The Cleveland Browns have held halftime leads in six of their eight games and been in within striking distance of both the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter of each of their last two games.
Despite the Browns’ 3-5 record, first-year outside linebacker
“I hate losing, and I hate to see these guys put in the work and effort that they are, and even myself, and not come out on top,” Kruger said. “There’s a lot of good things that were done. As soon as we start coming together and playing the whole game the way we show signs throughout the game, whether it’s a quarter, half or series, we know what we can do and who we can be. It’s just got to be more consistent.
“A lot of it getting these experiences under your belt, spending more time on the field, and it’s a mentality. You have to bring the same energy level, focus and mentality to every, single game every week, or else, you’re not going to play very (well). It’s something that we’re working on right now, and it’s something I feel good about. I feel like a lot of good things are happening. A little more of them and a little more often, and we’re going to be right there.”
Kruger, who arrived in Cleveland as a free agent after helping the Baltimore Ravens win a Super Bowl last February, is confident the consistency will develop because of the way he has seen his new teammates respond to the challenges that come with playing in the NFL.
“You see guys making strides in the right direction,” Kruger said. “I feel like our team is fighting our tails off every week. We’re just right there. If we continue doing what we’re doing -- and we’re building a good team -- it’s just a matter of making those little plays at the end of the game and sustaining the momentum when we get it.
“I think we’ll be fine. It’s hard to see. You watch these guys work so hard. We’re in here every day busting our tails to get the Ws. We’ve just got to make it happen.”
Kruger and the Browns will get that next chance “to make it happen” with Sunday’s game against his former team, the Ravens.
The Browns held a 6-0 lead over the Ravens at halftime of Baltimore’s home-opener amid their Super Bowl celebration on Sept. 15. However, Baltimore scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to seal the victory.
“We really competed well with them in the first game,” Kruger said. “We were in a position to win that game too. That’s why it’s so frustrating sometimes. We’re literally right there every week.
“As soon as we start putting together complete games and learning how to win, I think a lot of good things are going to come.”