Josh Cribbs feels “caged” in Cleveland


Not long ago, Browns receiver Josh Cribbs said he was weary of more changes in Cleveland.  Now, he may welcome them.

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.

30 responses to “Josh Cribbs feels “caged” in Cleveland

  1. Yea, he could probably help out a little at wr but they are trying to develop the young guys. Watching him his whole career I’d sat he had lost a bit of speed this year on kick returns. Relax Joe, you have had a nice run in Cleveland and made a TON of $!!

  2. No one has ever accused Pat Shurmur of knowing how to properly use any of his players.

    #Trent Richardson, #Brandon Weeden, #Josh Gordon, #Phil Dawson.

    Oh wait, he sure knows how to go for field goals.

  3. It’s too bad he feels this way, because he’s been one of three consistent bright spots in Cleveland (Dawson and Thomas the others).

    That said, Cribbs was an exceptional special teams player (on both sides of the ball) and offensive role player. He’s still great on special teams, but either age or injuries have caught up with him and he’s lost a step. Simply put, his raw athletic skill is not where it used to be.

  4. I’m typically not a proponent of athletes complaining to the media, but Cribbs’ comments are fairly accurate and ultimately come down to this: Shurmur and his coaching staff are completely clueless.

    I feel like this team has a lot more talent than what the W-L record would indicate. Shurmur’s (in)ability to effectively use his players is directly comparable to his (in)ability to draw/call plays. I really hope Cribbs and Dawson return next year and not just because of their names; these guys are still legitimate contributors every Sunday.

  5. “That said, the current coaching staff simply wants to win football games”

    OK, this should be the driving force, now if a coach had the choice between Cribbs or Little running a slant route, who would he choose? Little who has a 40% chance of dropping the ball or Cribbs who will catch the ball 90% of the time and although may have lost a half step, is still the 2nd most powerful runner on the team.

    The players are not the problem, I disliked Mangenious, but we would be at least 5-4 or better with him, he sucked at personnel decisions as GM but at least we won a few games because of the coaching, instead we lose games because of the coaching .

  6. A few weeks ago I saw the documentary on Belichick’s Cleveland years.
    If they hadn’t decided to move the team and fire him, I’m convinced he would be running what is the New England dynasty in Cleveland now.
    Cleveland’s best season in the last 20 years? Belichick’s 94 team.

  7. Cribbs shouldn’t worry too much, the upcoming REGIME CHANGE is going to uncage quite a few individuals!

  8. Maybe if he didn’t fumble three straight games on returns the coaching staff might be trusting him better.

    Never understood why they didn’t use him a a running back 5-8 times a game to run to the outside though.

  9. Pittsburgh should grab this guy next season. Mike Wallace will be gone, so Sanders steps into the #2 role and Cribbs plays the slot.

    Haley’s shown he likes versatile game breakers like Dexter McCluster.

  10. Does he share an agent with Tim Tebow? This change-the-way-the-whole-team-operates-to-make-me-look-good line sounds awful familiar.

  11. Everyone should take a deep breath when discussing Past his Prime Josh Cribbs.

    In 2010–he cleaned out his locker because he felt the Browns insulted him with their contract offer. He settled for 3 years and $20 million for a washed up kick returner and special teams ace.

    His last Kick Off return for a TD was in 2008. He had a punt return for a TD last year but his prior one was in 2009.

    Last year when the Browns special teams were weaker he whined to the media he wanted to play more on special teams.

    This year he gets his wish and the Browns are trying to developing a group of young wide outs.

    Its his contract year. Josh the Whiner is doing what he does best. WHINE.

  12. @leftcoastnative:

    Just because they both return kicks means nothing. Cobb & Cribbs aren’t anything alike. Cobb was actually taught how to be a WR in college @ UK, that place that also produced Stevie Johnson & Jacob Tamme. Cribbs was a QB/athlete. Cobb was realistically a QB/WR/athlete.

    Cribbs is not a good route runner, he doesn’t catch the ball properly, & as a Browns fan…. He cries too much for someone getting paid the salary he gets as a Special Teams guy. Could the Browns incorporate Cribbs more? Sure, personally I think they should have tried making him a Safety due to his ball skills & tackling ability.

    No comparison to Randall Cobb though (god, I wish we would have grabbed Cobb though)!

  13. Cribbs, I love you man but you know the reason why you aren’t playing offense right? Last year you said you wanted to focus on Special Teams more. So Shurmur has you playing special teams. What you should do is go play CB opposite of Haden. You can’t be worse than Sheldon or Buster.

  14. The Browns already lock Phil Dawson up with the franchise tag, so no room there. He really isn’t as good as he used to be returning kicks. He’s still good, but not anything special anymore. He might make a play or two if you force him the ball, but he doesn’t run good routes and he isn’t a natural receiver. This is just what Cribbs does, he talks. He thinks he’s a lot better than he is because the Browns generally suck, so he’ll want more money than he’s worth in the offseason and will likely be a free agent. He’s really a jack-of-all-trades, master of none.

  15. Dear Mr. Cribbs,

    They quit putting you on the field, because the last time you whined about your contract, you were producing. Then you got your contract, took the money, and quit producing on the field.

    You used to be hard core, and fly all over the field, now they use you where they can because “You have not produced in 3 years”

    I’m going to miss you Mr. Cribbs, but you have let all of us Browns fans down worse then the idiot Shurmer!!

  16. Whoever signs him should get two productive years before the concussions and other cumulative injuries catch up to him. This dude definitely has something to prove.

  17. In one of his whines before the season started Cribbs said he wanted to just focus on special teams. So now he wants to play on offense. Cribbs is an aging special teams player who once had incredible production. But rules changes have rendered him pretty much obsolete and, at 30 years old, he won’t find much of a market for his services. It would be great if he was a team guy but, once again, it’s all about him.

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