The New York Jets have been searching far and wide for an explosive force on special teams and they may have found their missing ingredient in kick return extraordinaire Josh Cribbs. The former Cleveland Brown was released this past March and drew interest from several teams including the Jets who worked him out earlier this season. The 30-year-old had the partially torn meniscus in his knee repaired this summer and Gang Green waited until the three-time Pro Bowler was completely healthy to officially sign him.
The Jets are in dire need of returner to replace Clyde Gates and Mike Goodson who were both placed on season-ending injured reserving following the team’s Week 6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In just his first week with the team, Cribbs is chomping at the bit to make a splash in the Big Apple.
"I think that's one of the big reasons why they brought me in, to make a run for it," he said. "I can be a little lightning in here. ... I'm going to try to electrify this team and add that oomph, that 'it' factor."
The Jets currently rank No.26 in the NFL in field position and now with Cribbs in the fold they're hoping he can provide a shot in the arm to an otherwise pedestrian special teams return unit.
“That’s one thing, and I’ve picked up some weight through the years, muscle-muscle mass," admitted Cribbs. “So, if somebody’s fast enough to catch up to me, they’re not going to be strong enough to bring me down. That’s kind of been my motto. I’m going to run through a kicker. I’m going to run through tackles, arm tackles. You have to put a body on me to bring me down.”
Cribbs is tied with former Jet and current New England Patriots running back Leon Washington with eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns. During his time in Cleveland, Cribbs was both a Jet and Patriot Killer and Rex Ryan admitted “We’ve all been scorched by him in the past.”
As New York’s pivotal divisional matchup with New England draws near, Cribbs couldn’t be more elated to be a part of this fierce AFC East rivalry.
I’ll be ready to chase some balls, and if they say, “Hey, he doesn’t have it anymore,” I have to show them," declared Cribbs. "I want them to kick it out of bounds or try me."
“But I know Bill (Belichick), I know he’s seen me play a lot. They’ll be ready and I’ll be too.”