In the four seasons Maxx Crosby has been in the NFL, he's made tremendous growth as a player – and as a man.
The Raiders edge rusher was a recent guest on "The Pivot Podcast," hosted by former NFL players Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor. In the sit-down interview, there wasn't a shortage of topics to cover. Crosby went into great detail about his mentality when he steps on the football field, citing late basketball legend Kobe Bryant and boxer Mike Tyson as some of his great inspirations.
However, everything could've came falling down for him after his rookie season. Despite finishing with 10 sacks in 2019, years of heavy drinking since high school were beginning to catch up with him. In the offseason, he says he hit rock bottom following an alcohol binge after a UFC fight.
"I woke up that morning. ... I was just [expletive] dehydrated," said Crosby. "Felt terrible. Like, the worst of the worst. I felt like I was dying. It got that bad. And it just scary. Like, that [expletive] is crazy. I never felt like that before.
"I looked in the mirror and didn't even [expletive] recognize myself. So, that was where I got to the point, like, what am I doing?"
He checked into rehab and since becoming sober, Crosby has unleashed his game to another level. He was named Second Team All-Pro in 2021, has earned two Pro Bowl selections, led the league in tackles for loss last season and signed a multi-year extension on the two-year anniversary of his sobriety.
"Looking back, I don't know how I got through it, but I did. I found a way and I was still able to produce, but deep down I knew I wasn't the best I could be and I knew it wasn't going to last," Crosby said. "It got to a point where I'm either going to keep doing this [expletive] and be a cool story. ... Or I can go and be the best at what I do in the world."
His lifestyle now is a vast contrast to what it was four years ago. He follows a strict training and diet regiment year-round to keep himself in the best shape possible. He's about to be marry to his fiancée, Rachel Washburn, and the two welcomed a baby girl last October. According to Crosby, fatherhood has changed his life, keeping his mind on the bigger picture.
"It's been incredible," Crosby said of the birth of his daughter, Ella Rose. "Obviously, there's a lot going on during the season and it's just another part of the journey. Having a child during the bye week lined up perfectly. ... Just learning how to take care of my family, be there for my daughter, doing a little heavy lifting every day. I think it's a testament to Rachel being there, taking care of her and us coming together closer. Because it's not easy, it's an every day process.
"That's been a big challenge, but it's been incredible."
View the best photos of defensive end Maxx Crosby's 2022 season in the Silver and Black.