I’d expect Joshua Cribbs to play some quarterback today for the Browns, who can’t expect to move the ball at all on the Steelers by handing it off to running backs not named Trent Richardson and dropping quarterback Thaddeus Lewis back to pass.
Then again, I expected Cribbs to get more touches all season.
We’ve seen this movie before — specifically the one where the Browns end the season in Pittsburgh with backups playing and the Steelers feasting. The night before Bruce Gradkowski played the 2008 finale, then-general manager Phil Savage was informed he would be let go, about ten months after signing a contract extension that went through, ironically, today’s game.
The day after that 2008 finale, head coach Romeo Crennel was let go. He, too, had signed an extension after that 10-win season in 2007.
While the Browns played in Pittsburgh that day, then-team president Mike Keenan sent orders back to staffers in Berea to get rid of reminders of Savage and Crennel, specifically symbolic ropes that were placed outside the locker room and at the players’ entrance. Now, of course, the Browns are on their third president since Keenan.
Monday, the newest new era — the one with new owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner — begins. We think we know how it begins, too, in regard to the head coach and general manager.
Cribbs is eligible for free agency in March and turns 30 in June, and though he’s not the same player he once was, he should go to the market and/or the next phase of his career fresh. There’s a chance he’ll get more touches today than he has all season — and there’s certainly a chance that a Steelers team that’s seen what Cribbs can do and figures to be in the market for a veteran backup receiver and kick return help will be a suitor. That would make for a heck of a story.
Today, though, the Browns will try to survive with Lewis, apparently. As for what tomorrow brings, never be surprised by anything that happens in Berea in late December and January.