Cribbs Worship Points Out Our Inadequacies

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.

  • Brendon

    I agree 100%. but with marshall, it’s not the trading of cribbs that bothers me, it’s the off the field issues. this guy is pacman jones v2.0.

  • DK

    as much as I hate to admit it, youre right…while Cribbs hasnt really done a whole lot, if we had a better team overall, he would fit in a little better…I went to Kent State when Cribbs was there…he singlehandedly willed that team to win any of their games…he was the entire offense…I think he could do something similar in the NFL, but he hasnt been given the chance…I would love to see him line up as QB a few times a game just to switch it up…

    but I do agree, for everything he does for us on ST, he doesnt seem to be a very good WR…granted, he hasnt had a whole lot of opportunities…but if he becomes more multi dimensional this year, given the chance, maybe he should be better compensated..

  • Scott

    “he singlehandedly willed that team to win any of their games”

    The mid-major Tim Tebow

  • DK

    I would agree, but Tebow had top tier recruits on the line, at WR, TE, RB, etc…when JC was at KSU, they (and im not joking) had my old roommate, not only tryout, but MAKE the team as a starting lineman…and he had never played organized football before or after that…

    JC is a great athlete and needs to have the ball 15 times a game…whether its on KO’s or PR’s, as a QB in the wildcat, whatever…hes dynamic…and i think he would take any challenge you gave him…

  • Jeff

    I said the same thing basically in the comments for the rumor yesterday about this trade. I feel the same way about Cribbs. He was basically the only guy that still seemed to give a crap when things were bad last year, and that means a lot to fans who pay for tickets, gear, and genuinely care for their team. But we have never had a receiver like Marshall. Braylon would be better with Marshall. Our offense would have legitimate firepower. This guy caught 100 balls the last two season, although to be fair, he was third in drops as well.

    I just don’t see how we keep “potential” for the sure thing. I would trade for the sure thing. I think we have to if the possibility presents itself.

  • Chris M

    Yes, trade a stand up guy with loads of talent and plenty of potential for a girlfriend beater who will probably end up suspended sooner than later.

    Oh, and he’s also holding out, while demanding a trade.

    No, thank you.

  • Denny

    “Our offense would have legitimate firepower”

    If anybody could throw the ball to said receivers.

  • bobby

    If anyone would truly not trade Cribbs for Marshall, and even throw in a draft pick then its insane. Marshall is a rare talent, and disgruntled players have been kept cool in new places (see Rogers, Shaun and Moss, Randy). I don’t think this is a legit trade, because it wold be a steal for the browns.

    As for Cribbs, he should be getting time as RB. Is it just me, or can Cribbs just be a more aggressive Leon Washington?

  • Tron

    “If anybody could throw the ball to said receivers.” What you haven’t heard? DA has a really strong arm.

  • Denny

    Right, but I said TO the receivers, not “nowhere near the receivers but still really far.”

  • JackGonzo

    I wouldn’t trade Cribbs for Marshall due to his off the field issues alone. He’s used to being number one, but he wouldn’t be in Cleveland. We’d put Edwards, Marshall and Donte’s contracts all on the same team? Marshall is gonna end up being suspended and won’t see a full season. Of course I’m not the only person who is thinking like this, I’m sure Mangini is as well. We get rid of the kind of attitude K2 had just to bring in Marshall? Never gonna happen.

    If we want to trade for a big name receiver, if we want to trade Cribbs and say a second round pick there is only one person I’m looking at. Boldin. Never gets in trouble with the law and would be dynamite next to Edwards. Hell, I’d go so far as to give Arizona a number one and Cribbs for Boldin, but that’s just me.

  • B-bo

    “The mid-major Tim Tebow”

    Well that’s CLEARLY a violation of the first commandment, Scott. Watch out for lightning–you may be smited…..smote…..? The real question is how did Cribbs spend his college summers? I bet he wasn’t circumcising Filipino boys like the most holy Tebow does. What’s nice is that all these UF felons who are teammates of Tebow’s won’t have to spend much of their jail time finding Jesus–they have already shared a huddle with him. Of course, he may be too busy on getaways with Urban Meyer to take their calls. Then again, since it only takes 5 or 20 minutes in a room with the guy to become a better person ( ), I’m sure he will be able to work it into his schedule.

