Browns like Cribbs in receiver, wildcat role

Now that the Cleveland Browns have made Josh Cribbs happy by signing him to a new contract, they need to figure out the right way to use Cribbs’ considerable talents.

Cribbs played quarterback in college and has played wide receiver and running back on the Browns’ offense, as well as taking snaps in the wildcat formation and being one of the best punt and kickoff returners in football. In 2010, Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, coach Eric Mangini and the offensive staff want to continue to develop Cribbs as a wide receiver while also taking advantage of his ability to run the wildcat.

Grossi writes that the Browns don’t plan to use Cribbs as a running back because they’d rather he focus on playing receiver, and he also says that the newly signed quarterback Seneca Wallace is more likely to play a traditional quarterback role than to line up in the wildcat. So when the Browns go wildcat, Cribbs will be the man.

The biggest question is whether an increased emphasis on playing wide receiver could detract from Cribbs’ ability to make plays on special teams, as has been the case with Devin Hester in Chicago.
If the Browns can make it all work, the $18 million they’re paying Cribbs over the next three years will be a bargain.

29 responses to “Browns like Cribbs in receiver, wildcat role

  1. I think he should just play RB… If he touches the ball it’s dangerous.. Easy to do at RB.. Just hand it off…

  2. ACTUALLY they need him to throw a little. He has attempted 1 pass in the nfl for an INT.
    He was a QB, but you dont put in a guy cold to toss a pass in the NFL. He could DESTROY someone if he were to pass in a smart way. Everyone would be playing the wildcat – rush option!!

  3. best special teams player of all time…..record for most kick returns….has a few punt returns….and his best attribute is the way he covers on special teams …always and i mean always makes the tackle……FINALLY the browns have actually signed a great FOOTBALL player…cannot wait to see what he does with the ball in his hands more…

  4. The Browns are gonna end up wearing this dude out.
    If they plan to use him in all stages of the offense and special teams he is gonna be done by 30.
    Sometimes less is more.

  5. It’s important to get Cribbs on the field as a wideout, even if you don’t throw him the ball. His speed forces teams to back off.

  6. Well, don’t crowbar him into the WR role like last year. He’s not a line up wide and run outs and flags type of guy. He’s a screener, short RB type patterns.
    Reverses, wildcat, possibly a “gimmicky” bomb now and then. A starting WR, no.

  7. What a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a KR. Cribbs is a mediocre WR at best and is not a true threat on offense. I still smell something Brown! Still Cleveland fans, at least you have Jake Delhomme! HAhahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

  8. Anytime a player dominates in the return game, it doesn’t last longer than 3 years.
    Hester in Chicago is one example.
    Terrence McGee in Buffalo became a starter at cornerback.
    Teams also will kick away from that player. Dante Hall became irrelevant after a few seasons as well, though he wasn’t able to transition to another position.

  9. Don’t mess with something that works. In the dictionary next to the term “wildcat” is a picture of Josh Cribbs. Even though Cribbs runs the ball 95% of the time when lined up as a QB the opposing team still has to respect the pass threat. They always say that you want to find a way to get the ball into the hands of your play makers. As the wildcat QB, Cribbs gets the ball in his hands every time the Browns line up in that formation.
    With all of that said, I can envision the Browns running gimmick style plays on a fairly regular basis by trotting Cribbs and Wallace onto the field at the same time. Having them both lineup near the behind center position before sending one of them into motion (or not) would have the opposing defenses scrambling. Opposing teams would be burning timeouts all over the place. In the first game of the year the Browns could set up the rest of their season by having Cribbs actually throw a few passes.
    Add these wildcat formations to a team that saw Jermoe Harrison emerge as a running threat late last season, a team that now has a REAL drop back QB in Delhomme and a team that now has a veteran pass catching tight end and the Browns might have an offense that can move the ball. Don’t knock the starting offensive line. The starters are solid but the Browns do lack depth on the O-line positions. If the Browns can add some lock down defensive backs and address the depth issue on the O-line they could possibly contend in the near future.

  10. Just find ways to use him. They made sure to “Pay da man”, now its time to earn that coin!
    Go Browns!

  11. Cribbs is a great return man. Having said that, teams that have to rely on gimmicks are rarely winners.
    All the “this and that” sounds like he’s nothing more than the football equivelant of a uitility infielder.

  12. Mel Gray and Brian Mitchell had long and prosperous NFL careers b/c their talents were focused on what they were best at – returning punts/kicks. Cleveland needs to keep Cribbs doing what he does best, and not get cute by plugging him in at other positions. By limiting him to special teams, Cribbs will be kept fresh, healthy, and constantly able to be a game-changer. I would rather have another 8 years of Cribbs successfully fielding punts/kicks than 3 years of him being used here and there and getting beat up.

  13. Hey “old School” the Steelers were the kings of gimmick plays when whizz was the OC and they did pretty well with it, as I remember………..

  14. Cribbs was the only reason to watch the Browns last year. I hope you guys don’t run the wheels bad on this guy. Remember Cadillac Williams in Tampa.

  15. My mom always said “if you dont have anything nice to say dont say anything at all”… such as MIKE WILLIAMS (USC) has more catches than him and has been out of the league how many years now?… see Im smart…. just like mom said.

  16. I don’t blame them.
    Everyone else sucks so why not use your 1 good player all-the-time until he runs out of gas

  17. Ya think? They should’ve been expanding his role in the Offense since 2007… He gave us shit fits in Cleveland during the Thursday night game… Is that proof positive he should’ve been much more prominent since his breakout year in 2007????

  18. OVERRATED,the dude has osme talent but,the reason he looks like brown and payton rolled into one is cause he is completely surrounded by scrubs,he can return kicks well,oh wow,gimmicks,gimmicks gimmicks,i say they should have traded him and got what they could,they need alot more than a return man,completely overrated. just wait for the first slight injury when he losses a lil speed then he will just be an ok return man,overrated

  19. cribbs is a great player. he can do it all. i wonder if eric use him right.probably not. i think coach tomlin would.

  20. mastablasta says:
    March 28, 2010 7:20 PM
    OVERRATED,the dude has osme talent but,the reason he looks like brown and payton rolled into one is cause he is completely surrounded by scrubs,he can return kicks well,oh wow,gimmicks,gimmicks gimmicks,i say they should have traded him and got what they could,they need alot more than a return man,completely overrated. just wait for the first slight injury when he losses a lil speed then he will just be an ok return man,overrated
    ————————————————–
    TRANSLATION: “I wish, so bad, that this guy was on *my* team. And if he was on my team, I’d be sitting here typing about how UNDERrated he is and how he’s ridiculously versatile. But since he *doesn’t* play for *my* team, he’s overrated. Yep.”
    You’re pretty easy to see through, dude.

  21. Cribbs has been a class act on a team that has stunk for 9 of the 11 seasons and Jake Delhomme will need all the help he can get.

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