After touching the ball on offense only eight times in nine games, Cribbs tells Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “I feel caged.”
He said more.
“I’ve talked to the head coach but there’s no point,” Cribbs said. “Obviously they feel like everybody that’s in front of me is a better athlete. I disagree. I feel a different way than the coach feels about me. They must feel I can’t produce. W e have a difference of opinion. . . . There’s something wrong when one of your best athletes doesn’t get the ball. I’m tired of people that don’t know how to use me. Get creative. Find ways.”
If Cribbs wants out of Cleveland, why not just drive around the parking lot with the Super Bowl trophies tied to his bumper? (Oh.)
Either way, he’s on his way out. With a contract that expires after the season and the Browns surely unwilling to use the receiver franchise tag to keep a kick returner in place, Cribbs will hit the open market.
And that’s one of the sources of Cribbs’ frustration. “I can’t even showcase myself,” Cribbs said. “I’m more than a special teams player. I’ve proven that. I belong on the field more than this, more than what they’re allowing me to do. I’ve tried not to say much, but it’s upsetting. We’re nine games into the season and I haven’t gotten a chance.”
The lack of chances has Cribbs questioning his skills.
“Me going from being able to run the Wildcat, to playing receiver last season and catching 41 passes and four touchdowns to nothing,” Cribbs said. “I can’t believe it. It’s like by me not playing, I feel like they think I’m not good, that I’ve lost it. But I haven’t. I feel when I’m out there I can contribute, but I’m not able to.”
A cynic would suggest that the outgoing Holmgren regime is getting a little revenge on Cribbs for the contract mess he created in early 2010, after Mike Holmgren arrived as the team president. That said, the current coaching staff simply wants to win football games, and they apparently believe that other players give the Browns the best to chance to, well, not win football games.