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.