The Jets signed Josh Cribbs off the street in October. The former college quarterback played a role similar to that of another former college quarterback, Brad Smith, in his time with the team.
Cribbs did a little bit of everything. He returned kicks. He played on special teams coverage. He was utilized as a decoy. He was the point man on Wildcat plays. He was a positive contributor in six games before landing on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
For the first time in a while, Cribbs provided the Jets with a quality punt return man. In contrast with 2012 fair catch record setter Jeremy Kerley, Cribbs fair caught only one punt compared with eight returns. His 12.0 average on returns would have been good for seventh in the league if he had enough to qualify. He averaged a more pedestrian 24.5 yards on kickoff returns, but he chipped in six tackles in a special teams role.
The Jets found uses for him on offense. He completed a pair of passes for 38 yards out of the Wildcat, adding the necessary dimension to keep defenses from overplaying the run. He also averaged 4.2 yards on 15 carries out of the Wildcat and various other attempts to get him the ball in space.
When it comes to Cribbs returning in 2014, I am mixed. He is a minor contributor, but I do think he has something left in the tank. You want a bottom of the roster guy to provide value on special teams. At the same time, a team that knows what it is doing can find a player with a similar skillset on the third day of the Draft and at the same time try to develop that player into something more. If I have to make a call, I would probably bring Cribbs to camp and hope there is enough young talent to keep him from making the team.