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Notes from the Browns’ special teams assistants after mandatory minicamp

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Nuggets from assistant special teams coach Sam Shade and intern Josh Cribbs.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

On the final day of Cleveland Browns minicamp last Thursday, the team’s assistant coaches spoke individually with the media. This article will look at some notes from the special teams assistants.

Special Teams


Assistant Special Teams - Sam Shade

  • This is Shade’s first year coaching at the NFL level (he has been coaching at the college level). He said the biggest adjustment for him so far is kind of realizing that players can come-and-go at a moment’s notice, as opposed to being on scholarship for four years. “We have had some guys come and go just since I have been here, and it is just the offseason.”
  • An interesting thought to the new kickoff rules — Shade said that in the past, some offensive linemen or defensive ends would play on the kickoff team. With the adjusted rules, though, they really need eight athletes who can run out there.
  • Shade says that Cribbs loves the Browns and wants them to do well, and has taught him a lot of things about returners.

Intern - Josh Cribbs

  • So far, Cribbs just really, really loves the opportunity to be part of the coaching staff:

“I love it. I absolutely love it. One thing for sure, a lot of coaches and people were worried about ex-players coming in and worrying about the hours – all of the hours that you put in – I absolutely love it. My coach has to send me home. My wife sends me back here. I love it. That was my biggest fear. Maybe that part will wear off, but it has not yet. I am just excited to be back here on the field. It is filling that void of not playing. I feel like I am playing out there with the guys. It has been an exciting experience. I am learning so much. I have been able to pass a lot of knowledge down.”

  • He gets offended when people talk bad about the Browns.
  • Asked about Jabrill Peppers’ return capabilities, Cribbs said “He definitely still has the juice.” Cribbs feels his confidence wasn’t quite there as a rookie, and that he was also so focused on defense so that took precedence. But he believes he can turn it around.

“For him, it is just hitting it vertical, having a progression on the punt returns, knowing when and when not to call a fair catch, trusting the scheme that is being called and the rest is going out there and playing football. It is just confidence.”