Almost exactly a year ago in December, I wrote an article on Dawgs By Nature stating how Joshua Cribbs could one day revolutionize football in the sense that a "role player" could be the league's Most Valuable Player. While the coaches on the Browns have held him from reaching his maximum potential, teams and fans from around the league have clearly taken notice. It's not in a hated way either -- I'd like to think of it as others respecting the way he plays and in awe of the consistency at which is he making them.
AFC Special Teams Player of the Week
Cribbs was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his game against the Steelers. It's only the second time in his career he's won the award, which doesn't seem justified (the last time he won it was back in 2006!).
Cribbs Requires Further Gameplanning
The Chiefs fully understand the threat that Cribbs poses to their chances this Sunday:
"You better be aware of where he is," said Todd Haley, the head coach of the Chiefs. "The first thing I did with my team this morning was, I had a cutup of him making plays. He's become a multi-dimensional weapon. He does a tremendous job of breaking tackles and he looks like he's smart. He's somebody we're obviously concerned with."
Over at Arrowhead Pride, our Kansas City Chiefs affiliate, they are concerned with whether or not their special teams unit and defense can contain Cribbs:
The Kansas City Chiefs will have their hands full with Cribbs who enters Sunday's contest coming off arguably his best game of the season. Listed as a receiver, Cribbs lined up in the wildcat formation on multiple occasions rushing the ball eight times for 87 yards.
On special teams, it's easy to defend Cribbs in a way -- just don't kick to him (the Cincinnati Bengals did a very good job a few weeks ago). As far as if Cribbs is running the ball on the ground? Well, when that's the case, I think the Chiefs are just going to be rotten out of luck.
That Little Thing Called a Contract Situation
Cribbs recently spoke on Sirius NFL Radio about his contract situation too:
"My timetable is before the season ends," Cribbs told Sirius NFL Radio. "I'm convinced [it will get done]. Definitely. Within the next three weeks definitely. I would definitely appreciate a deal before the end of this football season. It would show a lot of loyalty on their behalf.
"You know, I've been here from the beginning and steadfast with this football team and I feel like I've not caused a disturbance to where I'd let this off-the-field issue come on the field. And it hasn't affected the players in any way. I feel like I've held up my end pretty good and, like I said, I'm just going to keep playing football and let that speak for itself. That's my leverage."
As the Plain Dealer mentions, the issue the Browns might face is that they might want to leave the decision up to whoever they hire as general manager. There is an advantage to giving Cribbs a new contract before the end of the season though as opposed to after the season:
The Browns' incentive for getting the deal done before the final game Jan. 3 is that the signing bonus would be tacked onto this year's base salary and would count against the 2009 cap. The Browns are believed to have plenty of cap space available. A roster-type bonus paid in March would go on the 2010 cap.
Have fans ever been so adamant in supporting a player who is asking for more money? Get it done.