At the close of the 2009 NFL season, Cleveland Browns wide receiver and kick returner Joshua Cribbs vowed he would not play again for the team until he got a new contract, feeling he had outperformed the old one.
When negotiations were coming along slowly and even non-existent at times, Browns fans cried out for the front office to support their most beloved player.
"PAY THE MAN!" was the cry of the people.
Once new team president Mike Holmgren got settled into his new position he sat down with Cribbs and his agent and effectively "paid the man."
Cribbs new deal is very incentive based, meaning that he will make more money based on his level of production on the field. This lead Cleveland fans to believe that Cribbs' role on offense would be increased.
The two time Pro Bowler is far-and-away the most dynamic playmaker on the roster so it only made sense to give him the ball more.
Through two games in the 2010 season this has not been the case however.
Cribbs so far has five receptions for 85 yards with 65 of those coming a long touchdown. He also has four rushes for 12 yards and one completion for nine yards out of the Wild Cat formation. The return game has also been slow to get going especially with Kansas City kicking away from him all game.
So with two losses already and a rough road ahead Cleveland fans see the best solution wearing #16 and now we cry "PLAY THE MAN!"
Over the course of his six year career Cribbs has averaged 6.4 yards per carry over 99 rushes. That is an outstanding average!
During training camp we were tantalized with rumors of the "Cyclone Formation" which put both Cribbs and Seneca Wallace together in the backfield. However, it has hardly been seen at all thus far.
With the offense disappearing in the second half offensive coordinator Brian Dabol needs to get more creative.
Josh Cribbs needs to the ball more than five times a game.
This can be accomplished in numerous ways. Be it through the Wildcat, end arounds, quick pitches, quick slants, flanker screens, or deep balls, the possibilities are endless.
Head coach Eric Mangini and Dabol are getting paid to put points on the board and win games. They should be intelligent enough to figure out that their best way of accomplishing this is by getting their best player more involved.
Cribbs should get plenty of opportunities this Sunday against Baltimore.
The Ravens have reportedly vowed (due to their stubborn pride) that they will kick to Cribbs.
Receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie have been ineffective, only recording a combined five catches. Robiskie has also missed practice this week due to an injury.
These factors, as well as hot seats under both Mangini and Dabol's butts, should lend themselves to more touches for Cribbs.
PLAY THE MAN!