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With one sack in six games, Kruger admits he needs to get better

Paul Kruger AP

Paul Kruger had 9.0 sacks for the Ravens last year in the regular season, then followed that up with 4.5 sacks in the postseason, and parlayed his big year rushing the passer into a five-year, $40 million contract with the Browns.

This year, Kruger hasn’t had the same level of production: Kruger had a sack in Week One against the Dolphins, but he’s been held without a sack since then. One sack in six games is not what the Browns were expecting, and Kruger acknowledged that after a rough game against the Lions on Sunday, he needs to improve.

“Up front we needed to get to [Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford] a little more. That’s something that I’m going to be focusing on big time. I’ve got to get to the passer,” Kruger told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Sack totals don’t tell the whole story, and Kruger has been able to bring pressure at times, even if he hasn’t been able to bring the quarterback down. But Kruger hasn’t been the same kind of player in Cleveland this year that he was in Baltimore last year. And for what the Browns are paying him, last year’s Raven is the player Cleveland needs.

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54 Responses to “With one sack in six games, Kruger admits he needs to get better”
  1. jdubkc says: Oct 15, 2013 3:02 PM

    Who is Kruger?

  2. flexx91 says: Oct 15, 2013 3:04 PM

    Hasn’t been the same because there’s no T. Suggs on the opposite side.

  3. steelerben says: Oct 15, 2013 3:04 PM

    Cue Baltimore fans saying, “I told you so.”

  4. ccjcsr says: Oct 15, 2013 3:05 PM

    Captain Obvious!

  5. jimthebuilder27 says: Oct 15, 2013 3:07 PM

    At least he’s admitting responsibility and not saying “I got paid so screw you.” Mario Williams should be paying attention.

  6. larryravor says: Oct 15, 2013 3:08 PM

    Cleveland overpayed. He had a career year with the Ravens last year and it will be hard to repeat. Looks live Ravens are better off with Dumervil. Looks like Ozzie strikes again. Do you hear anything about Kruger, Reed, Pollard and Ellerbe this year? Bouldin is the only one that left the Ravens that is makink any news.

  7. ostendpalace says: Oct 15, 2013 3:09 PM

    Kruger wasn’t a full time starter in Baltimore – why do you think that was? Probably the same reason they didn’t pay $40M to keep him.

  8. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Oct 15, 2013 3:09 PM

    I’m pretty sure when Cleveland signed him the majority of people all thought it was a bad signing.

  9. wearethesteelers says: Oct 15, 2013 3:10 PM

    Another great FA signing by Grieveland.

  10. southpaw2k says: Oct 15, 2013 3:15 PM

    Wait a minute – I thought the Ravens were stupid to let Kruger walk. I thought their pass rush wouldn’t be half of what it was without Kruger or Ellerbe.

    You mean those claims were the words of idiot trolls who didn’t know what they were talking about all along?

    Huh.

    Carry on, then.

  11. camdenyard says: Oct 15, 2013 3:18 PM

    Color me shocked. I mean, it’s not like we didn’t tell the world this was going to happen. He doesn’t have Sizzle on the other side any more.

    News flash: System guys who play defense at high levels for the Ravens, and then go elsewhere never maintain that success. From Ed Hartwell, to Adalius Thomas, to Jarrett Jognson to Paul Kruger…Ozzie didn’t pay them the big bucks because they are not essential to the Ravens’ success.

    Name one defender that really made a mark once he left the Ravens. Jaime Shaper for Houston, maybe….a little bit.

  12. ingraven says: Oct 15, 2013 3:19 PM

    Haha THANKS Cleveland.

    -Signed EVERY Ravens fan who KNEW he was OVER-RATED and NOTHING without Suggs in the lineup.

  13. baltimoresnativeson says: Oct 15, 2013 3:19 PM

    He is an excellent situational pass rusher. Bring him in on 2nd and long, 3rd down, and obvious pass situations.

    Playing him every down wears him out. The Ravens experimented with him every down his first few seasons and he sucked.

    When they cut his time he excelled. Much like the way they use Dumerville now.

    Dumerville has 5 sacks by the way.

  14. senetor24 says: Oct 15, 2013 3:20 PM

    @jimthebuilder27

    Mario Williams had 10.5 sacks last year and has 8 already this year. he got a lot of money, but he is producing.

