Defensive end Maxx Crosby is ready to become even better in his second year with the Las Vegas Raiders. Many of the things he did as a rookie will carry over in his sophomore season.
Originally, Crosby thought the Dallas Cowboys were going to draft him and was looking forward to it. However, he was disappointed to find out he wouldn’t be playing for America’s Team. The defensive end admitted as much in a conversation with Tashan Reed of the Athletic. â€œI’m from Dallas so I was like, ‘Mom, Dad, Dallas loves me; this is gonna be perfect,'” Crosby remembered over the phone last week. â€œObviously, I didn’t get drafted there. And I was kind of pissed off but, at the same time, I think everything happens for a reason.”
Later in the interview with Reed, Crosby talked about how he prepared for the NFL Scouting Combine last year. He was aware he needed to gain weight in the NFL but didn’t have the means back in Eastern Michigan. That changed when he started working out and getting ready at EXOS Phoenix. â€œThey meal prepped me up… They had it down to the exact calorie â€” every single meal I was eating â€” and the time and everything. They made sure I was gaining the right weight and eating clean but good at the same time.”
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Raiders: Getting on the Good Side of the Scale
Crosby partook in the combine and weighed 255 pounds. All in all, he added 15 pounds after declaring for the draft. Surprisingly, the defensive end continued gaining weight and ended his rookie season at 275. Nevertheless, he says the mental adjustment was as important entering his first year in the NFL. He was bombed with information. â€œI thought I knew everything coming out of college and I was so wrong. In college, I was really doing my own thing. Obviously, I had moves and stuff like that, but I knew nothing about angles and I knew nothing about the game in general. The mental side of it was the No. 1 thing that I feel like helped take my game to that next level.”
A Sudden Turnaround in Production
In spite of getting ready for his first NFL season, Crosby barely had an impact in the first nine games of the season. At that point, he only had 2.5 sacks, 22 total tackles and seven quarterback hits. Then, it just clicked. â€œI was around the quarterback the whole game. I was beating dudes left and right and I felt really good. Going into the next week, everyone’s asking me, ‘Damn, how come didn’t you have more sacks?’ I was like, ‘Listen, I’m not worried about it. It’ll come. The numbers will come if I just keep doing what I do.’ And that’s exactly what happened.”
Steadily, Crosby worked his way up to become a difference-maker for the Raiders. Based on how he’s tackling this year’s offseason, he should keep trending upwards.
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