This time around, it'll be as a coach.
Cleveland announced on Thursday Cribbs has been brought on to the staff as a special teams intern:
Of course, Cribbs knows a thing or two about special teams. After signing with the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2005, he became one of the greatest returners in NFL history.
His electrifying return skills earned him three Pro Bowl selections during his playing days in Cleveland. He racked up 11,113 kickoff return yards and eight touchdowns while adding 2,375 yards and three scores on punt returns.
Now, the man who holds 11 team return records hopes to pass on his knowledge to help the organization turn things around.
"They respected me enough to allow me to have the floor," Cribbs said, per Andrew Gribble of the Browns' official site. "I pride myself as a special teams guru."
When Cribbs reached out, head coach Hue Jackson made sure to find a spot for one of the franchise's former stars:
"We had great dialogue and conversations and felt like it was best to do everything I could to provide him an opportunity to understand what coaching was, from the bottom up. I wanted to do everything I could to put him in position where he could be successful. He was very open to it and we made a decision of, 'let's start on the ground floor and work our way up.'"
Cribbs' responsibilities have ranged from "gopher work" to learning how to translate the system to players. As an intern, he is far from the top of the totem pole—but he's willing to learn from the experienced coaches around him as he takes on this new challenge.
"That's the process I'm in now," Cribbs said, per Gribble. "I know I want this. I'm proving myself again. This is something I want to do and will exceed, just like I did as a player. I'm going to use that same mentality as a coach."
As the Browns look to rebound from just the second 0-16 season in NFL history, a Pro Bowler like Cribbs working with the players can only help. Not everyone has Cribbs' skills, speed and vision, but his experiences on special teams make him a good mentor.