Albert Brier -- Paul Kruger likely to be a UFA.

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  • I don't know how many of you guys caught this interview this morning, but Albert Brier of the NFL Network was on with Brock and Salk, saying that in his opinion it is highly likely that Paul Kruger hits the market as an UFA. The main reasons for that would be his overall expense and the fact that the Ravens have a lot of other high priced FA's as well (chiefly Joe Flacco).

    Link to Interview ...

    Albert Brier NFL Network -- 710 ESPN's Brock and Salk 2/1/13

    That was music to my ears. Given what we saw out of the Seahawks LB's this year ... how would having a guy like THIS look back there next year ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPa4BZMSing

    I'm having to wipe up the puddle of saliva on the floor just at the thought of it.
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  • I don't see Kruger as a fit. He's a 3-4 OLB in the Steelers/Ravens mold. Courtney Upshaw was a very similar player last year and as it turned out Seattle didn't even have him on their top 3 or 4 for pass rush options. Kruger ran a 4.83 forty at his combine- that's too slow for either our LEO or WLB spots. I'd expect a wounded Chris Clemons to be at least that fast.

    My guess is that Seattle ignores LEO/LB in free agency completely and trusts Clemons to recovery while drafting his replacement. DT could get interesting though in FA. There are some interesting names out there plus we have a couple of DTs of our own that are FA's, so it's really hard to predict on that front.
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  • Kip, do you think Starks is pretty high on the list of Seahawks' desires? From a front office perspective, I mean. I realize it's hard to predict what Pete and John will do, but I reckon Starks provides the best fit and skillset for what we're looking at at the 3-tech, and we'll probably have enough cap space to get a deal done, letting us focus on drafting Clemons' replacement and a stud WR, as well as some CB and LB depth.

    Whaddya think?
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  • I love this guy! He's a monster and will only get better. 42 tackles, 9 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT. 6'4" 270# wrecking machine. And he really appreciates life after almost dying From a knife wound in college.
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  • kearly wrote:I don't see Kruger as a fit. He's a 3-4 OLB in the Steelers/Ravens mold. Courtney Upshaw was a very similar player last year and as it turned out Seattle didn't even have him on their top 3 or 4 for pass rush options. Kruger ran a 4.83 forty at his combine- that's too slow for either our LEO or WLB spots. I'd expect a wounded Chris Clemons to be at least that fast.

    My guess is that Seattle ignores LEO/LB in free agency completely and trusts Clemons to recovery while drafting his replacement. DT could get interesting though in FA. There are some interesting names out there plus we have a couple of DTs of our own that are FA's, so it's really hard to predict on that front.


    Wow Kip (genuinely surprised reaction), I could NOT disagree with you more on Kruger.

    First of all, I'd say that we would both agree that improving the Pass Rush is probably Priority #1 ... and that along with getting another Pass Rushing DE, adding another Linebacker would be another incredibly important element in that department (see Aldon Smith). I would go on to add that unlike the Defensive Line/End position ... Outside Linebacker is a fairly thin position in this year's draft. Outside of Jarvis Jones, there really isn't another LB out there in the draft that you can point to and say that he's a dominant player. Given that, I'd actually expect Seattle to be fairly proactive in Free Agency in taking a look at guys like Kruger.

    Secondly, what you're saying about the Ravens defense being incompatible with the Seahawks just simply isn't true. Yes, the Hawks are a 4-3 Defense technically ... but with what they do with the Elephant position especially ... and some of the formations they use ... they have a heck of a lot more in common with those Dick LeBeau 3-4 Defenses than some people might think.

    Third, what you're saying about trusting Chris Clemons recovery simply wouldn't be wise IMO. WITH a healthy Chris Clemons on the roster, the Seahawks managed 36 Sacks on the season ... but as we all know, 8 of those came in 1/2 of football in the Green Bay game. If we take away those 8 Sacks, we're left with 24 Sacks in 15 1/2 games of the regular season ... and Clemons had 11.5 of those (1/3 of Seattle's total sacks). Putting that many eggs in the "Clemons will be back to his old self" basket would be a dubious decision. We're talking about a guy who had major knee surgery and will turn 32 years old. I was listening to a former athlete (I believe it was Mike Golic) talk about surgery the other morning and he said something that rang absolutely true. He said that he once met with and talked to former Mariner Darren Bragg, who had just had surgery. Bragg talked to him about "not feeling 100% yet" and Golic gave him some great advice, telling him, "You'll never be 100% ever again. You have to find that new 100%." Absolutely totally right. In 1997, I had elbow surgery to repair a complicated fracture to the head of my radius (near elbow). Before my surgery, I throw a rock, ball, etc. with a lot of zip. After my surgery, though I worked extremely hard in my rehab, I never got that extra zip back - no matter how hard I worked. I had to find that new 100%, which was something more along the lines of 87-90%. For a guy like Chris Clemons who relies upon his speed, that could be quite significant. IF Clemons does come back, I'm highly, highly doubtful we will ever see the same Chris Clemons ever again. Remember what happened to Shawn Alexander when he lost just that fraction of a step. Yes, I agree that the Hawks should and will draft his replacement ... but I'm very nervous about putting any faith in Chris Clemons being his old self again.

