- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Josh Cribbs received a text from his agent Monday to call ASAP. He did, and this is how his agent answered:
The former Pro Bowl kick returner signed Tuesday and practiced Wednesday for the first time, promising to make an immediate impact. Cribbs, 30, cut by the Oakland Raiders in the preseason, will return kickoffs Sunday against the New England Patriots. He's not sure if he'll have a role at wide receiver.
In his day, Cribbs was terrific, but he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after last season and had a hard time catching on with a team. That didn't hurt his confidence.
"Oh, yeah, I'm going to get the job done," the former longtime Cleveland Brown said. "I'm not going to get walked down. I've picked up some weight through the years, muscle-muscle mass. So if somebody's fast enough to catch up to me, they're not going to be strong enough to bring me down."
Cribbs also believes he can add leadership in the locker room. He has a lot of moxie, and he's hoping to spread it around.
"I think that's one of the big reasons why they brought me in, to make a run for it," he said. "I can be a little lightning in here. ... I'm going to try to electrify this team and add that oomph, that 'it' factor."
Anyone should be an improvement over Clyde Gates, who averaged only 23.2 yards per return before hurting his shoulder and landing on injured reserve.
"The name on the back, when he stands back there, you're going to be a little nervous," Rex Ryan said of Cribbs. "We've all been scorched by him in the past."
Cribbs has scored eight touchdowns on kickoff returns, tied with former Jet and current Patriot Leon Washington for the most in history. Cribbs hasn't scored since 2009 on a kickoff, although he did have a punt-return in 2011 for the Browns.