The Bucs & Josh Cribbs

December 12th, 2019

One of the great return men of the 21st century has impacted the Bucs roster.

It’s kind of a cool story of how the retired three-time Pro Bowl returner Josh Cribbs indirectly has made his mark.

Bucs wide receiver Justin Watson joined the Salty Dogs podcast this week and explained a pivotal moment that led to him becoming Tampa Bay’s new punt returner.

It wasn’t Adam Humphries walking in free agency, and it wasn’t Bobo Wilson getting cut.

Nope, it had nothing to do with Vernon Hargreaves’ release or Scotty Millers’ bad hamstring or T.J. Logan’s busted finger.

Yeah, those led to Watson getting his shot last week, but Watson said Cribbs told him before he was drafted that, if asked, he should always tell NFL coaches that he can return punts.

Watson never returned a punt in college or high school, he said, but he followed Cribbs advice when he was asked in preseason by Bucs special teams chief Keith Armstrong.

An enthusiastic “yes” to Coach Armstrong, Waston said, led to him becoming the Bucs’ No. 5 returner in the summer and then slowly he worked his way up the ladder as roster changes and injuries came. That meant a lot more reps in practice in recent weeks.

After his first return Sunday, Watson said he felt like he’d been doing it for years.

16 Responses to “The Bucs & Josh Cribbs”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Next man up!!!

  2. cmurda Says:

    Smart advice by Cribbs and Watson was wise to follow it. With that said, we need to find a return man especially because Watson may be working his way up the ladder in the receiving corps

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    the more you can do the better your chances are to stick on the roster….

    its all about versatility…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  4. 813bucboi Says:


    i agree….

    i would shoot are a DB that can be a returner and gunner…..

    we need the returner version of ryan smith…lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  5. Pete Mitchell Says:

    Your greatest ability is your availability!

  6. Lunchbox Says:

    Cool story. I remember Cribbs, dude was a beast returner, just like Devin Hester. I do believe Jaylen Waddle will be the next great return man when he goes pro. If you’ve watched much Alabama football, dude is electric every time he makes a return.

  7. Brandon Says:

    Applies to most sports. Want to play football and help your team? Learn to return punts and/or longsnap. Want to play baseball (zzzzzzzz)? learn how to catch.

  8. Clean House Says:

    Lying is a greAt way to get a job

  9. unbelievable Says:

    “Felt like he’s been doing it for years”…

    Uh, didn’t he run backwards and lose like 8 yards on his first return?

  10. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Man, where is our Dante Hall? Why can’t we have nice things?!

  11. David Jones Says:

    Yes he’s not the answer. If you want a special team be special on special teams.

  12. Jason S. Mclaurin Says:

    We should make this guy our permanent#4 and Perriman our#3 going forward. Winston gotta stay long term for it all to work though. As far as defense bring em all back Suh, JPP, and Barrett. Give David one more shot to hopefully over perform in his career as a MLB with White. As far as draft focus on OL and a KR in some form to finally complete the puzzle here in Tampa now that we gotta kicker. I wouldn’t mind if we drafted a receiver with blazing speed in the second round as long as he has a great history of returning kicks. I say first round pick will be Delphit from LSU bank on it or an offensive lineman in the first two picks.

  13. GrayBalls Says:

    Mclaurin, there’s this pesky thing known as the salary cap. The Bucs, I’m sure, would love to bring back everybody you mentioned. However, these dudes wanna get paid. Suh and JPP are probably on the downside of what they would require for retention. But Barrett will probably command at least $10M MORE than what he made this season. If I had to guess, instead of his current 4M, he’ll more than likely be looking at 16.5. Suh will probably be about the same as his current contract, maybe a little less. Pierre-Paul, who knows? I would guess 8.5, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Plus there’s the Jaboo situation… Is he gonna get paid? What about Godwin? Do we not plan on keeping him around? David? He’s coming up soon, with no signs of a severe drop off. I would love to see all of them retained, just not very realistic

  14. adam from ny Says:

    omg watson was gassing heads that he returns punts…


  15. adam from ny Says:

    also what is the cribbs – watson connection ???

  16. StonedBuc Says:

    Just cause you say youbcan doesnt mean you can, he is probably the worst returner in the nfl