Josh Cribbs At Running Back

gary wertmanCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2009

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 04:  Joshua Cribbs #16 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during their game at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Browns 23-20 in overtime.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has hinted Josh Cribbs might be used some at running back against the Bears. I'll believe it when I see it. I've been screaming for this all season.  Daboll is probably feeling the heat for Cleveland's horrible offense. If not he should be.

Cleveland has stumbled to a 1-6 record while averaging just 10.3 points per game, 30th in the NFL. Cleveland has scored just six touchdowns on the year with QB Derek Anderson owning the only rushing TD. Cribbs has returned a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown. That leaves the offense with just four touchdowns. Incredible.

Why has it taken Daboll this long to realize Cribbs must have the ball more? Cribbs is averaging 7.8 yards on his 13 carries. Jamal Lewis has carried 82 times for a 3.4 average while Jerome Harrison averages 3.7 on his 60 carries. It seems so obvious to everyone but Daboll and Eric Mangini. Even broadcaster John Lynch questioned why they are not using Cribbs more.

Cleveland's offensive line is not blowing holes through the defense. Lewis is too indecisive while Cribbs explodes through even the smallest hole. Harrison is also quick but lacks Cribbs' power. A stronger running game is what the Cleveland quarterbacks need as well as their defense. The Browns defense has probably been on the field enough for 10 games instead of seven.

Josh Cribbs wants a new contract and will do whatever it takes to help the team. It's about time Mangini and Daboll let him earn it.