  15. ravenshypeman says: Oct 15, 2013 3:22 PM

    Not as Good without the Dominate force of T-Sizzle on the other side HuH, Suggs ate up the protection while Kruger only had 1 man to beat ALOT of the time, Now he gets Elite protection and cant produce Whoomp Whoomp Whoomp #Clowns

  16. crownofthehelmet says: Oct 15, 2013 3:31 PM

    southpaw2k says:
    Oct 15, 2013 3:15 PM
    Wait a minute – I thought the Ravens were stupid to let Kruger walk. I thought their pass rush wouldn’t be half of what it was without Kruger or Ellerbe. You mean those claims were the words of idiot trolls who didn’t know what they were talking about all along?
    ———————————————————————
    Ummm, you do realize through 6 games last year you were 5-1, and this year 3-3. Not sure exactly what the difference is, but the eye test says your front 7 was better last year.

  17. footballfan01 says: Oct 15, 2013 3:32 PM

    That 17th ranked defense the Ravens have sure is “elite”.

  18. tsuscrumhalf says: Oct 15, 2013 3:36 PM

    Shocking! Next thing you’ll be telling me is that Ed Reed doesn’t look 24 years old anymore. Or that the Ravens running game is horrible this year… (Not Boldin’s fault, BTW) Good thing the AFCN is having a down year or it would look bleak at 3-3. The division may be won at 9-7 this year. Yikes!

  19. Vir Publius says: Oct 15, 2013 3:46 PM

    Can we all go back to talking about how great Tom Brady is?

    In the past two games he’s thrown one touchdown for a 55 QBR and one win/one loss. Pats fans love to say, “but wait, its the people around him, not Tom!” Which is equivalent to saying, “but our team sucks!” And then they want to point to their record to make you think they’re great, because all Patriots fans are morons.

  20. camcameronsucks says: Oct 15, 2013 3:47 PM

    The offseason was all about who the Ravens “let walk away.”

    Ozzie and the Ravens front office never let a player “walk away” if they really want them. We built kruger, a former 2nd round pick who didn’t start showing until his 2nd year.

    Likewise for Ellerbe, an undrafted free agent who the Ravens coached up.

    The other 31 teams can pay these guys to play but the Ravens organization from top to bottom is very good at coaching its players and getting the most out of them.

    I hate to sound like a homer but look at our track record…

  21. ravenmomma says: Oct 15, 2013 3:50 PM

    As Ravens fans, we tried to tell you what you were getting in Kruger and he was being overpaid by the Browns for his production. Ozzie always has a reason why he lets certain guys walk without paying them big $$$s. You are now seeing it for yourselves. I liked Kruger but he apparently got more than the Browns got in the deal.

  22. classyjacklambert says: Oct 15, 2013 3:51 PM

    How can anyone say he was a bad fa pick-up? He’s always played for the Browns.

  23. ravensfan8780 says: Oct 15, 2013 3:53 PM

    I enjoyed his production and him helping the Ravens win a Super Bowl but I knew he wasn’t worth the money Cleveland gave him. He’s a complimentary player not someone you build around it’s a reason why he never cracked the Ravens starting line up unless someone was injured.

  24. bigjayler says: Oct 15, 2013 3:54 PM

    As a Browns fan I knew he was overpaid, overrated and a liability in pass coverage but hey it’s not my money for his contract. He also got trucked by Reggie Bush last week. I expect Sheard to take his spot on the strong side soon.

  25. sbchampsagain says: Oct 15, 2013 3:55 PM

    Guns don’t kill people, Paul Kruger kills people.

    Many people are afraid of death. Death is afraid of Paul Kruger.

    Paul Kruger doesn’t have a chin under his beard. He has another fist.

  26. ravensterps says: Oct 15, 2013 3:59 PM

    The Browns should just stop signing ex-Ravens. It never works out for them.

  27. jimthebuilder27 says: Oct 15, 2013 4:03 PM

    @senetor24

    I’m talking about when, at about this time last year, Mario Williams had anemic numbers and underperformed, and then said he didn’t care about anyone’s expectations.

    It would be nice if he turned things around the way Williams did but we’ll see.

  28. cruzan80 says: Oct 15, 2013 4:04 PM

    Just another reason why the Browns are…..well….the Browns.

  29. wearethesteelers says: Oct 15, 2013 4:05 PM

    jimthebuilder27 says:
    Oct 15, 2013 3:07 PM
    At least he’s admitting responsibility and not saying “I got paid so screw you.” Mario Williams should be paying attention.
    _____________________________

    Uh, Williams has 8 sacks so far this year and had 10.5 last year.

