As a local market representative and league manager of one of 16 teams invited to be a part of Crown Royal’s inaugural Fantasy Football League dubbed “First and Crown,” I will be using this spot every Sunday before the Browns kick off against their respective opponent to tell you who I’ll be watching during this Week’s contest.
This Week’s Spotlight: Paul Kruger, OLB
@WFNYScott @CrownRoyal Kruger. Needs to start producing. 1.5 sacks in 7 games not the pace we paid for.
— CB (@colinb7654) October 27, 2013
Paul Kruger came to Cleveland as the big free agent signing. He was slated to step right into the Cleveland Browns starting defense, provide leadership, experience, and—most importantly—a pass rush that the city had not seen since Kamerion Wimbley’s rookie season. While he has provided the first two characteristics, his 1.5 sacks through seven games has been everything but productive. The Browns’ third-down defense has been abysmal, not just in the way that it keeps the opposition in the game, but it keeps the defense on the field, leading to general fatigue.
It is the Kansas City Chiefs who will come into this Sunday’s game in Arrowhead as the NFL’s leader in quarterback sacks, leading the pack by a wide margin. It is the Kansas City Chiefs who, while not wowing anyone on the offensive end, make very little in the way of mistakes and turnovers. It will be up to Kruger to flip the script, getting to Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, forcing him to make decisions that could eventually lead to a forced fumble or interception.
This Spotlight marks the third time in four weeks that a member of the Cleveland Browns pass-rushing unit is under the microscope. It will also happens to be the third time in as many weeks that the Browns have allowed more than 24 points in a contest, letting the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions put up 31 points, respectively. Joe Haden can only do so much on the corners. It will be up to the outside linebackers, led by Paul Kruger, to limit not just the big plays, but the long drives as well.
Previous Spotlight Players:
Josh Gordon, WR
Barkevious Mingo, OLB
Brandon Weeden, QB
Jabaal Sheard, OLB
Photo: Jon Cole Photography/WFNY