    Man I hate the gators.

  • Tron

    In all fairness, it’s usually within 3 to 5 yards of the receiver. Sometimes he even got it directly to them, it was just to their feet. Which begs the question: What are the chances Marshall can catch a ball off his foot? If it’s greater than 60% I say trade everything we got for him right now.

  • Big TC

    The “nice guy” factor is an important reason for Cribbs’s popularity, but the most important thing is that he’s an impact player. We wouldn’t spend so much time talking about him if he wasn’t. He hustles, he’s versatile, he’s reliable, and would probably do even more than he already has if given the opportunity.

    I think Marshall would be a great asset, but at what cost? The guy is clearly a talented athlete, and I have no doubt that he would be a contributor. But Cribbs is a contributor too, and he gets it done without all the baggage that Marshall would bring to Cleveland with him. Besides, I’m almost to the point where I’d rather “wait til next year” for the next 100 years than put up with another pain-in-the-neck primadonna pro athlete.

    I’m not against a trade, but I think the Browns need to take a long, hard look at the consequences of what a trade would mean for the franchise.

  • Denny

    That’s well and good if he can catch the ball off his foot. But what if the bottom of his foot is cut because he was playing shoeless?

  • Denny

    And B-bo, Indonesian Boys NK.

  • Glaumdawg

    @ #8 – it’s not about Marshall being disgruntled….it’s about him being inwhat seems to be constant trouble with the law. Have we sunk so low as to adobt the Bengals’ formula for team roster building?

  • B-bo

    As for the “Cribbs worship” idea: I admit he is my favorite player on this Browns team–partly because he’s a fellow KSU guy, but mainly because of all the positives attributed to him in this post–but ultimately I’m a BROWNS fan. If there were a deal for a player(s) that I thought would genuinely help the team win, then I’d say go for it–I’d be sorry to see JC go, but it’s about the team. To me, this isn’t a trade that helps the team win. Marshall is almost guaranteed to miss at least some time this season. He clearly has a checkered history–recent and repeated–that seems to indicate selfishness, stupidity, or some combination of the two. These are not things that make me say “sweet–bring him in!”. Cribbs is not untradeable in my view (Boldin?–yes please), I would just want it to be for a positive addition–and Marshall, to me, would not be that.

  • Glaumdawg

    Wow my grammar was poor on that post. *in what – and – *adopt

  • Pittsburgh is for Man Lovers

    @Denny, hey I signed up to follow you on my new twitter account under dnasher, in case you were wondering who some random weirdo was.

  • Pittsburgh is for Man Lovers

    I said this yesterday and I will repeat it again, anyone who wouldn’t take Marshall for Cribbs and some form of pick outside the 1st and 2nd rounds is nuts. I don’t give a crap if Brandon Marshall clubs baby seals in his spare time as long as he produces on the field.

  • EZ

    I’m torn as well. I love Cribbs’ drive and competitiveness, and he’s probably the most intriguing player on our roster in terms of potential. As well, Marshall’s 100 receptions are elevated seeing as he played under Shanahan with Jay Cutler as his QB. I think I read somewhere that Cutler would prefer to pass on every single down, and last season when all the Denver running backs went down he practically did. There’s no way he’d get near 100 catches in Cleveland, even as a #1.

    At the same time, Marshall is an elite receiver and after last season I’m very nervous about our receiving corps… I can’t rely on Edwards until he’s proved he’s over his plague of drops from last year and after that we have “wily veterans” (old men) and rookies. And Steptoe.

    I don’t think Mangini would take Marshall based on character and contract issues, and I’d be amazed if the Broncos agreed to Cribbs and a pick for Marshall, but if it happened I guess I can’t say I’d be unhappy with it. I don’t think I’d pull for it either, though.

  • B-bo

    “Indonesian Boys NK”

    A tip of the cap to you, sir. Well played.

  • David Stern

    It’s nto that Marshall is disgruntled, which he is, it’s that he’s clearly a psycho. That is not a problem that gets fixed by changing teams. If a guy think it’s okay to beat up on women, then he’s mentally defunct. End of story. You can’t reteach that kind of brokenness… at least not without a life changing arrest or suspension. Both those things would be hirrible for the Browns. If Marshall wasn’t a headcase, then obviously a deal like that should get made. But as it is, we’d be lucky if Marshall didn’t get arrested within the first quarter of the season… since he’s had issues about every 3 months his whole career.

