Did Josh Cribbs Lose “Pay Me” Points Yesterday?

cribbs-kneelingWhile judging players on a week-to-week basis can be a bit presumptuous, there has been a lot of talk today regarding the use of Josh Cribbs as a starting wide receiver.  Over the past few months, we have had a pretty healthy debate regarding the compensation of Cribbs, as he has not exactly been quiet about his feelings since team activities got underway. 

While most of us agree that he is underpaid even as a special teams player, the waters warmed up with the placement of Cribbs as the team’s second  receiver opposite Braylon Edwards.  Of course, his return for a touchdown against Minnesota helped matters a bit more.  But after yesterday’s drubbing, could we have seen the last of No. 16 as a starting wideout?  And if so, did he lose leverage when it comes to a bigger pay day.

Cribbs was credited with four catches for 22 yards.  He also lost a fumble while “trying to do too much,” ran third-and-long routes that failed to even be close to the first-down marker, and amassed little-to-nothing in the return game. 

The offense has been abysmal through the first eight quarters of play, and while it is far from Josh Cribbs’ fault, this Browns team also has two rookie wide receivers that may as well start getting more snaps to prepare for the future.  Of course, they’re both second-round picks and should be getting a decent share of snaps to begin with – a debate for another time. 

I realize that Cribbs is a special talent, and you need to have your playmakers on the field.  But he is also being forced in to a position that he has never played at any level of his football career, and it isn’t exactly leading to good things.  When Josh broke off that long end-around against Green Bay during the preseason, many were hoping that it was a sign of things to come in terms of utilizing his skill set.  Since then, the team has had a handful of failed attempts with Cribbs in the wildcat, and has not seen anything even close to the long gain that he had against the Pack. 

One carry for four yards did provide the Browns with their longest yards-per-carry for the day, but it was also only four yards.  When the team is down three touchdowns, running the ball isn’t exactly the top option.  If Cribbs isn’t polished enough to help improve the passing game, the Browns are unable to truly capitalize on his abilities.  And if the Browns are not able to truly capitalize on his abilities, how can they justify paying him any more than they currently do?

(image via stampy74/Flickr)

  • ben

    It’s sad that I want our KR/PR to be paid simply b/c he’s one of the only bright spots on our team right now.

  • JD

    While I love Josh Cribbs with the ball in his hands, I’m not sure that having him line up as the #2 WR is the best way to get the ball into his hands.

    Not that I’m saying something that anyone hasn’t already said…but I think it’s ridiculous that the Browns draft two WRs in the 2nd round yet can’t find opportunities to play either of them on a team with little-to-no WR depth. The offense has been so abysmal to this point, what could really be lost by getting those guys on the field and seeing what kind of players they are?

  • In this year’s Madden, I was able to get Cribbs up to a rating of 76 by changing his primary position to RB. I looked and they didn’t give him any respect as a safety or corner though. My guess is that JC16 wanted to be a wide receiver because his agent looked at the roster after the Donte Stallworth situation unfolded.

  • T2

    If Quinn wasn’t such an awful QB, Cribbs might have scored 11 or 12 touchdowns.

  • Jay

    JD – I agree 100% with you on this one. The Browns drafted 2 WR in this years draft, and have yet to really use either one of them in the regular season. Why not use one of them as the #2? Or as the 3rd WR with Furrey at the 2? Cribbs is a spectacular special teamer, and good in “Wildcat” style formations, but is not an NFL WR.

    T2 – If the dog wouldn’t have stopped to crap, he’d have caught the rabbit. Cribbs hasn’t been anywhere near the endzone as a WR, so I hope to high heavens you’re being sarcastic.

  • MacNip

    Furrey is not a 2, never will be. He is a slot WR. That is also where I think Crobbs could excell as a WR. Yesterday just showed how far Cribbs has to go as a WR to be considered reliable. He will learn

  • AMC

    I think it’s time to get Massaqoui a shot at the #2 spot. And, for as good of a preseason as Furrey had, he’s been a non-factor thus far in the regular season. If not for the fact that it looked like Furrey and Quinn had established a little chemistry, I would advocate for putting Robiskie into the slot role, but I’m willing to roll with Furrey a little longer. With every game that Robiskie can’t break the lineup, that pick, which was questionable at the time, looks worse and worse.

