The Browns might not have many players that opposing teams truly have to design a gameplan for, but they've got one who teams have to gameplan for in about five different ways.
Josh Cribbs can beat teams as a kickoff returner, punt returner, receiver, running back and quarterback. If Browns coach Eric Mangini asked Cribbs to be his field goal kicker, Cribbs could probably do it, and do it well.
"In many ways, he's such as explosive player, one of the best in the league," head coach John Harbaugh says. "We're going to have our hands full."
Cribbs is at his best in the return game, an aspect he's dominated in his five-plus years in the NFL. He already holds the NFL's record for most career kickoff returns for touchdowns with eight, including three last year. Toss in his two career punt returns for touchdowns, and you can see why many teams avoid kicking him the ball at all costs.
Listed at 6-1, 215 pounds, Cribbs presents a mix of size and speed which makes him incredibly tough to bring down when he has the ball in space.
"He's hard to tackle," Harbaugh says. "He's a big, strong guy - the same thing that makes him hard to bring down on offense. He's a very physical runner. He's very fast. There's no hesitation in him. I don't know if there's a guy in the league that breaks tackles better than Josh Cribbs."
The Ravens will spend all week focusing on their pursuit and flying to the ball, getting as many bodies around Cribbs as possible and wrapping him up instead of just putting a hit on him.
In addition to the return game, Cribbs presents a problem for defenses because he can play so many different roles on the offensive side of the ball.
He's listed primarily a wide receiver, but the former Kent State quarterback is also a major factor in the Wildcat formation, where he can line up under center, in the shotgun, or as a running back. The various looks cause problems on gamedays and Cribbs says the threat of the formation gives the Browns an edge leading up to games as well.
"It forces defenses to not only cover but take time out of their schedule to prepare a plan for it," Cribbs said. "If they don't prepare a soundproof-enough plan for it, then we can burn them with it. So, they have to actually take time from their normal game plan to plan for specifically the Wildcat plays as opposed to our regular offense."
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has faced Cribbs and the Browns' Wildcat offense a bunch since entering the league in 2006. He says the key to limiting the effects of the formation is slowing it down early on.
"If we stop it early, then they won't come back to it as often," Ngata said. "So, we've just got to make sure that when they do run it, it's getting Cribbs down as fast as we can. He's such a dangerous player. He can make you miss, he can run you over.
"If we play strong up front and get him stopped or not creating any holes for him, we'll be able to stop the Wildcat pretty easy."