Is there a more exciting player on this current Browns team than Joshua Cribbs? Sure, Braylon Edwards can haul in long passes and make incredible catches. Kamerion Wimbley is in on nearly every play from a defensive standpoint, often chasing down running backs from behind. But each time the ball is in Cribbs’ hands, all 11 men are gunning to bring him down – something that you can’t really say about the others.
James Walker, formerly of the Columbus Dispatch and now of ESPN.com, had the chance to sit down with Cribbs to discuss last season as well as the upcoming. Obviously, the fact that Cribbs was a local school quarterback and went undrafted to then play in the Pro Bowl is a captivating story in itself. But when we drill down even deeper, it turns out that Cribbs places all of his “thanks” on his brother, Harold, for making him who he is today.
There is a secret to Cribbs’ success that traces deep into his childhood. The catalyst is Harold Cribbs, Joshua’s older brother.
Harold was the star athlete in the family before Joshua had a chance to be. The younger brother always followed the older brother to his games and at age six, Harold began introducing Joshua to football the hard way — through blood, bruises and scrapes.
“We used to play football on concrete, and he used to hit me hard, knock me into the bushes and had me crying,” Joshua Cribbs said. “Then he’d keep me quiet so he won’t get in trouble for doing it. My brother made me tougher and I love him for that. Without the hard work he instilled upon me, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Perhaps this is why I am not a Pro-Bowl return man in the NFL? If I only had an older brother…
But in all seriousness, Cribbs’ shear desire to play the game has made him what he is today. There have been rumors of his increased roll in the offense, and this has many fans simply salivating. One thing that often gets overlooked is his impact on the otherside of special teams by recording 20 tackles just last season. That’s what… 19 more than Deion Sanders? An every-down player for how long?
All I know is that there will be a lot more #16 jerseys around Browns Stadium this season, and justfiably so.
From Raw Free Agent… [ESPN]