Raiders News: Maxx Crosby and Josh Jacobs

Raiders DE Maxx Crosby Gives Bold Take on NFL’s Best Pass Rusher; Josh McDaniels Talks Jimmy Garoppolo Reunion

Maxx Crosby is coming into the 2023 season likely wanting to show that he’s the best edge rusher in the NFL. While there will be some who scoff at that claim, the Las Vegas Raiders star does have the confidence to prove any doubters wrong. Crosby probably wants to show that he belongs in the same sentence as Nick Bosa and Myles Garrett.

“Mad Maxx” isn’t alone in heading into another season highly motivated. Vegas’s head honcho, Josh McDaniels, has been busy adding players that better fit his system. The significant change that Las Vegas made this offseason was reuniting McDaniels with Jimmy Garoppolo. Both men spent time together in New England and hope to rub the “Patriot Way” onto the Silver and Black.

Crosby and McDaniels spoke with CBS Sports, so let’s see what they said.

Maxx Crosby believes he’s the NFL’s best edge rusher

Athletes need self-confidence to reach the NFL, even when the majority does not share it. When many think of Maxx Crosby, they likely know how good of a pass rusher he is but might not put him in the “upper echelon” of players. Currently, several rankings have the 49ers’ Bosa and the Cleveland Browns’ Garrett as the best edge players.

Nonetheless, Crosby wants to change that. When discussing the best pass rushers, the 25-year-old probably wants to jump to the front, where his name is the first mention. However, the Raiders star already believes he’s at that level but knows he still has work to do to be unanimously considered one of the best edge rushers. 

“You know, at the end of the day, like I said, I think I’m the best, if not one of the best, but clearly, I have work to do,” Crosby told CBS Sports. “There should be an argument. So at the end of the day, I have work to do. That’s what I push for every single day. Nobody argues that Aaron Donald’s the best of what he does. 

“So guys like that motivate me. So, yeah, I clearly have work to do. That’s why I work the way I do. It’s an everyday process, all year process. And I’m just fired up. I can’t wait. I love coming out here and just getting better.”

Despite registering 12.5 sacks, Crosby wasn’t an All-Pro last season, with that honor going to Bosa and Micah Parsons. “Mad Maxx” does have the potential to put up numbers that will allow him to earn that All-Pro nod, so that shouldn’t be questioned. 

The Raiders star has the confidence that helps him believe he’s in the same category as Bosa or Parsons. Still, he’s humble enough to know that 12.5 sacks won’t be enough to beat these players for individual awards. As a result, he has to get better to surpass his peers. 

Crosby has something to prove this season, which doesn’t bode well for the opposition’s offensive line and quarterback. 

Josh McDaniels and Jimmy Garoppolo are not working from “ground zero”

While Crosby looks to terrorize the opposition’s offense, the Raiders hope that Garoppolo helps lead a Las Vegas offense that has the potential to be scary. Derek Carr likely has better talent than “Jimmy G,” but ESPN’s Mina Kimes recently pointed out that Carr didn’t fit into the system. 

As a result, the Silver and Black had to bring in the 31-year-old, who will be comfortable in this offense. With Garoppolo, the Raiders have someone who speaks the same language as McDaniels.

“We’re not starting from ground zero, that’s for sure,” McDaniels told CBS Sports. “Jimmy, you know, has really great recall of the stuff that we use, the verbiage we used back in New England when he was with me there. He’s able to talk a little bit of a different language because he has some experience and some wisdom coming from [San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan’s] system as well. 

“So it’s a back and forth. It’s really fun. He’s a great guy to have in a classroom. He asks great questions, and he’s a quick learner. So all things you need to be as a quarterback.

Furthermore, the signal-caller worked with Shanahan, another offensive guru. So Garoppolo has experience operating in a complex system. The veteran has shown he can execute these offenses and win despite not being an “elite” quarterback. 

If Garoppolo can get the ball to his playmakers like Davante Adams, this could be a recipe for success. As this offseason has shown with the trades of Carr and Darren Waller, the Raiders under McDaniels are more about fit than talent. Garoppolo will be at the forefront of this new philosophy that might allow the franchise to have continued success.

So what do you say, Raiders fans? Does Garoppolo and McDaniels’ past relationship give you a boost of confidence heading into the season, or is there still concern?

*Top Photo: NBC Sports

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