Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baltimore Ravens: When will Paul Kruger see the field?

One of the surprise scratches from Sunday’s game against the KC Chiefs was Paul Kruger. The 2009 second round selection by the Ravens has raw skills, good athleticism, a relentless motor and he had a decent preseason. Given that the team’s opponent Sunday was just a few months removed from a 2-14 season and they started a backup quarterback, one might think that this game would have been an opportune time to get Kruger’s feet wet.

It didn’t happen.

Count me among those who thought the move to deactivate Kruger was a bit puzzling. When I told one Ravens official that I was surprised the response was, “you shouldn’t be.”

The choice to deactivate Kruger comes down to special teams and the player who got the nod over the former Ute was Antwan Barnes who by the Ravens count had 3 special teams tackles. Apparently the victim of playing on a very deep front seven, Kruger will have to outplay Barnes in practice if he wants to make his regular season debut anytime soon.

The only other way Kruger gets to step between the lines is in the event of an injury.

Those who compare Kruger to former Raven Dan Cody will be quick to point out that it took the injury prone former Oklahoma Sooner several games before he graduated from the inactive list.

Wonder if Kruger can play tight end?


Anonymous said...

The guy had a good pre-season and looks to be a good long-term player, based on his game play.. It's a credit to our defense and depth that he didn't play. that said, i guess his selection sort of questions the whole "best available player" credo that the Ravens trumpet. in other words, had the Ravens drafted a tight end or receiver in the second, regardless of whether that particular player was better than kruger, he might dress and play based on the team need. is it better to have a lot of talent on the roster at critical positions that might not dress (i.e. kruger) or lesser talent at less critical spots (tight end or inside backer for instance) that dresses because of special teams or team need (burgess or d. williams or edgar jones). i think, ultimately, by specifically looking at the inactive lists, teams will generally keep young defensive and offensive linemen inactive MUCH more than they would dbs, wos, etc who can contribute on spcial or not so-special teams.....that said, it's equally important to have those young defensive and offensive linemen who are developing and becoming good players for the future (i.e. when players like birk, bannan, pryce, edwards etc depart). and, it's probably fair to say that it's a lot tougher to dress being on the ravens roster than it would be say, on the Rams....

barring injuries, as you state, Tony, it's going to be hard for Kruger to dress as long as the Ravens only activate seven dl. at some point, we'll get an injury and we'll be glad kruger can dress and play.

i did a rudimentary search of inactive lists and found that players like bannan, jason brown, chris chester, dwan edwards and even jarrett johnson were all inactive for significiant parts of rookie years....i think it speaks to the wisdom?? of the 45-man list also but also to the depth of your team.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I wonder if Kruger is another DeCosta draft disappointment. I thought he actually looked decent in the exhibition games. It would be a shame as he is an inspiration to many playing with one kidney.

Limas Sweed said...

Dude--You don't like DeCosta....we get that (probably because you like to rip Tony too, and DeCosta is his boy).....That said, the Ravens have drafted well. The proof is in the pudding...16 of our starters have been drafted since 2003. They've had misses too but so do other teams.

I think there are a lot of squads envious of that record.