LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Antonio Pierce: ‘All 11 need to match’ Maxx Crosby’s energy

Nov 9, 2023, 10:10 AM

Adam Butler #69 and Maxx Crosby #98 of the Las Vegas Raiders react after a tackle in the third quar...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 05: Adam Butler #69 and Maxx Crosby #98 of the Las Vegas Raiders react after a tackle in the third quarter of a game at Allegiant Stadium on November 05, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)

Maxx Crosby is putting together a season that should lead to award discussion at the end of the year.

At 9.5 sacks, he’s currently just half a sack behind the NFL’s league leader Danielle Hunter. He also leads the league in tackles for a loss (13), pressures (53), and tackles among defensive linemen (56). And five games this season, Crosby has played 100% of the team’s snaps.

And interim coach Antonio Pierce wants to see that same kind of energy and commitment from everyone, not just the players.

“I’m going to continue to keep trying to match his energy, but at a game, on that field, on that grass, you saw the effort. The way he plays is reckless. He gives up his body for his team. It’s contagious, and what we do, and what have done, Patrick Graham and that defensive staff have done an outstanding job of telling everybody, they need to match it. All 11 need to match Maxx Crosby. Our staff, our building needs to match his purpose, his why, his energy, his effort. And if we do that, we’ll have winning performances.”

In the team’s latest win over the Giants, Maxx Crosby led the team with three sacks. But after the win, 26-year-old defensive end said the team’s defense could play better. Pierce agrees, saying the sacks were great, but the 100 yards rushing they gave up was not.

“I don’t care what team, what year of football we are in, you stop the run. You got to be stout up front, you got to be heavy handed, linebackers got to be hammers,” Pierce said. “The corners got to come out there and be secondary support players, and our back end got to come down and bring that thump. And until you really establish that, you can’t be the defense we really want to be and that’s what Maxx is saying. So, for us, it’s really about being heavy handed up front.”

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