  • Nicko

    Brandon Marshall is a criminal and would be in jail right now in every other country except this one.

  • DK

    not defending Marshall at all, but I did see an interview with his ex who made almost all the claims…she is a few fries short of a happy meal as well…again, I AM NOT DEFENDING HIS ACTIONS….hitting a woman is never ok…but she did seem to be a bit psycho in her own right…

    also, I do believe that Josh Cribbs was arrested in Kent for marijuana possession, so hes not 100% squeaky clean…he also had something along the lines of a domestic dispute with his gf at the time…dont quote me as this being 100% fact, but I think I recall something happening while he was at Kent…people change, people make mistakes, in no way am I saying hes in the same group of knuckleheads…but hes not perfect either…

  • DK


    KENT, Ohio — Record-setting Kent State quarterback Joshua Cribbs is in jail Monday on charges of trafficking in marijuana and domestic violence.

    According to a Kent police report, Cribbs was arrested at his home Saturday morning and charged with trafficking in marijuana, a fifth degree felony, and domestic violence, a first degree misdemeanor. He is being held without bond.

    Cribbs will be arraigned in Kent Municipal Court on Tuesday. Kent State athletic director Laing Kennedy said Monday that Cribbs had been suspended from the team but will maintain his scholarship pending the resolution of the charges.

    “Right now it’s a very difficult time for Joshua and his wife, Maria,” Kennedy said. “As an athletic department and university, we are supporting them as they seek appropriate counsel to work their way through this.”

    The 6-foot, 195-pound junior set school records for both season and career total offense last fall. He completed 49 percent of his passes (178 of 364) for 2,424 yards and 14 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He also ran for 701 yards on 264 carries, scoring 14 of Kent State’s 22 rushing touchdowns.

    Cribbs also caught a 29-yard touchdown pass to finish as the team’s top scorer with 90 points.

    The Golden Flashes went 5-7 overall and 4-4 in the MAC last fall – the school’s second-best record in the last 15 seasons.

  • ben

    I’d trade Cribbs for Marshall straight up. We keep our draft pick, and they keep Marshall’s baggage.

  • Chris M

    In Marshall’s defense, I’m sure his girlfriend deserved it. All 7 times.

    Also, from an ESPN clip from a few months ago – even before this current mess.

    Marshall, 24, now potentially faces a longer suspension to start the 2009 season, perhaps as much as eight games, which is the punishment other players have received for repeatedly getting into trouble off the field.

  • DK

    like i said, it wasnt meant to condone his actions…just said she was loopy too…

  • Glaumdawg

    I love the Browns and I love winning, but the day the Browns adopt the Bengals’ roster building strategy is the day I bid adeiu to the Browns.

  • paulbip

    Cribbs stats were average at best last year. He is good at hype and self promotion. Get rid of him for value. Marshall would be a steal.

  • bobby

    1 player isnt adopting the bengals ‘strategy.’ The point was made in this article, Cribbs is a SPECIAL TEAMS player. That UFA from Akron could be the next cribbs for all we know. If Marshall and Edwards were on the field, the browns easily have one of the best offenses in the league, and a much improved defense compared to last year. I dont know exactly, but i think the offense is on the field closer to 45 percent of the time (maybe more) and special teams is on maybe 5-10%. Cribbs and a 2 would be a steal for marshall.

  • gnothise

    The fact that the wedge formation on kickoffs has been ruled illegal will have a significant impact on Cribbs’ ability to make big plays returning the ball. He is a power returner – an excellent one – not a finesse returner. He likes to barrel into a pile, then run through or around arm tackles. The wedge formation is perfect for this style of returner, giving him a buffer between him and the defenders. With this formation abolished, returners like Cribbs will be forced to take a different (read: less physically aggressive) approach to returning kicks. That takes away what Cribbs does best and what we all love him for: aggressively running and pursuing the football.

    So, with his contract requests and the likelihood of his impact on kick returns being diminished, if the Browns were ever going to trade Cribbs, now is the time.