Raiders DE Maxx Crosby to take field tonight as a team Captain for first time at any level

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Last week Raiders head coach Jon Gruden named the Raiders team captains this season. And there were a lot of them. Seven in total where there would usually be five. Mainly because, as Gruden said, there was a three-way tie for players on the offense between Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs, and Richie Incognito so all three got the C on their chest along with Derek Carr. Alec Ingold was selected as the captain for the special teams.

The two on defense were the Raiders pass rushing duo of Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby. For Crosby in particular, this was a momentous occasion. Because despite his success in High School and at Eastern Michigan that made him a round four pick in the NFL, he had never been named a captain at any level.

“It’s crazy,” said Crosby of his being named a Captain. “It’s really my first time ever being a captain in my whole life. And I think that’s just a testament to all the trials and tribulations I’ve gone through in my life. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. But taking care of the off-the-field is just as important as on-the-field or in the locker room or in the weight room. Just coming in every day and being that same guy, putting my head down, and working. Gaining the trust of my teammates and my coaches, that’s all I’ve been trying to do my whole life. Now I’ve really put it into action and I’m still continuing to grow everyday. So, being voted captain by my team and my coaches and everything, it’s nothing but a blessing. I can’t wait to go out there and have a ‘C’ on my chest. It’s kind of crazy. Being 24 with a ‘C’ on your chest for an NFL team is rare. So, I don’t take it for granted and it’s something I take really seriously. I’m looking forward to it.”

Crosby’s story acts as a reminder for those who may be used to being named a Captain by this point. For instance, the quarterback, who is almost always named a captain simply by virtue of the position he plays.

The third year defensive end has led the Raiders in sacks over his two seasons (17). He was so excited by the honor he had to share it with Derek Carr, who has was just named a captain for the eighth time. And Crosby’s excitement served as a reminder of how much of an honor it is to be named a Captain.

“Sometimes you take for granted those little things and that was like a reality check for me,” Carr said of talking with Crosby. “‘Bro, this means so much to me.’ And I told him, I said, ‘Maxx, you proved it on and off the field every day.’ Everyone knows his story off the field and what he’s been able to accomplish personally, and on the field, we’ve been able to see what he’s accomplished this offseason.

“No one has worked harder than that guy. In the weight room, even on days we don’t have lifts, (Head Strength and Conditioning Coach) A.J. [Neibel] has got to tell him like we’re not lifting today, Maxx, like go rest. He has just taken his game and his leadership to such a high level that I’d follow that guy anywhere. And he inspires me, just him having that little conversation with me and saying that it made everything worth so much more because it meant so much to him. Just being around him, his personality is infectious. I’m sure you guys love talking to him. He’s awesome to be around and I don’t know about his car color choice, but besides that he’s earned it for sure.”

The little dig at Crosby’s car color is the running joke about Crosby driving an orange Porsche. But even that fits with who Crosby is as a person and as a player. He said he went into the dealership to pick out his car and was given three choices — white, black, or Lava Orange. He made the unique choice. And he was told that it was the first and only Lava Orange Porsche in the state of Nevada at the time he bought it.

As Gruden has said on more than one occasion, “what makes a man different is what makes him great.” Crosby walks to the beat of his own drum. It’s part of what gives him his drive and his work ethic. It’s why he is accused of living at the facility. It’s what makes him special and has had him reach successes in the NFL no one expected he would reach. That ‘C’ he will wear tonight was well-earned.

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