  • JD

    MacNip – I’ve wondered that too. Would Cribbs do better if we could put him in the slot and match him up against a linebacker or the Hank Poteats of the world? Maybe he would.

  • MacNip

    I really think Cribbs could flourish in the slot. We need someone on the outside that is actually respectable though. I am hoping Masoquai (sp?) can filll that role.

  • Can he play tight end?

  • Bill

    Just be careful because its easy to overpay a good player on a crappy team. They could be just average on another. Shaun Rogers is the only guy earning the extent of his paycheck.

  • “Shaun Rogers is the only guy earning the extent of his paycheck.”

    Joe Thomas shut down all-Pro Jared Allen for four quarters, and continued his solid play against Denver. He can’t block both sides of the line…

  • @ Scott – that’s why he’s not earning the extent of his paycheck. Sigh…

  • @Ben Cribbs should be paid because he is underpaid. He is by far the heart and soul of this team. Its not his fault that he hasn’t been used more efficient and effectively. He was given an opportunity to compete for the 2nd WR position and he apparently prevailed. How about Quinn getting him the ball in a better position to make plays.

    @JD I have no problem with Cribbs being the #2. The point is to have someone opposite Edwards that can actually catch the ball, that defenses have to account for. You have to throw in his direction to provide balance. Move him around, send him in motion. When you go to single back packages, let him line up as the single back. Create match-up advantages that put him and the team in the best possible position to have success.

    I think you earn the right to be on the field. If you are giving up on the season, then play all of your young guys and see what you have. Under those circumstances, the priority is on development, not winning. How many passes did the #2 WR catch through 2 games last season? Stallworth caught a cramp.

    @Craig You have to find a way to get him the ball. He can catch the ball in traffic, beat double teams off the line, make the first guy miss, and is a threat to go all the way. Why can’t he learn the position? he never return kicks or punts and he seems to be pretty damn good at that. Give him a chance.

    @T2 Quinn should not be the starting QB of the Cleveland Browns. I guess expectations will determine how long he plays. The Browns clearly played well enough in the first halves of both games to win. Quinn was fared worse against Denver than he did against Minnesota. I told everyone the game against Denver last year was not as it appeared to be. 200 yards total offense? Against Denver?

    @Jay Cribbs was not a NFL return man either before playing the position, so if he can obtain Pro Bowl status there, why can’t he be capable of effectively catch the ball? He doesn’t have to carry the WR corps, but enhance it. I want to see Fuerry more in the slot, as well as Massaquoi and Robiskie rotating in.

    Cribbs got to the end zone before anyone else. Quinn hasn’t come close to generating any TD’s Edwards is suppose to be an elite WR, the best he could do in game 1 was 1 reception, and nothing through 3 quarters.

    @MacNip I agree, Fuerry I thought would have been a perfect slot. Cribbs just needs opportunities. He caught % passes on Sunday, but he was delivered the ball in tough situations. I have no problem with him working middle of field inside of Robiskie or Massiquoi. He will get better in time, will Quinn?

    @AMC If the focus of the team is developing, then I rotate Massaquoi and Robiskie in regularly. I like Fuerry in the slot, Quinn just hasn’t gotten the ball to anyone effectively. His not being able to complete even short passes has hindered the running game. He lived on Royal in game 1, Denver took him away in game 2. He has to be decisive in his throws and get rid of the ball quicker. He looks just as bad running the hurry up.

    @JackGonzo I dont want Cribbs at TE, I would like to see him as the single back when they go one back set and its usually the FB Get him in motion and get him crossing the field. Quinn has been so late with throws, at times its hard to see what he is looking at. Guys have been open, ball just not being delivered. You have to anticipate throws. He is just not getting it done. No improvement from last season.

    @Scott Rogers was on the field in the 2nd half when Peterson ripped off 155 yards. he was also on the field against Denver when Orton appeared at times to have all day to throw, fortunately, he was throwing as well as Quinn and yet he still out passed him by 100 yards.

    Joe Thomas did well against Allen, he was OK against Denver. St Clair wasn’t the only one getting beat. Thomas did nothing to help with the running game on his side. The were just as ineffective running left as they were right. 200 yards total offense, Thomas had a little, no pun intended, to do with that.

    Cribbs did nothing to lose pay me points! If anything Quinn is losing incentive trigger points.

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