Ex-EMU standout Maxx Crosby makes big impression in first start for Raiders
Talk about making an impression with your boss – in this case Oakland coach Jon Gruden.
Rookie pass rushing end Maxx Crosby, a fourth-round pick from Eastern Michigan, has been doing that all along, it seems, to Gruden. And Sunday in London, Crosby contributed in a more noteworthy way as the Raiders beat Chicago, 24-21. In his first start, he got his first sack.
Crosby secured it when he dropped backup quarterback Chase Daniel for a 5-yard loss in the first quarter.
"We didn't want to take him out of the game," Gruden said at his Tuesday news conference. "He's playing special teams, too. ... The guy's factor grade at Indianapolis warranted more playing time.
"And he has, as you saw in training camp, he has incredible effort in his play. He just seems to never tire. He's a fun guy to have. We have a lot of respect for what he's done and a lot of goals for him to attain before he's done playing here."
Crosby tweeted, "Just The Start ... Crazy Where Hard Work Can Take You."
T.J. Lang, a retired Lions guard and former Eagle, chimed in: "My dude @crosbymaxx is going to be special."
And "Keep pounding it lil bro don't look back," wrote offensive tackle Trent Brown.
"(Drafted edge rusher and top pick Clelin) Ferrell was out with a concussion, giving Crosby his chance to shine. He got plenty of opportunity to do so.
"(He) saw all but one snap on defense against the Bears. His 57 snaps led all defensive linemen — some 25 snaps more than sack leader Benson Mayowa. ... Crosby added 15 snaps on special teams as well."
Here are Crosby's stats for the season: 11 total tackles, including seven solo; one forced fumble; and two passes defensed, plus the sack.
In the game before Chicago, against Indianapolis, he had a strip and batted down two passes.
Some other news for Crosby, meanwhile, hasn't been so good.
He was fined $21,056, pending appeal, for a hit on Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes in a Sept. 15 game. It's not known if Crosby appealed.
He rushed Mahomes on a screen, raising his arms in trying to deflect the throw, and landed hard on Mahomes. The pass was incomplete.
The play was on a first-and-10 from the Chiefs' 27, and Crosby drew a 15-yard penalty for roughing the passer.
Crosby makes $495,000. Over 17 weeks, that averages out to about $23,118 a week.
The Raiders (3-2) had 13 sacks last season, worst in the NFL. They have nine so far.
Eastern coach Chris Creighton could not be reached for comment. Crosby had 20 sacks in 37 games in three years at EMU.
Oakland is off this week. Next up is a visit to Green Bay (4-1) on Oct. 20. And on Nov. 3, the Lions will be in Oakland.
Art Brooks is a retired Detroit News sports copy editor and former volunteer adviser at the EMU student newspaper, The Eastern Echo.