The Las Vegas Raiders‘ “Roundtable” recently got the opportunity to sit down with Pro Bowl defensive end Maxx Crosby. As always, No. 98 shined, paying homage to the greats who came before him—the class act that Raider Nation has embraced. He also displayed a true ‘Mamba Mentality’ of his own by getting candid about last season.
It’s not good enough…
Crosby went into the interview in a good mood, looking to have a good time during Content Day. Still, Crosby switched gears on the Raiders’ schedule and candidly told the panel how he felt.
“I have been with the Raiders for four years now, and we’ve been to the playoffs just once in those four years, and that’s just not good enough. Also, I totally understand where the fans are coming from, but I really do love this group. I feel like the coaches and players have really looked in the mirror and realized that this is what we need to do. Last year wasn’t good enough.”
As a franchise, “Commitment to Excellence” used to mean more than words to its loyal, devout Raider Nation. The standard used to be Super Bowls, AFC Championship Games, playoffs, and “Just Win, Baby.” In the last 23 years, the team has reached double-digits in the win column a mere five times. To be fair, it’s not all the four-year veteran’s fault, but like a real leader, losing doesn’t sit well with him. “The Condor” is ready to spread his wings and soar to the highest heights.
“In the outside world, everyone is going to have an opinion, especially when you are not winning. They deserve their criticism. I get it; we were 6-11 last year. It’s not good enough; it’s unacceptable, and I take it extremely personally,” Crosby would explain plainly.
Kobe Bryant took losing personally; Michael Jordan too, as well as every G.O.A.T. in sports history. Having great individual statistical seasons isn’t supposed to make losing acceptable. For as fun-loving a guy as Mad Maxx may be, losing is never fun. No real competitor plays the game to be happy holding another “L.” That’s a fact.
Hope is on the horizon for Maxx Crosby and the Raiders
Maxx Crosby looked each member of the panel in the eye and told them; “If we get a bunch of guys on the same page that are bought in on winning, not just individual stats, not just ‘alright, I’m going to have my success and be good’, if we do it for each other, everyone is going to have success, and everyone is going to go above and beyond what the outside world expects. It’s really about just buying in and believing in the guy next to you; that’s going to give you a great chance to win.”
All across the NFL’s landscape, there’s a common denominator when it comes to the Silver and Black: The fans, prognosticators, gambling line-setters, and rival front offices aren’t high on the Raiders this year. In fact, many question the abilities of head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler in fielding a competitive roster.
Crosby has not lost faith in his front office or his teammates.
“They get paid for a reason upstairs, and they have a vision of what they want, and I would be crazy if I didn’t believe in that. They believe in me, I believe in this team, and I feel like all that matters is the guys in this building going out and putting in the work every single day. We have to go out there and produce for the fans and prove to everybody that we’re a good team and we’ve got a lot going on for the future.”
*Top Photo: NBC Sports