, Mahomes isn’t going anywhere….hahaha!

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