I think John Idzik signing Josh Cribbs is one of his best decisions since becoming the Jets GM. Seriously.
The New York Jets signed Josh Cribbs last week after flirting with him since the spring. Cribbs didn’t waste time showing why he was worth the flirtation in last Sunday’s game vs. the Patriots. Cribbs managed to be an instant legitimate factor on both the offensive and special teams side of the ball for the Jets and his contributions will certainly be needed the rest of the way if this team will have any chance at contending.
The Jets’ return game has suffered mightily since they released their Pro-Bowl returner Joe McKnight this past offseason and the return game has been everything short of awful this season and that’s putting it nicely. Jets rookie QB Geno Smith has had his share of ups and downs but there’s no question he and this Jets offense under the coaching of Marty Morninweg have become more unpredictable and surprising this season, especially when given solid field position. That’s what Cribbs will bring to the table, the ability to WANT the yards on the return as opposed to simply just catching the kickoffs and aiming for the Jets 20 yard line. That’s what we saw with Clyde Gates and Jeremy Kerley and it’s been painful to watch to say the least. Cribbs, if healthy instantly adds that much-needed determination to the return game that should help this offense immensely, especially vs. teams with solid/good defenses. The Jets hadn’t had a returner that actually took that job serious since Brad Smith held the job down for two seasons before leaving for Buffalo in 2011. I think we now have something exciting to look forward to and the threat of a return is real when kicking to Cribbs.
Cribbs saw the field on the offensive side of the ball vs. the Patriots in the Wildcat packages and as much as I hate the Wildcat calls, he actually looked really good leading the charge and yes, I want to see more of it with him. He has the skill set to make defenders miss and the speed to leave them behind in the open field. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Cribbs taking snaps at the WR position with the Jets desperately looking for someone to make a play at two at the position. Seeing just how quick and shifty he looked on the field vs. the Pats I have no doubts that, if healthy, Cribbs can and should be a legitimate part of the Jets passing attack as I’m certain Geno wouldn’t have any problems locating him in open space. Cribbs isn’t a tall target but Geno has shown, in college and so far as the Jets’ starting QB that size really isn’t much of a factor. I would love to see Cribbs used more on Go, Fly and Inside Slant routes as I believe he has the ability to break open a play at any given moment and that is just what the Jets have been missing, probably since the days of Santana Moss. Jets GM John Idzik has made quite a few solid moves since becoming the Jets GM and it’s too early to tell which move has actually helped this Jets team In no way am I suggesting that Cribbs is the “answer” but I am suggesting that if healthy he can add a dynamic to this team that should help it get over humps down the stretch as the weather starts to change and the little things like field position and getting those EXTRA yards on crucial downs start to become very important.