TV20 Sports Report
By: Christian Patterson
This new era of Cleveland Browns football is starting to get very exciting! For a team that has been somewhat cheap and modest over the past few years, they are really stepping into an aggressive role this off-season. When free agency opened up March 12th I was surprised to see that the Browns were among the few teams that pursued players aggressively early.
With the Browns changing their defense to a 3-4 for the upcoming 2013 season, acquiring a pass-rushing outside linebacker was crucial. So the Browns decided to take advantage of Baltimore Raven Paul Kruger’s availability and sign him to a five-year deal. Kruger stepped up big time at the outside linebacker position for the Super Bowl Champion Ravens while Terrell Suggs was sidelined due to injury. During the 2012-2013 season Kruger posted 42 tackles in which 30 of those tackles were solo, 9 sacks, 1 interception and 1 forced fumble and fumble recovery. He was a key component of Baltimore’s pass rush and that’s what Cleveland will be paying him the big bucks for.
Now the Browns are continuing to stay persistent during this free agency by signing former Cardinals linebacker Quentin Groves to a two-year deal. This is another acquisition that the Browns made to help add depth to their outside linebacker position. During the 2012-2013 season Groves posted 46 tackles in which 37 were solo tackles, 4 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Groves has a great relationship with Browns new defensive coordinator Ray Horton because Horton was the defensive coordinator for the Cardinals in 2012.
The Browns also made a nice pick-up for their defensive line in signing defensive tackle Desmond Bryant a former Oakland Raider. During the 2012-2013 season Bryant posted 36 tackles in which 24 were solo tackles, 3 sacks and 1 forced fumble.
For it to only be the second day of free agency, the Cleveland Browns are making a huge impact and they still have time to make more noise! In my opinion, our next pick-up should be one of these veteran wide-receivers in free agency. The Browns waited too late to get Mike Wallace, but they still have a chance to get a game changing receiver like Greg Jennings or Wes Welker.
The Browns are headed in the right direction, and we still have a lot of time to see what other tricks they might have up their sleeve!