Josh Cribbs a KR Option for the Bears?

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by BSBEARS, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Josh Cribbs a KR Option for the Bears?

    by Mike Flannery 4h ago

    I was reading an article today on unsigned NFL free agents and was shocked to see Josh Cribbs on the list. Cribbs is 31, so no longer a young man, but he is a 3-time Pro Bowler who made it as recently as 2012. Cribbs holds the all-time record for kick return touchdowns with 8. He shares the record with Leon Washington, but Cribbs is also the only man in NFL history to return two kicks for 100+ yards in the same game. Cribbs is to kick returns as Devin Hester is to punts.
    The Bears brought in Canadian import Chris Williams as a return specialist and he also holds a record for most punt return TDs in CFL history (6). Williams was a prolific punt returner, but only returned 12 kicks in his time in Canada and didn’t have much success (21 ypr). If Williams couldn’t beat out his Canadian team’s kick returner, I have a hunch that he isn’t going to beat out Ford, Spurlock, or whoever the Bears best kick returner in camp is. The Bears probably don’t have enough roster spots to keep separate specialists for kicks and punts, but both Williams and Cribbs could contribute as wide receivers. I covered Williams receiving skills already and Cribbs has proven he can be an offensive weapon as a change of pace RB, slot receiver, and wildcat QB. Cribbs had 8 offensive touchdowns over his last four years with the Browns (’09-’12).
    After a contract dispute with the Browns, Cribbs ended up on the Jets last season but was limited to 6 games due to injuries (pectoral). In his time with the Jets last year, Cribbs averaged 12 yards per punt return (7th in NFL) and 24.5 per kick (12th). He also averaged 4.2 ypc, caught a few passes and completed a couple passes as their wildcat QB. He is a multi-purpose weapon who could be dangerous under Marc Trestman’s direction. Regardless of his impact on offense, if healthy Cribbs is a clear upgrade over the current kick returner candidates on the Bears roster.
    Considering that he is still unsigned, I can’t imagine he would cost much more than the veteran minimum. Unless the Bears are sold on the kick return skills of someone already on the roster, I see no reason not to bring in one of the most prolific kick returners off all-time to see what he has left.
  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yeah I saw that and it makes no sense at all. This guy is a 31 year old KOR guy and spare RB. We don't need another RB, especially not a 31 year old one, and kick returns are somewhat of a dying breed now that the NFL has taken many of them away by moving the spot up. Those that are returnable are often coming from deep in the end zone and unless you have a Devin Hester to risk a return like that with most are downed for a touchback. I don't agree that he's a clear all around upgrade over a younger players like Michael Ford or Chris Williams at all.

    Right now and for the foreseeable future the money in the return game is in PR and that's an area Chris Williams excels at while players like Weems and Cribbs don't. Would it really make sense to cut a decent young RB who may have some upside and can play on coverage teams and a young breakaway PR threat and potential big play slot receiver for a 31 year old player whose best days are behind him?

    Sorry, not on my team.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Don't buy the idea of Cribbs, the return game is completley devalued in the NFL right now, and that's why the Bears sent Hester packing and why Cribbs is on the street right now.

    I think the guys they have on the team are far more valuable backups to WR/RB then Cribbs would be, even if they aren't quite as good at the KR, which is nearly pointless now.
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  4. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Agree with all, we are trying to get younger not older and have several potential returners fighting for the position in Weems and Williams. might be a surprise and a way for Lynch to make the team even
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