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Silver Minings: Patrick Graham makes pitch for Maxx Crosby to win Defensive Player of the Year

Coach has his guy’s back

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Maxx Crosby
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

With the regular season nearing an end, debates for the individual awards are heating up. Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby has had a fantastic year with a career-high 13.5 sacks to go along with 88 total tackles and 21 TFL. The two latter metrics are only one away from being personal bests for Crosby, meaning he has a good chance to statistically have the best year of his career.

Compared to other players in the league, the fifth-year pro ranks seventh in sacks and is tied for first in TFL while leading his position in total tackles. But the bigger question is, ‘Is that good enough for Crosby to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award?’

Raiders’ defensive coordinator Patrick Graham thinks so.

“He’s the most disruptive defensive player in the league, in my opinion,” Graham said while making his pitch for Crosby to reporters. “As much attention as he draws in the run and the pass and still being able to make plays, whether it’s tackles for loss, pressures, QB hits, sacks. And then the thing that stands out to me, and I tell him all the time, when he puts on the cape, and he does the Superman stuff in terms of the plays from the backside.

“I mean, whether it’s a screen, whether it’s chasing down the quarterback, whether it’s backside on the run. You know each week the focus is on him because he’s a game wrecker, and he knows that and he’s embraced that, and he’s still out there making plays. It speaks to who he is as a person, speaks to who he is as a player, it speaks to his teammates because just naturally he’s raised the level of his teammates.

“AP [Antonio Pierce] talked about it because everyone is trying to match his level of intensity. And it’s just the influence he has on this locker room, on this organization, and I think on the fan base as well. I can see it; I can’t really speak for it. But, I mean, it’s hard to say who’s more valuable than him in my opinion.”

For what it’s worth, DraftKings Sportsbook is giving Crosby the fourth-best odds (+5000) to win the award behind Myles Garrett (-240), Micah Parsons (+250) and T.J. Watt (+380)

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