Raiders News: Maxx Crosby, Michael Mayer latest

Baptism By Fire For Raiders Rookie Michael Mayer, Courtesy Of Maxx Crosby

Things are getting chippy in Henderson, but that’s a good thing. There’s been a real shift in how the Las Vegas Raiders have been coming together this training camp. Fans have been reading about how much of a difference Jimmy Garoppolo’s arrival has made. On the other side of things, Maxx Crosby’s leadership and presence have been taken to another level; just ask rookie tight end Michael Mayer.

Baptism by fire for Raiders rookie TE Michael Mayer

The Raiders’ prized second-round pick from Notre Dame has sizeable shoes to fill out of the gate. With Darren Waller now in the Big Apple, Mayer is expected to become the new TE1 sooner rather than later. By all accounts, Mayer has been impressive thus far, but he recently ran into some trouble—figuratively speaking, of course.

Head coach Josh McDaniels was asked about Mayer getting knocked down by Crosby (a painful proposition, no doubt) this week during his media availability. Essentially, the notion that Mayer hitting the floor serves as “a lesson” was presented in the questioning. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that McDaniels was rather dismissive.

“Absolutely. And it wasn’t a bad lesson. It’s his first day in pads in the National Football League. I mean, there’s a baptism sometimes. It is what it is. We all learn hard lessons in this league, but the hard ones are sometimes the best ones.”

Surely there was zero ill will from Crosby on this; the defensive leader wants to bring out the best in his teammates. That’s what the great ones do. As the old adage goes, steel sharpens steel in this scenario.

Maxx Crosby is taking things to another level this training camp…

Michael Mayer is going to go up against some of the league’s best defensive ends and linebackers this season. Players looking to take his head off, especially up the middle—preparing with one of the best in the business is truly a blessing for the rookie, although he may not see it that way right now. More importantly, the poise and attitude he displayed afterward showcased why McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler drafted him in the first place.

“He [Michael Mayer] had a great attitude yesterday about just seeing the things that he wasn’t doing right. And that’s why we were so excited about having him here and being able to draft him. He has the right mindset: tough, no backing down. Learned it’s different; you know what I mean? It can be different for different people, depending on who you’re playing against. So, he’ll be better today because of what happened yesterday. And that’s what Maxx wants. Maxx wants them to be better and to compete as much as he can, as hard as he can, on every play.”

At the end of the day, no one was injured. As McDaniels pointed out, all this is just further evidence of the leadership role that Crosby has embraced. He was a leader before, that’s true, but something’s changed this offseason—Maxx Crosby has become the face of the team, one that holds everyone accountable on both sides of the ball. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a new day for the Silver and Black. Or, it could be just that the rookie was “welcomed to the NFL.” You decide.

*Top Photo: Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group

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