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Browns returner Josh Cribbs named AFC special teams player of the week

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 21, 2011
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Cribbs returns a kick off against the Indianapolis Colts in the third quarter of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Browns wide receiver Josh Cribbs has been named the AFC special teams player of the week for games played Sept. 18-19, the NFL announced today.

Cribbs returned two kickoffs for 80 yards and two punts for 52 yards Sunday in the Browns' 27-19 over the Indianapolis Colts. Cribbs set up touchdown drives with a 52-yard kickoff return and a 43-yard punt return. This season, Cribbs ranks fifth in the league in kickoff return average (34.2 yards) and seventh in punt return average (13.8 yards).

With Cribbs off to a hot start, Browns coach Pat Shurmur said he expects opponents to begin using squib and directional kicks in an attempt to slow Cribbs.

"I think that's coming because unless you can guarantee the ball is gonna go through the uprights, there's a chance it's coming out at you," Shurmur said. "Just like you practice different components of offense on defense, we do the same thing in the kicking game in terms of the return game. You're always aware of squibs, surprise onsides, bloops and whatnot. So I think there's a chance you might start to see that, and then pop it way up and just swarm the guy."

Cribbs has been named the AFC special teams player of the week four times. He won the award for the first time since Week 15 of the 2009 season. Cribbs has also been named the AFC special teams player of the month three times during his career.

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