The Las Vegas Raiders put an emphasis on ramping up their personnel on both sides of the line of scrimmage this NFL offseason.
Of course, they made headlines with their decision to essentially clean house along the offensive line with the departure of Trent Brown, Gabe Jackson, and Rodney Hudson. Fortunately, they did manage to alleviate some of the turnover by bringing back guards Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good.
Incognito will be tasked with serving as a stabilizing factor up front as some of the new faces get acclimated. His presence both on and off the field has not gone unnoticed by defensive end Maxx Crosby.
Crosby shared some high praise for Incognito and the leadership role that he fills in Las Vegas.
“Richie’s my guy. He’s a big, positive influence around the building,” Crosby said. “The guy’s been in it for 17 years playing offensive line. (laughter) It’s honestly unheard of. He’s a leader. He loves football and the guy looks like he’s 25 years old. It doesn’t make any sense. He’s a great leader in the locker room and a great guy to have around. We’re excited to have him back.”
It is safe to say that Crosby is pleased with the team’s efforts to keep Incognito around. Given his key role and the changes made this offseason, it seemed like an obvious choice for the Raiders to keep at least two-thirds of their interior intact.
There has been plenty of speculation regarding how long the soon-to-be, 38-year-old veteran planned on playing in the NFL. Fortunately, Crosby’s comments regarding his youthful aura indicates that he is still going strong leading up to the 2021 NFL season.
This is certainly an encouraging sign for the Raiders since new faces like rookie tackle Alex Leatherwood are still getting acclimated to the system. If this team hopes to emerge as a bona fide playoff contender next season, they cannot afford to suffer a significant drop-off up front.
Like Incognito, Crosby will be relied on to produce consistently while showing some of the new players like rookie linebacker Malcolm Koonce the ropes. The energy around the organization at the moment indicates both players are more than up to the task.