Cleveland special teams’ extraordinaire Joshua Cribbs became a lightning bolt of controversy this past week amidst a slow news period during the current NFL off season. As the Browns’ entire roster was to meet for their initial minicamp under the supervision of new head coach Eric Mangini, rumors of a potential hold out were swirling around Cribbs. He and his representation have clearly expressed unhappiness with the previous restructuring of his contract, and the converted quarterback made his feelings known on the situation. Eventually, the special teams’ ace did report to camp but even more ruminations abound regarding a possible trade request.
Below, a series of questions are provided to outline a potential interview with the former Pro Bowl return specialist:
1. To simply clarify some conflicting reports Mr. Cribbs, did you or your representation already request an outright trade of your services or was this merely suggested if your contract demands are not met in the near future?
2. What reasoning has been given to warrant a new contract when no other current Brown has been granted the same courtesy since the hiring of the team’s new front office and coaching staff?
3. Is this request a byproduct of the four year and thirty million dollar contract given to the Chicago Bears’ own return specialist, Devin Hester? Do you feel your play is the equivalent or superior to Hester’s?
4. Changing gears slightly, what role exactly has Coach Mangini expressed from you? Does he expect your continued development at wide receiver, or is there any credence in potentially taking your abilities to the defensive side of the ball?
5. As a former collegiate quarterback, would you even be comfortable playing safety and asked to do the things needed of an NFL defender?
6. Also as a former undrafted free agent, do you spend time with others in a similar situation entering the league to help them on their journey?
7. It was reported long ago that fellow Kent State Golden Flash Antonio Gates had a strong interest to sign with the Browns when joining the professional ranks, but opted for San Diego because of a slightly higher signing bonus. Was Cleveland your only choice at the time, or were there other teams which received serious consideration?
8. Former collegiate teammate Abram Elam was the centerpiece of the Browns’ recent blockbuster draft day deal with the New York Jets. What can Cleveland fans expect of Elam?
9. Do you look at the current landscape of college football today with the popularity of the “Wildcat” offense and believe your abilities were slightly ahead of their time as one of only two players to rush and pass for 1,000 yards in a single season on more than one occasion?
10. Speaking of ability under center, what is the overall feel in the locker room for which Cleveland quarterbacks, Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson, had the long term upper hand to eventually become the starter?
11. When former Pro Bowl tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, what impressions did you personally get on how situations and certain attitudes will be handled under the new regime?
12. Finally, when it is all said and done and the 2009 National Football League season is about to commence, will Josh Cribbs be wearing a seal brown and orange uniform?