$40 million deal with Browns raises expectations for Paul Kruger
"When you do get into some of the nickel package, sub-package, four-down, he can play defensive end," Chudzinski said during Wednesday's press conference. "He also is a move around guy. He can play both sides. Paul’s versatility and his ability to play multiple positions was also a major factor in us wanting Paul to be here."
One of the criticisms Kruger has dealt with from the media is that he isn't seen as a strong defender against the run. But Chudzinski showed confidence that Kruger can be an every-down player.
"He’s going to outwork people on the field," the coach said. "Obviously, you know his pass rush ability and his explosiveness there, but you see those abilities in the run game. That’s what we are looking for in Paul, is to be able to play and be a three-down player."
Kruger's goals for himself in Cleveland run along those same lines.
"I remember watching the Browns last year, when we were on offense I would watch, and I was really impressed with the way their d-line played and how aggressive they were," he said Wednesday. "I just think that is the biggest thing I want to change, just being somebody that you can rely on during a whole game. I think I was deemed as a pass rusher only. I think I will be able to show people that I can be effective on every down.”
No matter how Kruger's career with the Browns ends up, it will be highly scrutinized.
"If Kruger ends up just being a piece of the Browns' new defense, this is a good addition," ESPN's Hensley wrote. "If Kruger is supposed to be the key piece, the Browns will end up disappointed."
Kruger said he will miss his former teammates with whom he won a Super Bowl title with, but he is looking forward to the opportunity to prove himself.
"Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata — those are older brothers to me," he said. "They are guys who I text on a daily basis and am very close with. But I definitely see that as an opportunity for me to show that I can do a lot of good things."
Email: email@example.com; Twitter: @brandonljudd
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