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Thomas likes free-agent moves

Posted Mar 21, 2013

Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas has enjoyed seeing the moves the team has made in free agency.

As a left tackle for the Cleveland Browns, Joe Thomas’ main responsibility is keeping the likes of former Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger and Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Desmond Bryant away from his quarterback’s blindside.

Thomas, who has made six straight Pro Bowls, is now looking forward to having Kruger and Bryant as teammates.

“I’ve been really excited,” Thomas said. “I think the additions of Paul Kruger and Desmond Bryant are going to really change our defense.”

Kruger led the Ravens with nine sacks during the 2012 regular season, and added another 4.5 during Baltimore’s run to a Super Bowl XLVII win against the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans on Feb. 3. In the Super Bowl, Kruger twice sacked 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“Any time you can take a guy who you’re going to face a couple times a year and put him on your team, especially a guy that’s as talented as Paul is, it really makes you feel good in the offseason,” Thomas said.

Bryant spent the first four years of his career with the Raiders, who signed him as a free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft. He started 18 of the 63 games in which he played, and missed only one contest during his time with the Raiders.

Bryant has registered 124 total tackles, 11.5 quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in his career. In 2012, Bryant made a career-best 48 tackles and tied for the team lead with four sacks, including one in each of the final four games of the year.

“They’re two of the best players on defense that we played against last year,” Thomas said of Kruger and Bryant. “And to be able to add both of them is very impressive.”