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Training Camp Notebook 8/9: Maxx Crosby, Nate Hobbs turn up the heat

With fans back in attendance for the outdoor practice Tuesday morning, they weren't denied the experience to see the Raiders give all-out effort. The desire for the players on this team to continue their growth is becoming more prevalent every day – especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Here are a few takeways from Tuesday's practice, now less than a week away from the team's first preseason game in Allegiant Stadium this year.

Maxx Crosby only has one speed

Perhaps Maxx Crosby's greatest attribute is his effort.

The entire duration of the practice, Crosby brought the pressure. In one-on-one drills against the offensive line, Crosby was his usual dominant self. Additionally, he was sharp in team period, with Chandler Jones on the opposite side showing his power as well. The quarterback room seemed to operate in a collapsing pocket most of the day with how Crosby was rushing the passer.

But this shouldn't be anything surprising, considering the Pro Bowl edge rusher had eight sacks and over 100 quarterback pressures last season.

Nate is working to become great

One of the more notable plays from practice came from none other than cornerback Nate Hobbs.

The second-year defensive back has been grinding in camp against the Raiders' talented receivers, including Davante Adams. Coaches have noted the progression in Hobbs, and his willingness to compete against top talent. While Hobbs has had ups and downs, as has everyone, he showed out Tuesday. He had one especially nice play in coverage, excelling to pick off a pass and run it back to the opposite end zone.

"That's the one thing about Nate that nobody can ever question is his competitive spirit," Raiders defensive backs coach Jason Simmons said of Hobbs. "He knows he has the chance to go against one of the best receivers in the National Football League, if not the best receiver in the National Football League, and he welcomes that opportunity and that challenge because he knows it's only going to make him better."

Rookie and vet teamwork in the secondary

Another interception in practice came from Duron Harmon.

The veteran safety made a play on the ball off a tipped pass from UDFA Sam Webb. Harmon, who has 21 career interceptions, has been trying to help his younger teammates become ball hawks like himself.

"I've been in this defense. I understand the defense, I know where the offense is trying to attack," said Harmon. "I've been out there with Sam [Webb], there's been a couple of times, 'Hey, get ready for this' – with T-Mo [Tre'von Moehrig], and John [Abram] and everybody. Just understanding where Josh [McDaniels] is trying to attack our defense and what coverages we're in and just trying to be a good teammate."

The tipped pass from Webb is not the only play the Division II cornerback has made during Training Camp, finishing the Raiders' first preseason game with two solo tackles.

"Every day he's getting better," Coach Simmons said of Webb on Tuesday. "When he first got here, it was kind of big for him. We would all kind of expect that, but Sam knows that he belongs. His size, his athleticism, his technique and understanding of the defense is starting to catch up to that. We're just excited about him. Excited about the growth and to see where he's going to go from here."

Quote of the day

I'm just trying to get better every day. Just going out there and competing, and everything is going to take care of itself at the end. Neil Farrell Jr.

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View the best photos from Tuesday's Training Camp practice at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center.

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