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By Matt Vensel | June 28, 2011
Since entering the NFL as a second-round draft pick two seasons ago, Ravens defensive end Paul Kruger has contributed 12 tackles and just one memorable play -- an overtime interception against Dennis Dixon and the Steelers in 2009. But Kruger feels he "should have more of a starting role" for the Ravens in 2011. “I feel like this year coming up, I should have more of a starting role, and if not, something real serious, playing at least 50 percent of the plays if not more,” Kruger, 25, who attended college at the University of Utah, recently told a television station in Salt Lake City , according to Mike Duffy of the Ravens’ website . Kruger has already persevered through much more than a roster battle , so it will be hard not to root for the guy in training camp.
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By Jon Meoli and Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | September 25, 2014
Ravens rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley lines up on every snap beside who he calls an “old-school” linebacker, Daryl Smith. On the opposite sideline Sunday, he'll cross paths with Panthers star Luke Kuechly, the 2013 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year and the new standard for the athletic, three-down linebacker Mosley hopes to become. “[He's] one of the guys that can move around, make plays in the coverage and move sideline to sideline,” Mosley said. “Watching him at Boston College when I was at Alabama, then after he came out … [he made]
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By Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun | November 29, 2012
All Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger thinks about nowadays is relentlessly chasing the quarterback. It is an aggressive pursuit fueled by power, speed and well-practiced pass-rushing moves. The path to the quarterback is rarely twisted nowadays for Kruger, a direct route no longer encumbered by the frustrating obstacles of his scarred past. Overpowering offensive tackles, Kruger has generated four sacks over the past three games heading into Sunday's AFC North showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | September 23, 2014
Baltimore Sun reporter Aaron Wilson looks back at the Ravens' game each week and looks ahead to their next opponent. GAME PLAN: Maintaining a downhill, physical approach even with Bernard Pierce sidelined with a quadriceps injury, Gary Kubiak manufactured a balanced strategy headlined by the unveiling of powerful rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro. Creating pathways for Taliaferro and Justin Forsett, fullback Kyle Juszczyk had his best game in three NFL starts with hard-nosed lead blocking.
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By Edward Lee | September 7, 2012
With Terrell Suggs still recovering from a torn right Achilles tendon suffered in the offseason, a lot of scrutiny has centered on whether Paul Kruger is capable of filling in for the five-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker and the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Kruger, the team's second-round pick in 2009, made seven tackles and broke up two passes in the preseason, but his inability to sack the quarterback didn't silence the rising doubt that the defense will sorely miss the presence of Suggs, who finished with a career-high 14 sacks last season.
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By Edward Lee | October 3, 2011
Paul Kruger hasn't lit up the stat sheet in his three years with the Ravens, but the outside linebacker may have made an indelible impression when he exchanged a few pleasantries with New York Jets wide receiver Derrick Mason. On third down-and-8 from the Jets' 36-yard line, Mason, a former Raven, caught a pass from quarterback Mark Sanchez, but was wrestled to the turf by Kruger one yard short of a first down. Afterward, Kruger and Mason traded some shoves, and other players joined in the fray before cooler heads prevailed.
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By Matt Vensel | April 5, 2012
The Ravens lost an ironman and a fan favorite when outside linebacker Jarret Johnson signed a four-year, $19-million deal with the San Diego Chargers last month. Since then, head coach John Harbaugh has twice hyped up Paul Kruger, who in his fourth season is the favorite to land the starting spot that belonged to Johnson. At Wednesday's pre-draft luncheon, Harbaugh said Kruger -- who was active for every game last season and excelled as a part-time player, recording a career-high 5.5 sacks -- is ready to become an every-down player.
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By Aaron Wilson and Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | March 12, 2013
With little salary cap room and other priorities, the Ravens knew that they'd lose several key contributors from the team that beat the San Francisco 49ers last month to win Super Bowl XLVII. Their first free agent defection came less than an hour after the market opened today as outside linebacker Paul Kruger agreed to terms on a five-year deal with the Cleveland Browns worth $40 million, according to league sources. Kruger's loss was expected after the 27-year-old linebacker had a breakout 2012-13 season, leading the Ravens with nine sacks to go along with 42 tackles, one interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
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Kevin Cowherd | January 6, 2013
Paul Kruger tried not to get swept up in the emotional tidal wave that washed over M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. But this was no easy feat. In the tunnel right before the pre-game introductions, with the defense buzzing and Ray Lewis delivering his usual fire-and-brimstone incantations, the charged atmosphere felt like the end of the world. "It was just purely electric," Kruger, the Ravens' big pass rusher, said. "You had the crowd going crazy. You had more media than ever.
