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STS*: Josh Cribbs Is ‘Going to Help Us Out’

Posted Oct 19, 2013

Typically, the mid-season signing of a 30-year-old special teams player doesn’t hog the headlines.

In the case of Josh Cribbs, coming off of his third Pro Bowl season, that’s a different story.

“I felt just too regular and average,” Cribbs said of watching NFL games on his TV not even one week ago. “I needed to be out there.”

He’ll be out there Sunday for our game against the Patriots as he plays his first regular-season game in his nine-year career for a team other than the Cleveland Browns, though it’s unclear what his role will be aside from returning kicks.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, ST coordinator Ben Kotwica said Cribbs "more than likely" will return kickoffs, while as far as punt returns, the coaching staff feels comfortable with Jeremy Kerley's ball security.

"One note there is last week we played against Pittsburgh and [Zoltan] Mesko’s a left-footed punter and now [New England's Ryan] Allen will be a left-footed punter," Kotwica said. "The ball comes off a little bit differently and Jeremy has done a great job of fielding those punts. So we’ll see how it plays out."

Whether Josh Cribbs returns kickoffs, runs back punts, lines up outside the hash marks as a receiver or situates himself in the backfield, the players in the Jets locker room are excited to see what he has left in the tank.

Fellow Kent State product Brian Winters describes Cribbs as a “big-time” player for their shared alma mater.

QB Brady Quinn and Cribbs were teammates in Cleveland from 2007-09 when the return specialist earned two of his three Pro Bowl selections.

“I think he’s just a football player,” Quinn said. “That’s the best way to describe him because he does whatever it takes to get the extra yard or make the catch or throw a block.”

But there’s more to a football player than what he can do for a team on gamedays.

“He’s a tremendous teammate,” Quinn added. “He’s the type of guy that I think every team likes to have. He’s just a fun-loving guy, fun to be around, and he’s confident in his abilities.”

Coach Kotwica echoed Quinn’s sentiments.

“I think he’s had a great career as a returner and we’re hoping to build on that over the remainder of the season," Kotwica said. "He’s been solid and I just like the guy, I really like what he’s brought to the room in the short time that he’s been here, and he’s going to help us out.”

Perhaps the greatest compliment came from one of the leaders on special teams, LB Nick Bellore, who said of the 6’1”, 192-pounder, “He’s a tough guy to bring down. I mean, I wouldn’t want to go against him, and that’s how you can really tell the guy’s good.”

*Special Teams Saturday
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