The Pro Bowl will be played in Las Vegas this season, and there will be three Raiders players – defensive end Maxx Crosby, linebacker Denzel Perryman and punter AJ Cole – representing the Silver and Black at the NFL All-Star Showcase. .
For Crosby, the Pro Bowl nod meant a big leap both personally and professionally, a trip that included a month-long stint in alcohol rehab in early 2020.
After the Raiders’ last-second victory over the Cleveland Browns in a decisive game for each team in terms of the AFC playoff run, Crosby became emotional as he discussed the significance of his first Pro Bowl selection.
“It brought back memories … I was in rehab almost two years ago and now I’m in the Pro Bowl,” Crosby said. âIt’s just a blessing, man. I introduce myself and try to be the best teammate everyday, show my guys I care.
âIt hit home, man. It’s special. It makes my family proud, my daughter, everyone around me is calling, blowing up my phone. I’m crying like a baby because I know I have worked so hard, and it’s starting to pay off. “
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Crosby went on to highlight the impact Raiders’ defensive line coach Rod Marinelli had on his development as a player.
âCoach Marinelli has to say something about him because he pushes me every day,â said Crosby. “He pushes me every day to be the best player I can beâ¦ he just wants to see the best of me. I want to kill him sometimes, he wants to kill me, but he just wants to see the best for me. He knows what I am doing. want. I want to be the best in the league and he pushes me to be that guy every day. “
In his third season with the Raiders after being a fourth-round pick in Eastern Michigan in the 2019 NFL Draft, Crosby recorded five sacks and entered on Monday tied for 10th in the league with 34 presses, according to Pro Football Reference. He has 22 sacks in 46 NFL games.
With Monday’s win over the Browns, the Raiders improved to 7-7 and remain at the heart of the playoff race with three more games to go.