The Browns quickly pounced on linebacker Paul Kruger, defensive lineman Desmond Bryant, and linebacker Quentin Groves when free agency opened.
New defensive coordinator Ray Horton is happy about that — especially in light of the players the team already has under contract in the front seven of the defense.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about having the men that we have up front,” Horton told the team’s official website. “One of the first things that jumped out on film when I looked was how these guys run to the ball. They’re all big, strong, tough guys that love football, run to the football, and boy, I’m excited. Everybody, in my opinion, can play football and you can roll guys through. I don’t think we’ll see a drop-off in the talent level. I know you won’t see a drop in effort.”
Horton envisions Kruger becoming a leader of the team’s defense.
“I think if we keep building the defense the way we are, it’s like that pyramid system where you keep stacking blocks on top and you get to the top and you’ve got that pinnacle of players or player that’s your leader,” Horton said. “One of those guys is D’Qwell [Jackson], and I think bringing Paul Kruger in, that’s another where he’s been there and done that. That adds instant credibility in the locker room, on the field, for the opponents that the Cleveland Browns are going to get quality, good football players.”
At a time when other teams in the division are losing quality, good football players, that’s a huge advantage for the Browns.