  30. rockthered1286 says: Oct 15, 2013 4:07 PM

    What hasn’t already been said about Kruger’s part time job for full time pay by my fellow Ravens fans…. oh I know! It took this guy 3 FREAKING YEARS to crack the starting lineup (spent the first year on practice squad/healthy scratches), and still only started 4 or 5 games in the past year. If that wasn’t red flag I’m not sure what is…

  31. ballboy48 says: Oct 15, 2013 4:10 PM

    Where is the Ravens defense ranked this year? 17…Cleveland, 7! They have plenty of playmakers.

  32. southpaw2k says: Oct 15, 2013 4:14 PM

    crownofthehelmet says:
    Oct 15, 2013 3:31 PM
    southpaw2k says:
    Oct 15, 2013 3:15 PM
    Wait a minute – I thought the Ravens were stupid to let Kruger walk. I thought their pass rush wouldn’t be half of what it was without Kruger or Ellerbe. You mean those claims were the words of idiot trolls who didn’t know what they were talking about all along?
    ———————————————————————
    Ummm, you do realize through 6 games last year you were 5-1, and this year 3-3. Not sure exactly what the difference is, but the eye test says your front 7 was better last year.

    ———————————————-

    Yes, I am aware in the difference in the team’s record. But I can also tell you the difference:

    Through 6 games in 2012, the Ravens had recorded 14 sacks and 5 turnovers.

    Through 6 games in 2013, the Ravens have recorded 22 sacks and 7 turnovers.

    You need to get your eyes checked.

  33. bbb82 says: Oct 15, 2013 4:24 PM

    Kruger has been great against the run, setting the edge and getting pressure. If you actually watch him play, he’s pretty good. As a Cleveland fan, I have no regrets about the signing.

    But most of the comments here are from folks who aren’t even watching him and just reading PFT headlines…

  34. phinatic29 says: Oct 15, 2013 4:34 PM

    The Kruger signing doesn’t look like the best work by Cleveland GM Mike Lombardi, but look, these teams have the same record right now.

    Cleveland doesn’t have 100 million sunk into the QB position so they have more flexibility to take chances.

  35. jagsfan1 says: Oct 15, 2013 4:41 PM

    Still 10 more games to play…and sacks usually come in bunches….sure they want more production for the $$….but the year is far from over..

  36. coachjohnharbaugh says: Oct 15, 2013 4:42 PM

    nice signing, lombardo

  37. getyourownname says: Oct 15, 2013 4:55 PM

    Kruger is a very solid player, not great, but good to have on the team. He’s just not worth that much of a salary cap, unless you have loads of cap room to spare, in which case your team would probably lack more established stars gettng paid their due.

    Anyone who thinks the Ravens front 7 last year was better than this year is either trolling or has no concept of defense and hasn’t bothered to look at the actual stats. Their issues this year so far are on offense, not defense (except for 1 game in Denver).

  38. bensstinkyfingers says: Oct 15, 2013 5:03 PM

    Kruger will be fine, the browns will be fine. they may not make the playoff this year ,but with the stockpile of picks and cap space they will be dominating the afc north soon with a franchise Qb in tow. They still have fight in them for the rest of the season. Look for them to sweep the Pitts, and Cinci. and end up 9-7.

  39. ravenunitas says: Oct 15, 2013 5:11 PM

    footballfan01 says:
    Oct 15, 2013 3:32 PM
    That 17th ranked defense the Ravens have sure is “elite”.
    ====================================
    The Ravens won an NFL Championship with the 17th ranked defense in 2013. How bout that !!!

  40. bengalskuta82 says: Oct 15, 2013 5:18 PM

    Oh yeah, Paul Kruger,

    Man! I was wondering what happen to him.So, he plays for this pathetic team-up north?
    I haven’t noticed him at all. I think I better start watching the Browns play.LOL!
    Better not put me to sleep, Cleveland Clowns!

    Oh congratz on beating up Detroit.
    Oopps! my bad-you lost

  41. trollaikman8 says: Oct 15, 2013 5:22 PM

    He should do better. He has Mandingo on the other side.

  42. steelersfanfromtheseventies says: Oct 15, 2013 5:30 PM

    phinatic29 says:
    Oct 15, 2013 4:34 PM
    The Kruger signing doesn’t look like the best work by Cleveland GM Mike Lombardi, but look, these teams have the same record right now.

