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Super Bowl 2013: Paul Kruger wanted to be a quarterback

Sorry, no photos of Paul Kruger at the Ravens Media Day.
Sorry, no photos of Paul Kruger at the Ravens Media Day.
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports



(on winning Sugar Bowl against Alabama in 2009) "I thought about it just in regards to the city. I remember the city coming in and remember the stadium. It was a special time. It was one of the biggest games I’ve ever played in and Alabama was a great team. It was a special thing for Utah. We went undefeated and beat those guys in the Sugar Bowl. It was a really special memory for me. It’s a great place to play such a big game. There’s so much to do in the city and see. It’s a good time."

(on drawing from Sugar Bowl experience) "Stay out of trouble at night. You’re down here for a couple of days. You have to know how to handle yourself, just do what you have to do to prepare right for the game. I don’t see it being too much different than any other game."

(on the season) "I knew it was going to be a big change and a good opportunity for me. Coach Harbaugh and I had a lot of conversation about it. It’s exciting, you know. It was an honor to be a part of this team for this year especially. Now we have one more game to kind of top it off right. It’s one of those things that comes your way so many times, so im just grateful to be a part of it."

(on back trouble in September) "I was extremely worried about it. It was probably one of the most stressful times in my life. Here I was, I had this great opportunity ahead of me and I had something small acting up like that. I wish the best for anyone that has any problems because it’s a paralyzing effect. It was tough so I am glad that I was able to get out of it and get healthy. Looking back, I am really grateful and feel blessed."

(on any future rule changes in respect to players safety) "I don’t think so. It’s a really hard, sensitive subject because that’s what makes football exciting. It’s why people love it. I think the possibility of injury and the danger side of the game is what draws even the players to it. It’s a man’s game and we take pride in playing. I think that’s why fans have a lot of respect and love for the players because they really give it their all. Everyone is getting paid. At the same time, you are putting yourself at risk and in harm’s way. I think taking that aspect of the game out is really dangerous for the game because it’s a really important element. At the same time, you don’t want to see anyone have any kind of long term injuries and effects from it. So, I’m glad I don’t have to make those decisions because it’s tough. I think things evolve and people adjust. I don’t see it ever becoming not a popular game because it has so much history."

(on off-field experiences in life) "I normally don’t say anything about religion or God, especially when I am being interviewed. I really feel like I have been blessed, prayers have been answered, and I’ve overcome a lot, been through a lot. If it wasn’t for my family, faith in God, and all that I don’t think I would have been able to get through it."

(on Ray Lewis last game/retirement) "I am so happy for Ray. He’s had an amazing career. It’s just a perfect scenario of a way to end your career. Everybody looks at retirement as a sad or negative thing but I don’t see it like that at all. I couldn’t be happier for Ray. This is a time in his life where he’ll be able to step back, relax, and enjoy certain things that you can’t enjoy as a player. You get more time with your family, live where you want to live, and just see a side of life. As players, you play for so long and for him to be able to approach this time and having accomplished all that he did; it’s really an amazing thing.

(on punching another child, as a child, to play football) "It’s a true story. I used to be wild. I’ve always been really competitive. Back in the day, I had a really bad temper. I was probably tough on my parents."

(on wanting to be a quarterback) "I always saw myself as a quarterback and knew that’s what I wanted to play. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. I think if there was a position on defense that I would have wanted to play it would have been D-end. In my opinion, I think they have more of an impact on the game, especially the way it is played more nowadays. It was kind of my decision, they brought me in to play quarterback. I saw we had some other guys like Alex Smith and they were all older, talented players. I was anxious to get on the field and be apart of the team and be a contributor. I told coach, ‘Hey, if there’s a position where I can get on the field sooner, I’d love to make that change."