Kruger?s work ethic gives him an advantage

By By Elizabeth Frome

By Elizabeth Frome

Talk about writer’s block.

Comparing Sean Smith and Paul Kruger to argue who will have a better rookie season in the NFL makes one almost as indecisive as Brett Favre.

Unfortunately, this is a debate, and I’m pretty sure my bylines would cease to exist if I left it at “it’s a toss-up.” So, as I have to jump off the fence in one way or the other, I’m going to have to hop down on Kruger’s side.

Sorry, Smith.

Let me just start by saying that Kruger and Smith will both undoubtedly do well. They left big empty shoes in the Utah lineup, and I believe they will be invaluable assets to the teams that drafted them.

However, I’ll give you three reasons why Kruger might be worth just a bit more.

First: Kruger’s mean work ethic.

While filling in for injured first-team defense Terrell Suggs, Kruger earned recognition from nfl.com, which described him as “already popular among veterans for his tenacious work ethic and quiet intensity.”

The Ravens are one of the league’s top defensive teams, and it’s looking like Kruger is fitting nicely into that mold.

Smith might not have such an easy time making friends with veteran league players on the Dolphins, as he’s not known so much for his work ethic as he is for his attitude.
Second: The luck of the draft.

Kruger being drafted by Baltimore puts him in a better position to do well in his rookie season than Miami does for Smith. Put a great player into an already good lineup, and things usually pan out well. Put a great player into a not-so-great lineup, and things don’t usually work in his favor.

Take former Ute Alex Smith as an example. The guy is an incredible quarterback and deserved to go No. 1 in the draft after the career he had with the Utes. Unfortunately, he went to struggling San Francisco, and has since found himself struggling.
And third: Athleticism.

There’s no doubt that both Kruger and Smith are physically suited for professional football, but Kruger has an edge when it comes to reaction time and agility. Although Smith is definitely the faster of the two, Kruger turns a little easier and manages to take that initial step a little quicker. For a guy with only two years of college football experience, he has great field awareness and moves well.

That’s not to say that Smith doesn’t, but for a guy who stands two inches shorter than Kruger but is almost 50 pounds lighter, you’d think Smith would have a noticeable advantage.

So there you have it8212;the scale tips to Kruger. You can’t argue that Smith won’t do well, and he definitely has one huge advantage over Kruger.
He doesn’t have to play with John Beck.