Defensive end Maxx Crosby was one of the Las Vegas Raiders best defenders last season. The Eastern Michigan standout proved in his rookie year he could make the jump from college to the pros. Now in his second year, he is looking to improve under the tutelage of defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.Â
Maxx Crosby was one of the bright spots on the Raiders D-line in 2019
Crosby accounted for 10 of the 32 sacks the Raiders recorded last season. Moreover, he forced four fumbles and was a runner up for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Although he can still improve, team brass should be really pleased with what they have in the 2019 fourth-round pick.
The fact Marinelli joined the team should only help get Crosby to get better. Under the defensive coach’s tutelage, other defensive linemen’s careers have taken off. DeMarcus Lawrence and his teammate Maliek Collins, who signed with the Raiders this offseason, are the most recent examples of players that have vastly benefited from Marinelli’s teachings.
The Marinelli Factor
Talking to the press, Crosby talked about how Marinelli is the right coach for the Raiders defensive linemen. The sophomore defensive end likes the fact the coach doesn’t let him get content in spite of having a good rookie year.
“First off, coach Marinelli, the thing I love about him, he keeps it real and he pushes me every day. That’s one thing I want, just because I have one good year I don’t want a coach to tap me on the ass and be nice and overdo everything, ‘yeah, good job, Max! I don’t want that, that’s not me, that’s not my personality. I love the way [he] coaches, I can’t wait for the season to get here cuz he’s getting us better every single day. He’s pushing us to new limits.”
Just like other players currently on the Raiders roster, Crosby isn’t letting past success get to his head. The defensive end cites hustle as Marinelli’s coaching staple. The coach doesn’t want the defensive line to think too much and just make plays.
“The number one thing is effort with him. He wants us to spring to the ball like crazy. Me personally, I’ve been trying to overemphasize running to the ball. I know the other guys are too, and I’m trying set that example. As far as technique, he wants us getting off the ball and react. He doesn’t want usÂ thinking too much, doesn’t want us worried about this and that. He wants us to get off and react and play, be natural and be a football player, make plays get off the ball make a decision from there . So, I love it I love his coaching style, I think it’s going to help everyone on this d-line. I’m really excited for you all to see us.”
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Crosby won’t do it alone
Marinelli’s approach may sound obvious but plenty of his fellow coaches get too specific. In an effort to outsmart opposing offenses, they something cook convoluted schemes and hold back players as a result. This isn’t the case.
As much as Crosby can improve, it will take the whole defensive line to play in unison, including second-year defensive end Clelin Ferrell. Crosby says he’s excited to see how much his teammate has improved.
“Cle, he looks great. That’s he’s like a brother to me. We’re working every day, we’re trying to get better. Today was obviously the first look. We finally got in pads, so we can really see how’s everyone’s looking and everything like that. I thought we had a pretty good day, so I can’t wait.”
If Crosby and Ferrell improve the way Raiders brass envisions, their defensive line should improve significantly. Also, not everything will fall on the sophomore’s shoulders as the Silver and Black brought reinforcements this offseason.
“The sky is the limit, we literally are completely different up front now. We have guys that can truly rush the passer and guys that play the game at the level we need to. Maliek loves football, Carl loves football, we have a bunch of guys that love to play the game. When we have a full unit of eight to ten guys on the d-line working on the same page and that love ball, good things are going to happen. I think we got more talented, I think we have more guys that really really love football. I think we’re going to go out there and do some good things.”
The additions in the defensive line and Marinelli’s arrival should definitely help Crosby and Ferrell turn the curve fast. The Raiders defensive front definitely looks stronger than it has in years.
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Top Photo: Darren Yamashita USA Today Sports