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By Edward Lee | October 10, 2012
Paul Kruger may have enjoyed his best game last Sunday in the Ravens' 9-6 win against the Kansas City Chiefs. But that doesn't mean that he's satisfied. The outside linebacker finished with five tackles, including three for losses. He also recorded one quarterback hit and four hurries in 10 snaps as a pass rusher, according to Pro Football Focus. It was an eye-opening performance from Kruger, but he is eager to continue that play into this Sunday's home contest against the Dallas Cowboys.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2014
Former Ravens fullback Vonta Leach held a casino night fundraiser and his foundation's ninth annual football and cheer camp in his hometown of Lumberton, N.C. over the weekend. Leach, the three-time Pro Bowl selection who was let go by the Ravens earlier this offseason and hasn't attracted much buzz on the free agent market, told a reporter from the Robesonian (N.C.) newspaper that he still is hoping to play in the 2014 season.  “It's never easy going through free agency,” Leach told the newspaper.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | March 24, 2014
The free agent exodus from their 2013 Super Bowl-winning team did have one benefit for the Ravens who will be compensated well in May's draft.   For the second straight year, the Ravens were awarded four compensatory picks, bringing their total number of selections to eight. The New York Jets also got four.   Because of their free-agent losses last offseason, the Ravens garnered extra picks in the third-round (99 th overall), two in the fourth (134 and 138 overall)
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | March 3, 2014
Every offseason, there is handwringing about who the Ravens lose, and that will likely start again on March 11 when free agency opens and guys like Arthur Jones , James Ihedigbo and Michael Oher likely become the latest players to join the annual offseason exodus out of the organization. But here's a question worth pondering: how many times have the Ravens actually lost a player or potential free agent that they made a significant effort to keep? It's happened before, but not often.
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By Matt Vensel | February 13, 2014
The Ravens surely took note Thursday when the Detroit Lions released veteran wide receiver Nate Burleson and veteran safety Louis Delmas to free up salary cap space before the start of free agency. Those two could potentially be the style of players they are looking for at a couple of need positions. But just as important, looking beyond the Xs and Os at dollars and cents, they fit the profile of players they have targeted in the past, specifically last offseason. Last year, the Ravens targeted players who were cut by their teams in an effort to maximize the number of compensatory picks they would receive this offseason.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | January 8, 2014
The Ravens aren't traditionally averse to using the franchise tag, frequently employing the designation to avoid losing players to free agency and buy time to hammer out contracts. Nearly one year after they didn't have to use the tag before signing quarterback Joe Flacco to a $120.6 million contract last March, the Ravens' most likely franchise player candidate is tight end Dennis Pitta. It would cost the Ravens $6.7 million in salary and cap space under a one-year franchise tender.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2013
Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel highlights five stats that really mean something for the Ravens. 138 - yards that Joe Flacco's dropped passes this season have traveled through the air. We know Joe Flacco has watched his receivers drop a bunch of passes - 10, in fact, tied for ninth most in the NFL. But how have those drops impacted his yardage total? Collectively, the passes Ravens receivers have dropped have traveled 138 yards, according to Pro Football Focus.
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Peter Schmuck | June 2, 2012
Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs won't be ready to play on his newly repaired Achilles tendon for at least five months, which has put fourth-year linebacker Paul Kruger on the spot in more ways than one. This could be his moment, his opportunity to emerge as an every-down player and help the Ravens maintain their well-earned and long-held reputation as one of the most intimidating defensive teams in the NFL. Kruger certainly welcomes...
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By Edward Lee | September 21, 2012
Six starters practiced fully Friday and are listed as probable for Sunday night's contest against the New England Patriots. Cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee), strong safety Bernard Pollard (bruised ribs), inside linebacker Jameel McClain (knee) and defensive end Pernell McPhee (right knee) were upgraded from limited to full participation Friday. Left tackle Michael Oher (ankle) and outside linebacker Paul Kruger (back spasms) practiced fully for the second consecutive day. Offensive tackle Jah Reid returned to practice after being sidelined since August when he re-aggravated a strained right calf.
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By Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2013
Instead of stepping out of character by raising his voice to tear into his beleaguered defense, Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees maintained a professorial approach. Players described Pees as using his usual low-key tone during a defensive meeting following the Ravens' 49-27 season-opening loss to the Denver Broncos. But Pees had little difficulty finding plenty to correct for a defense that surrendered seven touchdown passes to Peyton Manning as he tied an NFL record. "He's not going to go crazy, Coach Pees is himself," cornerback Corey Graham said.
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By Matt Vensel | September 12, 2013
The Cleveland Browns kept coming in waves at Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, blitzing him on nearly half of his dropbacks last Sunday and also harassing him when they rushed just four of their front seven. The Browns sacked him four times, hit him three additional times and hurried him on a handful of other plays. It was just one game, but new Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton's fingerprints were easy to identify. Horton, who worked wonders with the Arizona Cardinals defense last season, came to Cleveland this past offseason after Arizona chose to hire Bruce Arians as its head coach over Horton, a favorite of Cardinals players.
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