Browns struggles wearing on Cribbs

Josh Cribbs is tired of losing. Not having a significant role in the Browns struggling offense, Cribbs is disappointed in the mounting losses and lack of touches on game-day.

BEREA -- Only one player has been with the Cleveland Browns longer than Josh Cribbs.

In his six-plus seasons in Cleveland, Cribbs has had personal success, but too many team failures. Losing obviously is starting to wear on him. Sunday following the Browns 23-20 loss to the Bengals, Cribbs came close to blowing his lid before he was cut off by the team's media relations department.

Wednesday, Cribbs said he was caught in a bad moment, but added it merely was "how I felt."

What bothers him most, he said, is "not winning games we should win."

"And then having to look the fans in the eye and tell them we'll go back at it next week," he said. "Just the same old thing. Just the same thing that they're tired of. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of just going back through this, even though I know I have to and even though I will."

The Browns have gone 38-69 and had one winning season since Cribbs joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2005.

"I am fed up," he said. "I'm tired of losing. Everybody in this locker room, they'll say they're tired and they want to win every game. I want to win this year. Everybody says we're building, we look good. I don't really care about the building process because I want to win now.

"I'll worry about next year next year. I want to win now."

In his career, Cribbs has excelled as a returner, he has been used in the Wildcat and he's played receiver. But this season he has struggled as the offense has struggled. At one point he even said he wanted to play more on special teams because his contributions on offense were "insignificant."

Cribbs has 29 receptions, but had one for six yards Sunday as the Browns lost after twice leading by 10 points. He has been targeted 51 times by quarterback Colt McCoy, which ranks third on the team but far behind the 89 passes thrown to rookie Greg Little (who had five drops in the loss to the Bengals).

Cribbs was asked if he was happy with the way he's being used and the number of chances he's getting.

"I just won't answer that," he said.

Cribbs said he thinks the Browns are headed in the right direction, but that takes a backseat to the bottom line.

"We got to win the right games and score points and move the ball when it counts," he said. "Because that's the only time it matters. When it counts. If we move the ball perfectly first, second, third quarter and don't in the fourth, it doesn't matter what we did.

"The only thing that matters is that ‘W.' That's the only thing that matters. ‘We played a good game.' That doesn't matter because we didn't come away with the ‘W.'"

Another measure of the frustration: Cribbs is playing for his third head coach in seven seasons. In that time, 10 different quarterbacks have started games for the Browns.

"I want to see the playoffs as bad as our fans do," he said. "I feel like a fan sometimes when I speak because I hear them talk every day and I run into them on the street. It hurts me not to win for them.

"That's my ultimate motivation. Each year after year you find motivation to play and you've got a lot of fans … their whole joy in life is watching the Browns play, hoping they win, bringing their kid to the game.

"Cleveland is built around its sports teams. When we win the city wins. The city is uplifted. When we don't win, the feels down. So we need to win, plain and simple."


Pat McManamon appears courtesy of FoxSportsOhio


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