A former three-time special teams captain has returned to the same leadership position for the Cleveland Browns’ last home game of the 2012 regular season.
Browns wide receiver
“It’s just having a leadership role and exemplifying leadership capabilities on the field,” Cribbs said. “We’re playing D.C., and I’m from D.C., so it has some significance. But other than that, I’m preparing like it’s a regular game.”
Cribbs said his family members traveling to Sunday’s game from Washington, D.C., will have split loyalties.
“I had my first receiving touchdown against the Redskins in D.C., and I had my family have a Cribbs jersey on and a Redskins jersey on underneath,” Cribbs said. “They cheer for me. They want me to do (well), but they don’t want our team to win. I told them before they come here, ‘No Redskins attire in our stadium. You can cheer at your own risk, but no Redskins attire.’ We’ll see how that works out.”
Cribbs, a two-time Pro Bowler has 9,722 career kickoff return yards, which stands sixth on the NFL’s all-time list. He is 67 yards away from passing Glyn Milburn (9,788) for fifth on the all-time list and 157 yards shy of being the sixth player in NFL history to gain 12,000 kickoff return yards.
Cribbs’ 11,843 combined kickoff and punt return yards rank sixth on the NFL’s career list. He is also 29 yards away from passing Dennis Northcutt’s mark for the most punt return yards (2,149) in franchise history.
Since the start of the 2011 season, Cribbs’ nine returns of at least 40 yards have led to Browns scores -- five touchdowns and four field goals.
Cribbs leads the Browns with 424 yards on 33 punt returns and 885 yards on 32 kickoff returns.
“I really appreciate Josh for his toughness,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “In a sport like football, a guy that’s tough, that’s the highest honor. He’ll be our fourth captain. Josh is not the fastest guy in the world and never really has been, but he’s found a way to run back kicks, quite a few in his career.”
Cribbs will serve as a leader for a team that he has seen improve “tremendously.” He also said the team has a belief “in our players, knowing that we can go out and win the game.”
“Our young guys have really gained experience and we’re finishing football games,” Cribbs said. “If you look at a lot of the games we lost early on in the season, they were lost in the fourth quarter by a touchdown or less. Good football teams show consistency and that’s what we’re starting to push through and show, more consistency from our young players.
“Saying is one thing, but actually going through it and living the experience is another. I think these guys have it and it’s going to be good for them going into the last three games of the season.”The Browns Fan4Pack is on sale now! The all-inclusive game day package includes 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 Pepsi Products, 4 game programs and 1 parking pass for this Sunday’s home game against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 16. Click here to purchase today!