If anyone is expecting me to be amazed that Josh Cribbs said something stupid, prepare to be disappointed. No one has ever accused Cribbs of being smart and while his heart and dedication on the field made him a popular player and fan favorite during his time here, he has gotten himself into trouble on Twitter and now in the media. When he has felt angry, he has let it out and it has come out badly for him and his relationship with the city of Cleveland.
This should not be a huge surprise. Cribbs had five years to learn wide receiver and never got beyond square one. He was a good athlete and demonstrated impressive instincts with the ball in his hands. Unfortunately, when that same athlete was asked to run routes, the concept of making cuts as opposed to rounding off every route he ever ran never got through to him. Maybe he just needed a sixth year to get down the basics of the position.
Here is what he was reported to have said according to Kimberly Martin of Long Island Newsday:
“We’re not the Browns,” the kick returner/wide receiver told Newsday on Sunday. “We’re not the team that gives up. We have fight in this team. They’re a motivated bunch of young guys. I’m just happy to be here and be able to contribute . . . Love it here. We lost. It’s going to be a lesson for us and we’re going to play harder. It’s good that it comes now because we’re still in the mix of this. We’re halfway through the season.”
Well, maybe it was an innocent mistake. After all, he just said that one – wait, no. He could not help himself and continued with this.
“The GM [John Idzik] takes that to the heart. Like Braylon Edwards. He could’ve played here, but they said ‘he didn’t play like a Jet. Get him out of here,’ ” Cribbs said of his former teammate in Cleveland. “So last week [against the Patriots] proved to me that this is not the Browns. If we were, we would’ve lost those games.”
Cribbs is claiming he was misquoted and it is possible that he was misquoted, but the idea that Cribbs would take a shot at the Browns is believable. He has done it before after games and had one incident that was particularly memorable when he went after the fans, so this is not out of character. The likelihood is that he was misquoted by being quoted at all. This feels more like damage control and Cribbs understanding that Cleveland has embraced him despite his inability to stop himself from saying dumb stuff. He is likely calling a foul knowing the situation risks him looking bad in Cleveland.
Considering that Cribbs was ultimately let go by the Browns due to his body being shot and clearly losing a step or two, it would hardly be surprising that Cribbs has an axe to grind. The Browns had a healthier, faster return option in Travis Benjamin and opted to go with the younger player as opposed to holding onto Cribbs. Nothing about that decision has looked questionable to this point and only a few members in the media seem to be holding a torch for Cribbs (Tony Grossi and Steve Doerschuk) despite the fact he is clearly not the player he was. Cribbs needs to just let it go and move on, but trying to fight back with a reporter who can write about it as long as they want is going to make that difficult.