After 9.0 sacks in the regular season, and 4.5 sacks in the post-season last year for the Baltimore Ravens, there were those who questioned the Cleveland Browns for giving Paul Kruger a five-year, $40 million contract, believing he was only a one hit wonder.
And so far this season, those dissenters have been proven correct.
Kruger has only one sack this season, which came in Week One against the Miami Dolphins. This is not the production the Browns expected when they signed Kruger.
After last week’s loss to the Detroit Lions, Kruger admitted he needed to play better, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
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.
While too much emphasis is often placed on sack totals, and they are certainly not the only way to judge a defensive player, Kruger still needs to be more productive, especially because of the contract he received. Luckily for Cleveland, the Browns defense have been able to generate a pass rush and are currently the 6th-ranked team in league with 19 sacks. But think how much better the 3-3 Browns could be if Kruger could also get to the quarterback.