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49ers vs. Raiders: Maxx Crosby, Kyle Shanahan clear the air on pre-draft interview

Aug 10, 2023 at 12:57 PM--

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Maxx Crosby isn't holding any grudges. He has a lot of respect for the San Francisco 49ers and head coach Kyle Shanahan. He wondered if the team might end up drafting him in 2019. The Niners didn't. They had already taken a pass rusher with the No. 2 overall pick, a guy named Nick Bosa.

The Las Vegas Raiders drafted Crosby in the fourth round. While Bosa became arguably the best pass rusher in the league, earning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors this past season, Crosby has been a sack-producing machine, too, bringing down opposing quarterbacks 37.5 times in his four seasons.

On Thursday, the 49ers and Raiders went through the first of two joint practices together. After one of the practice plays, Crosby admits he was hyped and had words for Shanahan, who laughed, reflecting on his pre-draft interview with the pass rusher.

"I went up to him after the play, and he was like, 'Yeah, man, I feel like an a--hole about our interview we had with you in 2019.' I remember it because [defensive line coach Kris] Kocurek was in there, [general manager] John Lynch, and Shanahan. And I feel like—it's nothing against them—I feel like every single team that I interviewed with didn't take me serious. I can name every damn team if I want, but I'm not going to do that.

"But Kyle Shanahan, he's an incredible coach. The dude is literally one of the best play callers in the game, so I've got a massive amount of respect for him. We played against him last year, and they gave me all types of looks and all different types of things, and that's what we're talking about today as well. Just what he does is definitely unique, and I got nothing but respect for him."

Shanahan commented on the situation after practice.

"He's as good as it gets, and I wanted to apologize to him because we were kind of dicks to him ... oops, shouldn't say that ... but we were kind of jerks to him in our interview when he came out of college," Shanahan said. "And he's really one of the coolest dudes I've been around or seen, and he's one of the best players in this league, so it was cool to catch up with him."

Crosby holds no ill will after the 49ers passed on him. Things turned out well for the defender with the Raiders.

"That's the past," Crosby said. "I remember everything. Trust me, I remember all those interviews. But that's what makes me who I am today because, at the end of the day, I carry every little scar. I won't talk about a lot of it, but I keep everything noted from literally everything."

What does Crosby remember about his meeting with Shanahan and the 49ers?

"Oh, it was a great meeting," he responded. "Honestly, I remember Kocurek. He's in there going through the meeting. He's like yelling but not mad (that shouldn't surprise anyone). That's just how his energy was, crazy, but in a good way. And I like that because I'm used to it ... Kocurek, he was cool."

Shanahan noted that it was Kocurek's first offseason with the 49ers, and his previous teams liked to "attack the guys a little bit, rattle them." The head coach said that isn't San Francisco's style, and Crosby was one of the early interviews. Shanahan said Lynch tried to get Kocurek to "chill out a little bit," turning it into a learning experience for the D-line coach.

"But the meeting was unique, and it just was what it was," Crosby continued. "But I love the way they coach over there. Obviously, Shanahan and those guys, and Kris Kocurek and John Lynch, they have great organization, and it's no surprise that they're doing good things."

Shanahan added, "He was a stud. He didn't care at all. He did not waver. He handled it as good as anyone could handle it."

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