NFL

Raiders’ Crosby Believes He Can Be Much Better

Defensive end, who had 10 sacks as a rookie, wants to go far, far beyond that total in 2020

Raiders player Maxx Crosby posing after a sack

Maxx Crosby doesn’t hold back, on the field or off it.

As a rookie, Crosby had a terrific 2019. The fourth-round draft pick from Eastern Michigan was a surprising force, with 10 sacks, 14 quarterback hits, 47 combined tackles (including 14 for loss) and 29 quarterback hurries. In one game, he had four sacks. His 52 total pressures ranked 11th among all NFL defensive linemen.

Now "Mad Maxx" wants a far better 2020 season, and is working toward it.

As Luke Straub of USA Today’s RaidersWire noted this week, Crosby has said he’d like to break the Raiders single-season record of 16 sacks and also beat the prediction of former major league pitcher (and Raiders fan) C.C. Sabathia that Crosby will have 14½ sacks in 2020.

"I hold myself to a high standard," Crosby told a reporter from NFL Media. "I want to be a 2.0 version of myself next year. So if the number is 14½ … the number doesn’t matter. I’ve just got to be the best version of myself and the results will come."

Crosby later added in the interview, however, that he wants to go high – way high – in 2020.

"I’m trying to have 30 sacks if I can," he said.

Thirty would be Hall of Fame-worthy. The last player to have 20 or more was Aaron Donald of the Rams, who had 20½ in 2018, and the NFL record is 22½ by Michael Strahan of the Giants in 2001.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock are huge fans of Crosby, often citing his athleticism and effort. He came into the NFL as slightly undersized for a defensive end, but added some strength and did just fine. Gruden has said, "he might lead the league in effort."

Crosby was one of the two brightest stars of a terrific first draft class for Mayock, along with running back Josh Jacbobs. Crosby finished second to 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa in the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.

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