Eagles banking on younger Kruger for pass-rushing help

2013 NFL Combine
Kruger is the younger brother of Browns pass-rushing specialist Paul Kruger.

Joe Kruger has heard the comparisons to his more famous brother, Paul.

Paul recently won a Super Bowl as a pass-rushing specialist for the Baltimore Ravens, then cashed in by inking a five-year, $40 million deal with the Cleveland Browns. Joe, selected in the seventh round of last weekend’s NFL draft by the Eagles, called his skill sets similar.

“I would compare our game a lot. I think we are both powerful players,” Joe said. “I think Paul is going to be dropping more and playing more linebacker now. This offseason they [Cleveland Browns] had him lose a little bit of weight. So, I guess we’ll see what the Eagles have me do. We’re similar motor. We both go to the ball until the whistle has been blown and both have the same mentality. I’m a guy that hates to lose and I really don’t sit well with it.”

The only knock — if it is a knock — on Joe going into the combine was that he was too raw. In a 3-4 defensive scheme, with the proper NFL coaching, he could thrive. Joe had 30 tackles and six sacks last season at Utah before leaving early for the draft.

“At the end of the season, I kind of just looked at my future and looked at what was going to be best for me and I thought I played well enough to leave this past season and I think I’m mature enough and strong enough.”

Joe isn’t sure exactly where he fits in with the Eagles, or which position he’ll play. He’s played outside linebacker and defensive end in his career.

“I’ve played both positions and they really haven’t told me what kind of defense they will be running this year, so I can do both, but right now I don’t know what I’ll be doing,” he said.


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