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Pees Wants to Avoid Comparisons Between Suggs and Kruger

Pees Doesn’t Like Comparisions

From Baltimore Sun:

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.

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said Kruger’s play could be critical before pointing out that he is one of 11 starters on the defensive side of the ball. But when Pees was asked if the injury to Suggs – whose timetable to return to the Ravens is unclear – is forcing the unit to rely on Kruger, the coach seemed to take umbrage with the question.

“It has nothing to do with Sizzle,” Pees said, referring to Suggs’ nickname before slightly raising his voice. “It has to do with playing outside backer for the Baltimore Ravens. You guys keep comparing. You can never compare two people. It has nothing to do with another guy. There’s no comparison. I never compare. It’s playing outside linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens – period.

“Whether it’s the Sam [strong-side outside linebacker], the Rush [weak-side outside linebacker], the Mike [strong-side middle inside linebacker], the Will [weak-side inside linebacker], when Ray [Lewis] was out [for four games in 2011], it has nothing to do with a guy [having] to take another guy’s position. It has to do with that guy playing that position. I don’t want to come across stirred up about it because I’m not. When you compare players, you take everything so far out of context. It’s not about that. It’s about how he fits in the defense, how does he do his part. He’s one of 11th of this defense, and so is Sizzle when he’s in there. He’s one of 11th. So whether you game-plan certain ways or whatever, that’s what they are. They all have one-eleventh stock in this defense.”

Pees makes a salient point about avoiding comparisons. Kruger is no Suggs, and no one within the organization is saying that. But Kruger’s play will be dissected, and since he will be lining up in the same spot that Suggs has done, observers will be interested to see if Kruger can have similar success to what Suggs was able to accomplish.

Maybe it’s not terribly fair, but it’s life in professional sports.

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