    Lastly, as far as Kruger himself is concerned, I'm highly surprised that you'd park your chips on 40 time being the determining factor in just how effective he could be as a WLB. Recall if you will a certain MLB on this team who some would argue is the greatest MLB the Seahawks have ever had -- Lofa Tatupu. Lofa didn't exactly burn up the radar gun either, as he consistently ran about a 4.75. But what Lofa DID have was absolutely exceptional ability to diagnose where a play was going to be and to react to it. I believe that Kruger has a similar gift.

    Kruger has already shown that he can be effective rushing the QB, as he had 9.0 Sacks in the regular season and 2.5 in the Post-season thus far. He's been a monster out there.

    Kruger has also consistently demonstrated that he is very good in space and that he is highly effective in pass coverage.

    Another thing to really consider is his potential impact against the run. Think about this -- Seattle already has 2 quicker, faster LB's in K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. What they don't have is a real beast of a guy like Kruger who weighs in at 270. Recall that first 49ers game in particular where our linebackers got swallowed up by the more physical, manhandling linemen they have. Imagine adding to that LB corps a guy who is a real thumper -- one who can shed those blocks and really put a whallop on opposing running backs. One statistic that I'm surprised that no one has talked about is the fact that the Seahawks finished DEAD LAST in the league in Tackles for Loss (they had 36). The year the Hawks went to the Super Bowl ... they had 50 TFL's. The Seahawks showed a real inability to penetrate in to the opposing backfield and to get home even when they did blitz. Kruger would certainly help in that arena IMO. He's a sure tackler, a relentless attack-minded defender, and extremely hard worker -- he'd fit right in.

    As I said, given the dearth of real stud LB's in this year's draft ... I believe that Schneider and company would made a real concerted effort to go after Kruger if he becomes an UFA.
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  • For one thing Kruger is gonna get a ton of action from teams converting to a 3-4, not to mention all the teams that already run a 3-4 and want that sort of player, I'm not sure he fits us that well except with his hand on the ground.

    Look at who we've brought in for WLB: Malcolm Smith, Mike Morgan, Korey Toomer (Though I think Toomer was working at Sam linebacker during camp). The common trait is speed. All three are low 230's. We don't blitz our LB's much.

    It'd be an interesting fit. If he were to play LB he'd be a two down linebacker and then go hand down as a third down pass rusher. I imagine if we really did sign him he'd be LEO 80-90% of the time not a LB. Personally I'd rather sign a cheaper DE, maybe draft another guy, and wait on Clem than to drop a huge chunk of change on a tweener, instead spending the money on a 3-tech like Starks.

    We could really use a freak speed athlete at WLB that can cover, blitz with crazy speed, and go get CJ Spiller types. Well at least do a better job containing that sort of back, Spiller's an animal. Kruger's not that. My opinion at least.
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  • JKent82 wrote:For one thing Kruger is gonna get a ton of action from teams converting to a 3-4, not to mention all the teams that already run a 3-4 and want that sort of player, I'm not sure he fits us that well except with his hand on the ground.

    Look at who we've brought in for WLB: Malcolm Smith, Mike Morgan, Korey Toomer (Though I think Toomer was working at Sam linebacker during camp). The common trait is speed. All three are low 230's. We don't blitz our LB's much.

    It'd be an interesting fit. If he were to play LB he'd be a two down linebacker and then go hand down as a third down pass rusher. I imagine if we really did sign him he'd be LEO 80-90% of the time not a LB. Personally I'd rather sign a cheaper DE, maybe draft another guy, and wait on Clem than to drop a huge chunk of change on a tweener, instead spending the money on a 3-tech like Starks.

