Fan favorite and Cleveland Browns return man Josh Cribbs may have donned the orange and brown uniform for the last time this past Sunday. The former un-drafted rookie free agent from Kent State University is two games away from finishing his eighth season as a Brown. For Cribbs, it was probably not the way he wanted to go out in front of the home crowd.
During Cleveland’s 38-21 loss to the Washington Redskins, Cribbs had nine opportunities to take one last return to the house. It didn’t happen. In his seven kickoff returns, Cribbs averaged 27 yards with a long of 32. You could see it in his eyes and body language that he wanted to give the fans something to get excited about. On two punt returns, Cribbs did nothing and absorbed three punishing hits.
When is all said and done, no. 16 had a nice career in Cleveland, highlighted by an NFL record for kick returns for a touchdown with eight. So many times this season, it looked like the Washington, DC native was going to add to the record. But, penalties and poor blocking stopped Cribbs right in his tracks. The huge contract extension signed a few year ago by Cribbs is over at the end of this season.
The last two games, Pat Shurmur and the Browns’ offense inserted the “Wildcat” and used Cribbs as the feature. Overall, the scheme worked well but that has been the only real offensive time Cribbs has seen. In fact on the year, the eight year veteran has only six receptions for 54 yards. He has not found the end zone once.
Year after year, Cribbs displayed professionalism and it seemed like he understood what it meant to be a Cleveland Brown. On and off the field, Cribbs led by example for his teammates and was welcomed with open arms by the Dawg Pound. For a guy who wasn’t given much of an opportunity in the beginning, no. 16 will be forever etched in Browns fans’ minds for many years.
Thank you for everything Mr. Cribbs.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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