Browns’ Paul Kruger eager to take on former team Sunday
Kruger signed a $40 million free agent deal expanding over 5 years with the Cleveland Browns in March. On Sunday he faces his former team. Although seeing familiar faces will definitely lift the spirits, it will be a whole different story on the field when the outside linebacker will play them as his enemies. He commented that "I have thought about it, and as soon as I knew I was coming here, being able to play against those guys, I knew it was going to be intense.”.
Kruger has a burning desire to prove something to his former team. Underestimated with the Ravens defense saturated with Pro Bowlers, Kruger was foremost in securing sacks but was used for 17 snaps on the field, while being accustomed to 30 to 40 plays. Even as he was sidelined, he did not comprehend the reason for not putting him on field. This left a somewhat bitter taste of being undervalued.
He commented that he did not feel disrespected but felt frustrated to be sidelined and having little play in what was happening. He acknowledged he was competitive and being sidelined like that got a little personal. "You have to play tough and you've got to play angry, especially on the defensive side of the ball." Kruger definitely has skill and the Browns will make good use of it.
An outside linebacker, Kruger brought strength, stability, leading capability and his veteran experience to the Browns defense which was evident during last week match against Miami. Kruger made a sack and stopped the Dolphins to 20 rushing yards spanning over 23 attempts.
Even though he earned himself a revolutionizing contract after winning the Super Bowl, he secured his place as a Hall of Famer. "You have to earn respect in this league," he commented.
In the Browns, Kruger was fast to prove his management capabilities and assert himself as a leader. Being the single Super Bowl winner on the team also brings respect. Now he is bent on proving his team’s capabilities.
Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said "He knows what it takes, simple as that. He knows how to practice. He understands the focus that it's going to take from Week 1 to Week 16 to get to that mountaintop.”
Remarking on his insightful experience, he remarked “We watch him all the time and ask him a ton of questions. It's good to have a guy in the locker room that's experienced that. Anytime he speaks we all listen. “
Kruger said seeing the Ravens lose 49 points to Broncos in their starter did not bring any kind of fulfillment to him. To feel satisfied, he had to face them and do it himself. Sunday will prove which team wins but it is sure that Kruger is fired up for the match and is ready to show his former team his full arsenal of skill.