HOF takes Cribbs’ jersey

Published 11:55 pm Saturday, December 26, 2009

CLEVELAND — Joshua Cribbs’ game-worn jersey was snatched up by the Pro Football Hall of Fame this week to be put on display.

At least someone finally got their hands on Cleveland’s tough-to-tackle No. 16.

Cribbs, with an inspiring rags-to-riches journey to the NFL, became the league’s career leader in kickoff returns for touchdown when he ran back two of at least 100 yards in the Browns’ 41-34 win at Kansas City last week. An undrafted free agent who played quarterback at Kent State and has lined up in the shotgun for Cleveland, Cribbs has taken eight kickoffs all the way back.

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He’s not stopping there.

“Every single time I touch the football I’m like, ’Hey, I’m going to go. Not just good field position, but this is going back to the house,”’ he said. “My eyes light up, it’s like a kid on Christmas Day every time I get the ball.”

Cribbs has been a glorious gift to the Browns (3-11), who can thank him for almost single-handedly carrying them to wins over Kansas City and Pittsburgh. The dreadlocked 26-year-old with the easy smile, bubbly personality and play-me-wherever-you-need-me-attitude has been Cleveland’s MVP all season.

“Nothing more can be said about him,” Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas said. “Josh has already proven he’s the best returner that’s ever been and this year he’s stepping in and playing wildcat, playing quarterback, running down on special teams. He’s done everything a human can possibly do to help this team win.”