Cleveland Browns defensive end
Bryant registered team highs with 10 total tackles and two sacks for 12 lost yards during the team’s season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins last Sunday, and anchored a defensive unit that allowed only 20 rushing yards on 23 carries.
“He was dominant up front, and one of the first times I talked to you guys, I talked about depth,” Horton said. “He missed most of training camp. With the depth there and (Ahtyba) Rubin being out, he just stepped in. I know he’s our starter, but he provided tremendous push up front.
“He’s one of our leaders. We’ve got some guys on our team that are leaders, and Desmond is a guy we expect big things from, and he had a fantastic start.”
“He’s going to be one of our stalwarts,” Horton said of Kruger. “We need him to play well. He played well last week. He played well on the run. He’s taking on a leadership role now that he’s comfortable being here. He’s one of our important guys. We’ve got to keep him fresh and ready. We all know he’s a very, very good player.”
“I think it’s him,” Horton said. “With most people, and I’ve told our players, there’s a country song by Bonnie Raitt called, ‘Nick of Time.’ When there’s less of something, it becomes more precious to you. By him being out of football, it became very important and very precious to him. I try to tell all of our players, there’s a very small window for them. The average is something like 3.2 years in the league, and as you start to get a little bit older, I think guys start reflecting back on their careers and say, ‘I’m on the downside of a four-year career.’ If you’re lucky and get 10 in, as soon as you hit your prime at five, you’re on the downhill side.
“This is a new team for him, but this is a young team, and I think he came in and demonstrated some leadership ability that you guys probably can’t see outside of the field, in the classroom, in the locker room, where he’s helping guys understand how to be a pro, how to study and how to work. It was expected after watching the role he’s taken with the team.”