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Maxx Crosby excited by young teammates: ‘We’re becoming closer as a unit’

The Raiders’ defensive leader is fired up

San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders
Maxx Crosby
Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders’ defense needs to turn the corner in 2023 after struggling for several years.

The unit’s best player, passrusher Maxx Crosby, is excited by what he is seeing in the team’s OTA sessions this spring and he is charged up by an influx of young talent on the defensive line. He said the unit is coming together very quickly,

“I think a big part of what we’re doing right now is just becoming closer as a unit, especially D-line wise. We’re meeting together, we’re doing everything together,” Crosby recently said in comments distributed by the team. “We’re going out having dinners together, a couple of guys went to power slap together. But just getting out of the building and spending more time and building those relationships, because that’s the stuff that people don’t really notice on the field. You watch the Chiefs, everyone knows [Travis] Kelce and [Patrick] Mahomes are on the same page.

“You watch the Bills, you know Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, there’s a reason they’re on the same page because they’re doing more than just playing football together. They’re doing things off the field together as well. So, that’s kind of my main focus as a leader, taking that next step and just trying to bring the guys together, not only with the D-line but as a defense as a whole and just as a team as a whole, holding everybody to that standard.”

Crosby is very excited to teammates with Tyree Wilson, who the Raiders took with the No. 7 overall pick. Crosby and Wilson are expected to be one of the league’s top pass-rush tandems for the next several years.

“I’ve seen a bunch of (Wilson’s college) highlights and things like that, but just from his physical gifts alone he can be a great player. It’s just about the work you put in once you get into league,” Crosby said. “You can have tools, you can have every bit of talent - that’s the NFL, everybody’s talented - but it’s what you do when you get in the building. He’s had a great attitude so far, he seems like a great kid. So, I’m going to be there for him. I know Chandler [Jones] will as well and all the other veterans. So, we’re here to help not only Tyree but Byron [Young] and all the new guys we brought in as well.”

Crosby is entering his fifth NFL season and he has become an elite defender. He is excited for this season and continuing to work at his craft.

“I love it in every single way. At the end of the day, I do this year-round. I put in everything into my craft, not only on the field but off the field,” he said. “I want to be the best person I could possibly be, the best leader I could be, the best athlete, the best football player I could possibly be, and that comes with more pressure. The more success you get, that’s just inevitable. So for me, I’ve always wanted to be in this position. Even though it is hard, you’re going to get more critics, you’re going to get more attention, but that’s a good thing at the end of the day. If nobody’s talking about you, nobody expects big things from you, you’re probably doing something wrong. But I do everything I can to put myself in the best position to help this team, be the best leader I can be and be the best player down-to-down in the National Football League. So, that’s my goal every day is to be the best. And I try to show my teammates what that looks like every single day. So, even when the rookies came in, I told them just follow me every single day. If you want to continue building your career, follow me. I’m going to do it the right way. I’m going to keep showing up, and I’m going to do it every single day. And that’s what’s it’s really about is putting your head down and all the extra shit, that’s just a part of the game, it’s going to come with it. People are going to either like you or they don’t. They’re going to say this, say that, but at the end of the day, if you put in the body of work every single day over time people are all going to recognize that. So, that’s just what I stick to.”