The Las Vegas Raiders defense has been one of the worst units in the NFL, though it’s not because of Maxx Crosby.
Crosby has gotten better every season since being drafted in 2019, emerging as the undisputed leader for the Raiders defense and the team as a whole. He’s established himself as a force on the edge as evidenced by the 12.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss he recorded in the 2022 season.
The Pro Bowler has worked incredibly hard to become one of the best defensive players in the league, and he believes that he’s the best defensive end in the game right now via CBS Sports:
“You know, at the end of the day, like I said, I think I’m the best, if not one of the best, but clearly, I have work to do,” Crosby said. “There should be an argument. So at the end of the day, I have work to do. That’s what I push for every single day. Nobody argues that Aaron Donald’s the best of what he does.”
Aaron Donald’s long been considered the best defensive tackle and arguably the best defensive player period, and Crosby admitted he uses him as fuel to improve his game:
“So guy like that motivates me. So, yeah, I clearly have work to do. That’s why I work the way I do. It’s an everyday process, all year process. And I’m just fired up. I can’t wait. I love coming out here and just getting better.”
Crosby definitely belongs in the upper echelon of current edge players, though players like Myles Garrett, Micah Parsons, T.J. Watt and Nick Bosa all have strong claims to being the best at their position. Each player forces opposing teams to gameplan for them, but Crosby’s production is more impressive, considering his supporting cast.
Las Vegas needs their star to produce at even higher levels in 2023 if they hope to compete with the rest of the AFC. Crosby is doing everything he can on his own, but he’ll need the rest of the Raiders defense to step up when the time comes.
Maxx Crosby taking pride in being Raiders captain and leader
With Derek Carr off the roster, there’s a sizable hole from a leadership standpoint. Carr was able to hold the team together through rollercoaster situations, but without him, someone will need to fill the gap.
Fortunately, Crosby has embraced being a captain and leader for the squad and is determined to lift the organization back up.