    We could really use a freak speed athlete at WLB that can cover, blitz with crazy speed, and go get CJ Spiller types. Well at least do a better job containing that sort of back, Spiller's an animal. Kruger's not that. My opinion at least.


    No I hear what you're saying ... and in fact, I remember an interesting interview in which Schneider himself talked about the basic template of the kind of LB's they target. Schneider categorized LB's in to:

    A] The Smaller LB's (weigh in at about 220 pounds or so) who really rely upon speed and quickness.

    B] Larger LB's (who weigh in at 250-260 pounds+) who are the real power types and whose game it is to overpower and to really lay the wood.

    ... and said that they really tend to choose a middle ground between the two -- those 235-240 pound guys who are a little bit of both. That really fits the template for all the LB's that Seattle has.

    I would say looking at the draft, the only "freak athlete" you're describing -- a guy who can really tilt the room from the LB position and instantly have an impact would be Jarvis Jones (6'3" 241 Pounds) and runs about a 4.5. But he's going to be LONG, LONG gone unless the Seahawks trade up to get him. Now they might ... but it would take a lot of draft ammo to do it (their 2nd Rounder, their 3rd Rounder, and probably a high pick next year). Dion Jordan could be interesting there, but he's not exactly been a model of health throughout his career. Jones's teammate Alec Ogletree (6'3" 234 pounds) could be another interesting option there, but he's far from a polished product. I could be wrong, but outside of Jones though, I'm not seeing that real "freak athlete" Tilt the Room instant impact difference maker in the draft.

    But I don't know ... I'm just looking at Kruger and seeing a guy who does something a bit different. We've already got guys who fit the template I'm describing ... I just think it would be interesting to add a guy who's a bit different and could bring that real physical presence to this group. He's not going to get pushed back by opposing linemen and as we've already seen -- he can get to the QB. He's also very good in zone coverage, so has that element to him as well. Just like me, Danny O'Neal and Brock Huard are both fairly intrigued by the idea of adding him to this mix. I think it would be interesting to see how that would play out.
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  • The guy makes plays, and it would be great if we had him. Who is to say that we wont change things up a bit and blitz more from the LB position next year?

    We do have a new DC.
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  • Not buying the Kruger love, AT ALL. He's a product of the rest of the defense, IMO. At his cost, it'd be a disaster.
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  • Strongly disagree with the anti-Kruger crowd. This guy would be perfect for 1st and 2nd down then substitute Irvin. Bruce as we've seen is good at only one thing, rushing the passer. He's terrible at setting the edge and stopping the run. So what do we do with our 2012 first rounder? We need to keep him viable, and we can only do that by having someone covering for him on 1st and 2nd down, someone who can stop the run, rush the passer, and get their hands up when they can't get there.

    I place little faith in Clemons return, and that fact alone changes the balance of our draft needs. It moves the scale from mostly pass rushing DT towards run-stopping-pass-rushing DE. Kruger can give us that, a player somewhere between Kawaan Short, Chris Clemons, and Jason Jones.

    One thing this front office has shown is that they are not rigid with their game planning. Kruger can really help this defense.
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  • Didn't Kruger's production only become noticable once Suggs returned? Or am I wrong in assuming that?
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  • I know some of you want him, but I don't want him, based off this...

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  • pehawk wrote:Not buying the Kruger love, AT ALL. He's a product of the rest of the defense, IMO. At his cost, it'd be a disaster.


    Saying that Kruger is a product of the Ravens defense is like saying that Red Bryant is a product of ours. You know this organization has a real philosophy now of, "Let's focus on what a player CAN do rather than on what they CAN'T do." They are unconventional to the core. So to me, that argument just doesn't wash. I could Carroll and company using him in exactly the manner that Ivotuk is describing ... and also could use him as a situational blitzer from the WLB position as well. You're also assuming that his cost will be through the roof -- we'll see about that.

    pehawk wrote:Didn't Kruger's production only become noticable once Suggs returned? Or am I wrong in assuming that?


    I'm not exactly sure how to get a true read on that. Terrell Suggs's first game back was on 10/21. So, the Ravens defense played 5 games without him.

    In those first 5 games, Kruger had a total of 14 Tackles and 1.5 Sacks. That's an average of 2.8 Tackles and .3 Sacks/Game.

    Over the last 11 games, Kruger had 28 Tackles and 7.5 Sacks -- an average of 2.5 Tackles and .68 Sacks/Game.

