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Crosby spreads knowledge with Las Vegas-based ‘Sack Summit’

Maxx Crosby isn’t concerned about sharing some of the knowledge that’s helped him become one of the NFL’s elite pass rushers.

Even if he’s giving it to some of the younger players hoping to surpass him.

“At the end of the day, every rusher is different,” Crosby said after Saturday’s rebranded “Sack Summit” at UNLV, which brought together about 60 NFL players. “It’s an art form. So I’m not worried about handing out information because I feel you learn more from teaching anyway. Some of the best boxers of all time say you can’t do it unless you’re able to teach it at a high level. And there’s certain things I do that I keep to myself, but at the same time if I can help someone else grow, I feel like it comes back two-fold.”

Taking a leadership role

Crosby started as an attendee of the annual event, which was launched by Von Miller in 2017. Now he’s one of its leaders and organizers.

Miller and Saints star Cameron Jordan decided some new blood was needed since the two are approaching the twilight of their careers. It made sense for them to ask Crosby to take on a larger role.

He’s become one of the NFL’s best defensive players. Plus, the event has found a home in Las Vegas. So Crosby was brought onboard and the “Von Miller Pass Rush Summit” name went away.

“I just look at it as a collaborative thing and it was a no-brainer for me,” Crosby said. “A guy like Von has helped me my whole time in this league. He was giving me props even in the media and saying I was a franchise guy when people thought he was crazy for saying it. He saw something in me I didn’t even see at the time. So, I’ll forever be indebted to him and always be there for him because it’s about giving it back. Him and Cam are Hall of Famers and guys I look up to that I’m also trying to surpass, so they give me motivation in a lot of different ways.”

Just as Crosby looks up to Miller, the generation behind Crosby is taking notes from him.

Colts rookie Laiatu Latu, the first defensive player off the board in April’s draft, was one of the players on the field Saturday. The sweltering heat couldn’t knock the smile off his face as he went through drills and picked the brains of some of the NFL’s best pass rushers.

“I get to be here with the best dudes that do what I do in the world. Just being on the field and really getting to work with them is crazy,” Latu said. “It can only escalate my game. I love what I do and I get to see the people who are best at it. The camaraderie and the brotherhood is so cool. Everyone out here just wants to see you succeed and get better.”

Heavy Raiders representation

That welcoming environment is one reason Crosby insisted several of his teammates show up and take advantage.

At least eight of the Raiders’ defensive players, including second-year pro Tyree Wilson, attended the event Saturday.

“I told them a few months back I wanted them to be here and they didn’t second-guess anything. They just asked for the address,” Crosby said. “It’s just about sharing and talking and working with your guys. Them getting around Von or Warren Sapp (who attended as an instructor), arguably the best 3-tech ever to play, that’s invaluable. We’re on a mission to be the best front in the league. Having them here is an honor.”

Malcolm Koonce was another Raider that joined in.

It didn’t matter that the event fell during a rest period for NFL players between mandatory minicamp and training camp. He wanted to show up and get better.

“It’s not really work if you love it,” Koonce said. “I don’t even know how many sacks are on this field, but any time you’re able to pick the minds of guys like this, it’s a great day.”

Koonce, like Crosby, doesn’t mind sharing information with potential opponents.

“I don’t see it that way,” Koonce said. “When you’re a rusher, it’s really a brotherhood. A lot of us train together anyway, so if I can help someone I’m friends with put more food on the table, I’m always going to be for that.”

Crosby is excited to keep that going.

“Von says it every time. That it’s about linking and learning,” Crosby said. “For me, I come here with an open mind and try to be a sponge. I’ve learned so much coming here for five years.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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