Maxx Crosby On Why He Went to Bat for Antonio Pierce

February 05, 2024

Athlete Studio

Maxx Crosby expressed a clear preference for Antonio Pierce as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. The edge rusher vocalized his support for Pierce during the coaching search, using the hashtag #HireAP on social media and even discussing it on his podcast, The Rush. Crosby went so far as to suggest exploring a trade if the Raiders didn't hire Pierce, stating, "I want to be a Raider… but if we go in a different direction, there is nothing that is off the table."

Fortunately for Crosby, the Raiders did hire Pierce a few days later. Under Pierce's interim coaching, the team had a significant turnaround, going 5-4. Notable victories included a Christmas Day upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs and a historic 63-21 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Crosby, not just acting for himself but for the entire organization, saw it as his duty to voice his support for Pierce. He emphasized that leadership sometimes involves taking a less popular route, saying, "And for me, I know I spoke for myself — that’s what being a leader is. And I was speaking for the guys, I was speaking for the organization. And that’s all that matters to me."

In the 2023 season, Crosby delivered his best performance yet, recording 90 combined tackles, 14.5 sacks, 31 QB hits, 23 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. Despite his individual success, winning is his primary focus. Crosby asserted, "I want to win… I put in work all year round. I’m here in the building more than coaches, more than execs. I’m here every single day, sacrificing myself and my body and putting my body on the line to help this team win."

Crosby explained why he believes Pierce, a Super Bowl champion and Pro-Bowler with the Giants, is the right fit for the head coaching job. Highlighting Pierce's unique perspective as a former player, Crosby stated, "He understands our perspective... when you have a coach that was a great player and also a great coach, then it’s a great formula and guys follow that and they understand it." Crosby and Pierce share a mutual understanding as former players, and Crosby appreciates Pierce's ability to push him to be his best. He noted, "He knows how to get under my skin and I know how to get under his skin, and he knows how to get the best out of me." Pierce's experience as a former captain and Super Bowl champion adds to what makes him special in Crosby's eyes.

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