    But again, I don't know how truly relevant that really is. After all, football is the ultimate team sport. Brandon Mebane isn't as productive as he can be without Alan Branch doing his job. In the Seahawks last matchup with San Francisco, we saw how different of a player Aldon Smith was without Justin Smith. No player is as productive as they could be without quality teammates around them doing their jobs.

    I just believe that Paul Kruger could bring something unique to this Seattle defense that it doesn't already have. Could you imagine if the Hawks were to enter the NFL Draft having added Kruger and say a pass rusher like Michael Bennett? How would THAT change the focus of the Draft for the Hawks? I'd contend it's entirely possible.
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  • Kruger has some good positives, he had a 1.58 ten yard split at his combine. He seems to have good instincts. He only ahd two real years of college experience, so it is no wonder he had to develop on the job.
    Here is why I am pretty sure Kruger will not be a Seahawks free agent signing.
    32.75 inch arms, average scores in the agility drills, and 4.9 speed, average vert, average long jump. There are no unique skills. He has one kidney. Seattle likes long players, and they like the LEO to be one of the best athletes on the field.
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  • Good stuff scanner.

    I'll pay attention tomorrow to get an better overall assesment. My initial "Suggs-read" on Kruger is arrived at from 3,000 miles above.

    I'm also very biased against defensive free-agents, unless their cheap 310+ LB pound rotational DLman or the occasional CB.
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  • Kruger was considered a top defensive end prospect for the 2009 NFL Draft.[2]
    Pre-draft measureables
    Ht Wt 40-yard dash. 10-yd split. 20-yd split 20 3-cone Vert Broad
    6-4¼ 263 lb 4.79 1.58 2.78 4.47 7.52 32½ 9'01"

    Bench press 24 Wonderlic 25



    YEAR TEAM GP GS UA AT TT T/L Sacks FF FR PD INT
    2007 Utah. 13. 11 24 39 63 7.5 3 1 3 5 1
    2008 Utah 13 13 30 31 61 16.5 7.5 2 0 7 1
    Totals 26 24 55 69 124 24 10.5 3 3 12 2

    2nd round pick by the Ravens in 2009

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  • Scottemojo wrote:Kruger has some good positives, he had a 1.58 ten yard split at his combine. He seems to have good instincts. He only ahd two real years of college experience, so it is no wonder he had to develop on the job.
    Here is why I am pretty sure Kruger will not be a Seahawks free agent signing.
    32.75 inch arms, average scores in the agility drills, and 4.9 speed, average vert, average long jump. There are no unique skills. He has one kidney. Seattle likes long players, and they like the LEO to be one of the best athletes on the field.


    *Shrug* All I know is that the guy seems to be around the ball a lot and that he makes plays. I guess we'll see what ends up happening with him.

    Hey Scott, I'd love to get your take on some of the Lesser Heralded Free Agents that I wrote about last week ...

    http://www.seahawks.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=64833&start=0

    In particular, I'd love to get your overall thoughts on Desmond Bryant, Vance Walker, and Bradley Fletcher and whether or not you could see them being potential fits for the Hawks.
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  • Kruger is not a linebacker in our scheme. He's a DE. Where would I put him? rotate him a LDE with Red depending on down and distance.
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  • Hawkscanner wrote:
    Scottemojo wrote:Kruger has some good positives, he had a 1.58 ten yard split at his combine. He seems to have good instincts. He only ahd two real years of college experience, so it is no wonder he had to develop on the job.
    Here is why I am pretty sure Kruger will not be a Seahawks free agent signing.
    32.75 inch arms, average scores in the agility drills, and 4.9 speed, average vert, average long jump. There are no unique skills. He has one kidney. Seattle likes long players, and they like the LEO to be one of the best athletes on the field.


    *Shrug* All I know is that the guy seems to be around the ball a lot and that he makes plays. I guess we'll see what ends up happening with him.

    Hey Scott, I'd love to get your take on some of the Lesser Heralded Free Agents that I wrote about last week ...

    http://www.seahawks.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=64833&start=0

    In particular, I'd love to get your overall thoughts on Desmond Bryant, Vance Walker, and Bradley Fletcher and whether or not you could see them being potential fits for the Hawks.

    I really like Desmond Bryant. I thought he was one of the sole shining spot on that abomination of a defense in Oakland. I haven't looked at the other two.
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