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NFL Olympics: Josh Cribbs could rekindle swimming career

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Mark Duncan/Associated Press
Cleveland Browns playmaker Josh Cribbs was an excellent swimmer in multiple events back in his high school days.


 

In the spirit of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, we're projecting which NFL players would be best suited to participate in 10 popular sports.

The Games of the XXX Olympiad are under way in London, and here's a look at what the Olympics would be like with America's game included.

Friday, July 27
Breer: Football in the Olympics? It could happen
Gridiron Breakdown: Olympics or Super Bowl?

Monday, July 30
Lombardi: NFL 2016 'Dream Team'
Jeremiah: NFLers in swimming
Jeremiah: NFLers in basketball
Photo essay: Olympians in the NFL
Watch: Who would make U.S. national team?

Tuesday, July 31
Darlington: Aaron Ross' Olympic wife
Jeremiah: NFLers in boxing
Jeremiah: NFLers in gymnastics

Wednesday, Aug. 1
Brooks: NFL's best pure athletes
Jeremiah: NFLers in handball
Jeremiah: NFLers in beach volleyball
Pick 6: NFL cities that could host Olympics

Thursday, Aug. 2
Brooks: NFL's five fastest players
Jeremiah: NFLers in weightlifting
Jeremiah: NFLers in track

Friday, Aug. 3
Daniel Jeremiah: NFLers in wrestling
Daniel Jeremiah: NFLers in tennis

Several NFL players incorporate swimming into their offseason workout routines. The cardio benefits are outstanding and the movement is very easy on joints. During the Olympics, the sport is very popular with the TV audience -- this year's matchup between American swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte is one of the key storylines in the London Games.

I searched long and hard for NFL candidates to hit the pool, settling on three players:

Josh Cribbs, WR/KR/PR, Cleveland Browns
Cribbs has 11 touchdowns in the return game during his seven-year career. Those touchdowns were the result of several acrobatic moves, broken tackles and breakaway speed. Of course, none of them would've taken place if Cribbs had pursued a different sport in college: swimming. You read that correctly. Cribbs was an excellent swimmer on his high school team. He competed in the freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly.

Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts
I have to do some major projecting with my candidates after Cribbs. I have no knowledge of Fleener's swimming expertise, but he does have the right look for the sport. Also, the football facility at Stanford is located adjacent to the swimming complex. Thus, I'm banking on the possibility that Fleener gathered a few helpful swimming tips while walking by the pool on a daily basis.

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Phelps is from Baltimore and he's a huge Ravens fan. I'm sure he would take the time to help Flacco get up to speed in a few swimming events. If nothing else, the Ravens quarterback has the right frame at 6-foot-6.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

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