    Cleveland doesn’t have 100 million sunk into the QB position so they have more flexibility to take chances.

    And brandon weedon is the starting QB.
    Enough said here,

  43. cmdrsmooth says: Oct 15, 2013 5:54 PM

    Product of he Ravens. This guy is so overrated.

  44. bensstinkyfingers says: Oct 15, 2013 6:09 PM

    bengalskuta82 says: Oct 15, 2013 5:18 PM

    Oh yeah, Paul Kruger,

    Man! I was wondering what happen to him.So, he plays for this pathetic team-up north?
    I haven’t noticed him at all. I think I better start watching the Browns play.LOL!
    Better not put me to sleep, Cleveland Clowns!

    Oh congratz on beating up Detroit.
    Oopps! my bad-you lost
    ———————————————————
    LMAO, the bengals have a one game lead in the division, and their ready to be handed the Lombardi. The Bungles will end up making the playoffs through the wildcard, and once again get beat in the first round. Face it they have a ginger QB. that is equally as talented as our day walker QB Weeden. Neither team will go anywhere until a true franchise QB . is on the roster. Great to talk smack within the division however, and congrats on your bengals beating the browns a few weeks back.
    Oh wait, my bad OOPs you lost, huh huh you got served, SMH.

  45. mymanmccoy says: Oct 15, 2013 6:15 PM

    Still a top 10 defense, we’ll take him any day, he does not need some chump named suggs to make him good!

  46. mrfrostyj says: Oct 15, 2013 6:20 PM

    With the way this sounds you would think Cleveland didn’t have a top 10 defense. I’m pretty sure Banner and Browns fans aren’t complaining too much considering they’re actually respectible and their defense is carrying it.

    Kruger last season was just an example of being a small young fish in a big (old) pond. His numbers look real good when the offensive lineman are overcompensating for the old dogs like Suggs and Lewis. In Cleveland they’re going to account for him and a lot of the smaller faster guys on their D are going to get free shots at the QB for it. They are I believe 6th in the league right now in QB sacks as a team.

  47. gmille23 says: Oct 15, 2013 6:43 PM

    Um All you Baltimorons…. what exactly is your point? Your defense is ranked 17th and the Browns is 7th? So tell again how you were so brilliant?

  48. larryravor says: Oct 15, 2013 7:22 PM

    Before you run your mouth, check and see which team is second in sacks. Just wait till the end of the year, Cleveland will have a second rate team, in a second rate stadium with second rate fans in a second rate city

  49. ytownjoe says: Oct 15, 2013 7:26 PM

    Once again, Ozzie’s brilliance on display for all to witness.

  50. jimiinpa says: Oct 15, 2013 7:47 PM

    Still a top 10 defense, we’ll take him any day, he does not need some chump named suggs to make him good!——-yes he does

  51. stephenolszewski says: Oct 15, 2013 9:15 PM

    I have no issues with Kruger as a Browns fan but that’s what having Ray Lewis Terrell Suggs Ed Reed and Ngata will help your numbers a lot !

  52. southpaw2k says: Oct 15, 2013 9:26 PM

    gmille23 says:
    Oct 15, 2013 6:43 PM
    Um All you Baltimorons…. what exactly is your point? Your defense is ranked 17th and the Browns is 7th? So tell again how you were so brilliant?

    ————————————————-

    Considering the article, Paul Kruger isn’t exactly the reason why the Browns’ defense has been as good as it is. So you tell me – is Paul Kruger worth $40 million?

  53. nsauce32 says: Oct 16, 2013 4:33 PM

    Man, a ton of ungrateful Ravens fans weighing in. Kruger is having a difficult time in Cleveland, but the “situational pass rusher” talk is absurd. Check out Aldon Smiths stats after Justin Smith was injured last season, not impressive numbers. When you have a dominant force on the d-line, it almost always requires a double team(Suggs, Ngata, J. Smith, Suh..), which in turn frees up a linebacker or d-lineman. There are few players that transcend this rule, it’s a team sport folks, take out a key cog from your pass rush and see how productive they are. How quickly most of you Ravens fans forget how much Kruger helped your team bring home a championship.

  54. nsauce32 says: Oct 16, 2013 4:50 PM

    And to all the smug Ravens fans saying “we told you so” regarding Kruger and the genius of Ozzie Newsome… …how’s that “genius” move of getting rid of Boldin looking? Not good? Oh, we told you so

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