Monday, October 31, 2016
From Mitch Smith's article "C.J. Fiedorowicz, Karl Klug Establishing Themselves in NFL"
October 30, 2016
CJ Fiedorowicz and Karl Klug were Iowa teammates for one season in 2010, and now they’re adversaries in the AFC South.
Both have taken a step forward this season, competing at a higher level and making major contributions for their respective squads. And if the Houston Texans or the Tennessee Titans earn an NFL playoff berth this season, quality performances from Fiedorowicz and Klug will have definitely played a major factor in the teams’ success.
Klug a “disruptive” force for Titans defense
Karl Klug often played second fiddle as a Hawkeye playing alongside the likes of Adrian Clayborn and Mike Daniels, but the Iowa defensive lineman from 2007-2010 has blossomed into a very productive NFL lineman.
He has appeared in every game for the Titans since his rookie campaign in 2011, racking up 20 sacks, eight passes defended and five forced fumbles. Still, Klug continues to fly under the radar, making only seven starts in his six-year NFL career.
Although he hasn’t made many appearances in the starting lineup, Titans second-year head coach Mike Mularkey is taking notice of how valuable the former Hawkeye has been on a defensive unit that ranks 10th in the league in Total Defense this year.
“This guy is very disruptive, and he doesn’t get a lot of credit,” Mularkey said back on Oct. 10. “He does a lot of things that people don’t see behind the scenes that are very disruptive.”
Through eight games this season, Klug has 19 tackles and 1.5 sacks. It’s likely he’ll have his third straight season with at least 20 tackles, and he’s on pace to surpass his single-season high of 23 tackles he recorded in 2014.
PFF graded Klug as the Titans top defensive player in Week 5, 6 and 7. The website has called the former Hawkeye “one of the best situational players in the league,” giving him an overall grade of 82.1 — tied for ninth-best among the league’s interior defensive linemen.
In his 80 run snaps this season, Klug has nine stops and just two missed tackles, and on his 156 passing snaps, he has 17 total pressures — making him the third most productive pass rusher at his position.
“Klug represents what we stand for on this team,’’ Mularkey said. “He is a fierce competitor, all-out player. Every snap he gets there is nothing but all-out effort and relentless…I wish I had all the words to describe (him).”
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