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Move Josh Cribbs To Safety?

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 31:  Josh Cribbs #16 of the AFC's Cleveland Borwns looks on during the 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl game at Sun Life Stadium on January 31, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The AFC defeated the NFC 41-34. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
gary wertmanCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2010


This is the time of year when all loyal Browns fans are gearing up for free agency and checking out every mock draft they can find. Since Cleveland’s season has once again has come to an end with no playoff appearance, we Browns fans can only hope for a better “next year”.

The offense in Cleveland will probably be getting a lot of attention this off season. Quarterback, wide receiver, right tackle and tight end are positions the Browns will be looking to upgrade. Defensively, cornerback and safety are two huge needs. With Mike Holmgren being an offensive guru, he will probably be drafting heavily on that side of the ball. I have a solution.

Eric Mangini has hinted in the past at trying Josh Cribbs at safety. I liked the idea then and I still do. Hey if Mike Furrey can do it, I’m sure Cribbs could. It’s been a long time since Cleveland had an intimidating hitter at safety. Not since Eric Turner wore number 29. With his size, aggressiveness, nose for the ball, toughness and athletic ability, Cribbs just might be a diamond in the rough. Since he won’t be wearing as many hats next year, Mangini will have the time to work with him.  Along with Rob Ryan, I’m sure they could get it done.

For those of you who don’t remember the great Chicago Bears 46 defense under Buddy Ryan, I’ll explain. Ryan named the 46 defense after Bears safety Doug Plank, who wore number 46. He wasn’t much of a cover guy but was a fierce hitter. Ryan would move him around, mostly in the box, to either blitz or stuff the run. I’m sure Cribbs would welcome the switch, since he is the ultimate team player. One other thing, Plank was not near the athlete Cribbs is.

If Cleveland would decide to switch Cribbs to defense, he could still return kicks. Maybe take him off the kick coverage teams and use him less on offense to give him a break. The bottom line is Cribbs is a football player and a team player. Right now, outside of special teams, he doesn’t have a defined position. Cribbs is a tool, to use where ever. Cleveland knows how valuable he is, they just don’t want to pay him what he’s worth. Maybe at safety, he will prove once again how valuable he is. Before you say he couldn’t do it, remember Cribbs was a QB in college who never played on special teams or played WR. Don’t bet against him

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