I love Josh Cribbs. I love his TV show Josh’s Cribs. Cribbs embodies all that I want to like about professional football. He was an undrafted free agent who switched positions and has made a career for himself in the NFL just by sheer desire and will. If not for his kickoff returns, there was little to no reason to watch any of the last X number of matchups with the Pittsburgh Steelers. We all love this guy, but I did some soul searching this week with the whole Brandon Marshall rumor. I needed to check myself a little bit in relation to the thought of trading Josh Cribbs.
My first reaction when I read the rumor was that I didn’t like it. I know the Browns could definitely use a player like Brandon Marshall, but why couldn’t they take any number of players and draft picks not including our special teams wizard? The thing is, this kind of emotional thinking is the exact type of thinking that could prevent an organization from getting better. It is the exact type of emotional thinking that let us think Bernie Kosar was going to be able to play at a high level forever.
The fact is, for all he does, Josh Cribbs is compensated exactly as he should be. Cribbs is a great special teamer and has potential to make other types of plays all over the rest of the field. Whether it is running the ball on end-arounds, catching passes over the middle, playing defense in nickel situations or whatever, he has potential to do it. Still, he hasn’t really done much of any of those things. It isn’t necessarily his fault as he was living in Romeo Crennel’s world, but Josh Cribbs hasn’t established himself as the multi-dimensional player we all dream he could become. And with that knowledge it seems awfully strange that there are so many of us who would consider not dealing him for a guy who has caught 100 passes in a season before.
These are all symptoms, I think, of rooting for a team like ours. I remember not too long ago when my friends and I used to spend more than a couple minutes a week talking about Chris Gardocki. We used to spend time talking about the punter because there wasn’t anyone else to talk about. So maybe the Cribbs worship is a step up in the world. Even so, I can’t help but think that we are only biding our time with a flashy special teamer until we have some bona fide position players to brag about. Maybe Cribbs becomes that position player sometime in the future. Until that point, I think we need to check ourselves before we consider criticising the team for trading a special teams player for someone who can play every offensive down and catch the ball 100 times in a season.