FanPost

Josh Cribbs for KR/PR?


If healthy, accomplished but unsigned return extraordinaire Josh Cribbs could be the solution to the Washington Redskins' return specialist needs.

With rookie Chris Thompson struggling to get the job done, it's approaching the time to look elsewhere to find someone capable of being the team's primary returner on special teams.

Close to 100 percent as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, Josh Cribbs would fit in nicely as the Redskins' new returner.

Aside from Devin Hester, Josh Cribbs has been the league's most dangerous returner over the last several years. An undrafted free agent out of Kent State, Cribbs is the owner of an impressive 11 touchdowns on returns during his prolific NFL career.

Cribbs, who is a native of the Washington D.C. area, could have already been a Redskin years ago. He was given several opportunities to work out for his hometown team in 2005 but decided to sign with the Cleveland Browns instead.

Despite his past success, Cribbs is currently unemployed due to his health. He was given a chance to make the Oakland Raiders' roster but was released prior to the start of the regular season as a result of not being fully recovered from a knee injury.

As of late, his knee has improved to the point where he's starting to conduct tryouts. Cribbs recently worked out for the New York Jets and even though he wasn't signed, he's getting close to being ready to serve as an asset for some NFL franchise looking for a returner to provide a boost on punt and kick returns.

The Redskins certainly fit the description of a team who could use the services of Josh Cribbs. Richard Crawford was in line to be the team's return specialist, due to a brilliant latter portion of his rookie season when he averaged a scintillating 19.5 yards per punt return.

Unfortunately, Crawford suffered a season-ending knee injury during the preseason. The loss of Crawford swung open the door of opportunity for rookie Chris Thompson to serve as the team's primary returner.

Of course, Thompson hasn't been the answer. He's averaging a paltry 5.1 yards per punt return and is struggling to get the job done as the team's return specialist. The Redskins are currently a lowly 27th in the league at returning punts.

The rookie has also failed to make his mark returning kickoffs. He's averaging exactly 20 yards per return on eight opportunities. So in other words, Thompson's impact returning kicks is equivalent to taking a touchback each time, which indicates that he isn't providing anything extra for the team in their attempts to improve starting field position for the offense.

Thompson's lack of production shouldn't be a surprise, considering he's attempting to master a role that he hadn't performed since high school.

Similar to the team's ill-fated decision to try E.J. Biggers at one of the starting safety spots in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thompson is the second recent example of the Redskins' failed efforts of plugging a player into the lineup with no experience playing the position since grade school.

Due to Crawford's injury, an inexperienced Thompson has been forced into action and barring an unexpected turnaround after the bye week, the Redskins would be better served to look in another direction to find a returner who can give a lift to the special teams.

With his health steadily improving, Josh Cribbs would be an excellent choice to provide a spark to a currently unproductive Redskins' special teams' unit badly in need of a dynamic playmaker at return specialist.



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