Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby, who recorded two sacks and four quarterback hits on Monday, was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week earlier today.
The fourth-round pick by the Silver and Black in 2019 said the award is amazing, but he is focused on the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team’s next opponent.
“Anytime you go out there and have a good game, it’s awesome,” Maxx Crosby said. “Just worried about the next one, worried about today. We had a good day of preparation and trying to get my body back to where it needs to be and, you know, the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
According to ESPN, the Raiders’ thrilling victory on Monday Night Football was seen by 15.3 million people across its platforms, which was the most watched Week 1 Monday night game since 2013.
Despite the jubilation and emotions from two nights ago, Crosby said the team has to pivot and prepare for its Week 2 game.
“The roller coaster ride that (quarterback Derek Carr) talks about, everybody talks about, it’s ‘not getting too high, not getting too low,’” Crosby said. “For me, I already flushed the game. I watched the Steelers’ first game against Buffalo yesterday. Been locked in on them because it’s a week-by-week basis and a week-by-week league. You never know how things are going to turn out, so you really have to stay locked in.”
Part of the preparations each week for a defense is studying the other team’s offense. In Week 1, the Raiders faced a mobile, fourth-year quarterback that can find his way out of the pocket to extend plays at a very high level.
This week, it’s a lot different.
Crosby and the defense are preparing to take on 18-year veteran play-caller Ben Roethlisberger, who has won two Super Bowls and has been in the league since 2004.
No matter which quarterback the team is facing, Maxx Crosby said the goal will be to play the way they know how to play.
“Obviously, he’s not as athletic as Lamar Jackson,” Maxx Crosby said of Roethlisberger. “Lamar is like an anomaly in a way, but Big Ben is a great quarterback. We talk about it in the D-line room all the time, ‘It’s about us’ at the end of the day. We got to do what we got to do, no matter who we’re playing. It all starts with get off, playing with crazy energy, running through the ball and causing turnovers.”
Maxx Crosby proud to be a team captain
Prior to the beginning of the season, Maxx Crosby was named one of seven captains to lead the team.
He said his leadership philosophy is that if someone is going to talk, they have to put the work in to back it up.
“It starts with my dad, the way I was raised,” Crosby said. “He was my coach when I was a little kid on my peewee teams. One thing he taught me when I was a kid was ‘Don’t be all bark and no bite.’ That’s my biggest pet peeve. That’s one thing I can’t stand is people consistently talk and talk about it, but when it’s really time to go, you’re quiet and you’re not doing what you’re saying.”
That mentality has continued into the 24-year-old’s professional career as he wants to gain the trust of teammates each day.
“For me, I want to go out there and show everybody, this is what I’m about,” Crosby said. “It’s starts, not just on the field, it’s in the weight room, in meetings, in everything. That’s what I try to do every single day.
“Show up and be the first guy in the building, the first guy doing extra after workouts, so everybody sees what I’m doing. They know I’m putting in the work every day because if I’m going to say something in the game, they’re going to have more respect for me.”
McCoy & Good out for the year
Those reports turned out to be true as both will out for the remainder of the season.
“That’s the nature of this business,” Maxx Crosby said. “Guys are going down, there’s new guys in the building every day. It’s a crazy business, to say the least, but it’s the next man up mentality. Obviously, losing Gerald is huge and we’ve talked a ton since the game. It broke my heart. The dude has done so much work to get back and to see him go out like that is horrible and unfortunate, but he is still going to be part of this group, no matter what.
“It sucks. Denzelle as well, the dude been working his tail off. You obviously have to feel for them, but at the same time, the show keeps going. So, we got to keep getting prepared, everybody’s got to stay ready and take care of themselves.”
Carr said the injuries are part of this high-volume, contact sport and it will be difficult not having Good in his huddles, but the team prepares in training camp to have a third-string lineman work with the eighth-year quarterback.
“It’s hard, but the way we practice during camp, no matter if you’re a one, two or three, we all practice together,” Carr said. “Coach is putting the third O-line with me, the third receiver with me and vice versa…because he knows in this game, injuries happen.”
Despite not having one player from both the offensive and defensive lines, the Raiders will face the Steelers on Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. at Heinz Field.