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Browns' front seven poses challenge for Ravens

OWINGS MILLS - Paul Kruger's success as a pass rusher was an important part of the Ravens' run to a Super Bowl title last season.
But Kruger is a Cleveland Brown now, and he's part of a talented Browns front seven that could cause problems for Baltimore's offensive line this weekend - both as a pass rush as well as in the run game.
"When you look at them up front, they're extremely talented," Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said. "Their front seven is outstanding. ... They can stop the run. They can squeeze it off hard. ...
"[They] do a tremendous job also, not just in terms of stopping the run, but they [also have] excellent pass rushers."
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill had success against Cleveland's pass defense last week, throwing for 272 yards and a touchdown, but Miami's running game produced just 20 yards on 23 carries.
Dolphins starting running back Lamar Miller was held to just three yards on 10 carries. Backup Daniel Thomas had only 14 carries on eight carries.
Neither had a run that went for a gain longer than five yards.
Baltimore, meanwhile, is coming off a game during which its offensive line struggled to open holes against the Denver Broncos' defensive front.
Against the Broncos, Ravens running back running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce picked up just 58 yards on 21 carries, an average of only 2.8 yards per attempt.
"It should be a good matchup," Baltimore left guard Kelechi Osemele said. "Their front seven is a strength of their team. Their front seven is one of the best that we're going to see. They're definitely getting up there with the Pittsburgh's of the world and definitely playing well as a unit."
And while inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson and nose tackle Phil Taylor are catalysts of the Browns' run defense, Kruger and fellow outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard spearhead what looks to be an improved Cleveland pass rush under new defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who is known for being an aggressive play-caller on defense.
Along with Kruger, the Browns also added veteran defensive tackle Desmond Bryant during free agency and took outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo with the sixth overall pick in the NFL draft.
Mingo didn't play against the Dolphins, but Bryant, Kruger and outside linebacker Quentin Groves combined for four sacks.
Baltimore allowed four sacks and four additional quarterback hits against the Broncos.
"It's going to be a challenge for us, going to be pretty tough," Ravens fullback Vonta Leach said. "Their front seven looks really good. ... Their front seven, if they keep playing like they're playing, is going to be one of the best in the league."

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