Coming into the season, Maxx Crosby spoke about being the defensive leader for the Las Vegas Raiders and setting the tone every day. So far, he has lived up to that in every way, shape and form as the Raiders now find themselves at 3-3 after a 21-17 win over the New England Patriots.
In the Raiders’ second straight win, Crosby once again didn’t leave the field, playing 100% of the defensive snaps and leading the Raiders with seven tackles while providing the game-sealing safety along with Bilal Nichols in the final seconds of the game.
Crosby was locked in from the beginning, and that is something the Raiders star has been working on. After the game, he spoke about the likes of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan always being ‘in the zone’ and how he derives inspiration from that, via Logan Reever of 8 News Now:
“Tim Grover talks about it all the time. He’s like, ‘The great ones the Kobes, the Jordans, they’re always in the zone.’ Whatever that is, whatever I gotta do to get to that by game day, that’s what you have to solve to stay at the top and be at the highest level.
For me, I’m constantly searching to be in the zone at all times. Practice, weight room and then directly obviously on Sundays when I’m out on the field. You’re in the zone, it comes from preparation and just mental strength and mental fortitude to be consistent with everything you do in preparation leading up to it.”
Crosby may not be where he wants to be with that yet, but where he is at is extremely impressive, and with his work ethic and desire to be the best, it is only a matter of time before he reaches that level. Especially if he is taking from the book of Kobe and Jordan.
Put simply, Crosby is one of the best defenders in the entire NFL. Not only does he rank seventh in the league in sacks and fourth in tackles for loss, but he continues to be more than a pass rusher. Of the 28 players who have at least four sacks so far this season, no one has as many total tackles as Crosby’s 35, and only two players are even within 10.
Maxx Crosby has not always gotten the recognition he deserves, but with the Raiders having some momentum behind them, perhaps people will finally begin putting him in the conversations of top defensive players in the NFL, as he should be.