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While We’re Waiting… Paul Kruger’s ceiling

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While We’re Waiting is the daily morning link roundup that WFNY has been serving up for breakfast for the last several years. We hope you enjoy the following recent collection of yummy and nutritious Cleveland sports-related articles. Anything else to add? Email us at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“DBN: “Do you think Paul Kruger was a flash in the pan or is he the real deal? He had a phenomenal playoff run, but can he be someone who generates that kind of pressure over the course of a 16-game season?”

Mike: “I loved Kruger coming out of college as a high intensity/high motor player, but he had so many freak injuries during his college career that it was hard to gauge how great his upside was. The Ravens are very patient when developing defensive talent, and there are few better environments for learning the technical aspects of playing defense.

I think the Browns overpaid for Kruger, thinking that he is a J.J. Watt clone, when he is really a 8-10 sack-per-season defender who is also a good disruptor against the run and is useful as a chase player. Horton is exceptional at scheming for a player like Kruger, which may improve his production.” [Pokorny/Dawgs by Nature]

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“Rob Chudzinski said that he has seen improvement from Schwartz already from his his rookie season. He has held his own as demonstrated Monday against some of the Browns top pass rushers. “Watching film from last year, I saw a guy that was a young player, who had some good plays and some bad plays,” Chudzinski said. “But I think Mitchell has grown and improved since then.”

Schwartz said going up against Ray Horton’s 3-4 defense has helped him, since that is the style of defense division foes Pittsburgh and Baltimore employ. He’s getting work against the likes of Paul Kruger, Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo on a daily basis.” [Greetham/The OBR]

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“Despite the fact that you could pitch interesting story lines for almost any team, I think the best choice is Cavs vs. Wizards. I think it’s the obvious pick for a number of reasons. You have John Wall vs. Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters vs. Bradley Beal. Again, you have two rebuilding teams that are trying to bounce back into relevance this season and will likely be battling for a playoff spot down the stretch. Heck, some fans are probably even old enough to remember the days when the Cavs and Wizards had some sort of rivalry (remember DeShawn Stevenson?).

If I had my choice, the Cavs would be opening up against the Wizards at home to start the new season. And honestly, I think that has a pretty good chance of happening.” [Kaczmarek/Fear the Sword]

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“Perhaps no position battle is more open than the one at wide receiver, where there’s an interesting mix of upperclassmen, junior-college transfer Corey Smith, gifted sophomore Michael Thomas and the possibility that multiple freshmen could get themselves into the mix. The guy to watch on defense is middle linebacker Curtis Grant, who Meyer says is way ahead of where he was a year ago — and at that time he had a long way to go. Uncertainty at cornerback lingers, too, with Bradley Roby facing a possible suspension and a talented but largely unproven group behind him. There’s a question mark at punter, too, but Ohio State’s kick coverage and kick return units have a chance to be outstanding with so much athleticism and competition from young players at running back, linebacker and in the secondary.” [Jackson/FSO]

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“The point is this: If we are going to create punishments that really are fair to players and effectively punish the wrongdoers in question, let’s do it in a manner that puts the hammer down where it really counts: in the pocketbook. Fine the University a huge amount of money, and make that fine so large that it makes all universities in the nation take notice. Fine the coaches a huge amount of money, and make that fine inescapable. Forget bowl bans and scholarship reductions. Keep the show-cause penalties, but beyond that, find a way to work a deal with the NFL that keeps coaches from bailing, scot-free, from the schools they just screwed over. Yeah, I am talking to you Chip Kelly, and you Pete Carroll. It’s past time that there were consequences for coaches who don’t seem to want to pay the piper.” [Gilman/Kanick]

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Finally, from MGBode- Notre Dame’s new uniforms. [CBS Sports]

  • mgbode

    that is the first I have ever read trying to compare Kruger to JJ Watt. No, Kruger is not the best defensive player in the NFL from the 3-4 DE position who can still wreak havoc getting sacks and knocking the ball down. And no, the Browns FO never had it in their mind that he was a JJ Watt clone (if they did, then fire them all now because they are blind). I agree we overpaid a little for him, but that statement is extreme hyperbole (JJ Watt on the open market would command much, much more than Kruger got).

    then, he puts out this gem: ” My concern remains the front office, which already appears to be in some kind of power struggle”

    now, maybe there is one. this is the second time in recent weeks we have had a throwaway line mentioning FO turmoil. but, where is it coming from? why do we have a power struggle? I haven’t seen anything substantial on it from our local guys and nothing about who/what it is from anyone else? after all the FO turmoil we have seen, it frustrates me to see these as throwaway lines.

    i love football outsiders for the stats they compile, but this was a bad interview segment IMO.

  • mgbode

    FTS hits it on the head with the burgeoning rivalry with the Wizards (again). Hopefully, we get the same results as last time when we had the true superstar (now Irving) and they get stuck in the 1st round.

  • mgbode

    Rick, really good links this morning.

    On the ND new uni’s, I think they go towards the recent trend of having these uniform updates more modestly done with some modern twists (Miami minus the helmet, NW’s). I like the clean approach a ton and these in particular are among my favorite “new” uniforms.

  • Garry_Owen

    ALERT: Before this day goes any further, can I please put in my request to NOT have anything spoken – no articles, no comments, no posts – about last night’s Tribe game?

  • Garry_Owen

    Count me as one of the curmudgeonly codgers that wants nothing to do with this. Green ND uniforms used to be reserved for the rarest events – immaculate conceptions, and the like. I hate that it’s become a “regular” event.

    Now, I get that teams (may) need to do this kind of glitzy thing to get in the recruits, but I don’t like it.

    In my day . . .

  • mgbode

    Green ND uniforms also have in recent history been a source of bad luck. ND, as a whole, though is a going more towards making green a big part of their school colors and getting away from the navy to some extent (it’s become the accent color instead of navy on many of their other uniforms). As such, it makes sense to go this route.

    Also, I want to see St. Ed’s copy this style. It looks sharp and would so with an Eagle in place of the shamrock (no, I didn’t go there, but many friends did and it’d be cool to see).

  • mgbode

    the best part about the links above were that there was nothing related. now, you go and ruin it. thanks. pass the scotch. man, I need a swig.

  • MrCleaveland

    Et tu, Notre Dame?

  • Garry_Owen

    None left. I drank it all last night. All of it. There’s none anywhere. Not even in Scotland.

  • mgbode

    well, it’s a good thing I prefer whiskey. i figured that the pain of drinking scotch would help dull the other pain from that “event” last night.

  • Garry_Owen

    What event?

  • mgbode

    you obviously don’t remember last year’s montrosities:

    http://nesncom.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/6a0115709f071f970b017c325dc376970b.jpg

  • mgbode

    I believe the kids are calling it: Custer Perez’s Last Stand

    (he should have known better than to name that pitch he threw Avila “Chief Sitting Duck”)

  • Garry_Owen

    Frankly, Custer performed better.

  • mgbode

    yeah, he at least got a few out before he was taken out himself.

  • Garry_Owen

    Exactly.

  • Garry_Owen

    Though, I guess it could be said that Perez was actually the better Indian killer.

  • i’ll abide.