CLEVELAND - Sometimes it's better not to look.
Joshua Cribbs is finding that out after being criticized by some fans on Twitter for not fielding two second-half punts in the Browns' 7-6 win over the San Diego Chargers. The punts pinned the Browns at their 8 and 3.
Cribbs defended his decisions, noting the adverse playing conditions. There was a steady rain, and a swirling wind made punts look like knuckleballs.
"Every time I go out there it's ball security with job security," Cribbs said. "Nobody will remember all the balls I let go, but they'll remember a turnover. The most-important thing is to be disciplined when a play can't be made.
"If it came right to me, that's good. If I have to run and chase it in these conditions, it's just not worth it. You saw their guy struggle to catch the ball, even when it was right to him. It wasn't in my nature to make things worse. In football, possession at the end of the play is most important."
Chargers returner Eric Weddle almost gave the Browns possession on a punt late in the fourth quarter. He muffed Reggie Hodges' punt but was able to quickly cover the ball at the 12.
Cribbs is accustomed to bad home conditions sometimes at this time of the year. He was close enough to both punts to try to field them.
"Sometimes we get lucky and it clears up a little bit," Cribbs said. "We expect this type of weather. We had an edge. They're from California, and they're not used to this type of weather.
"They got here a day early, but then when we started the game at 1, it was 10 o'clock to them. They had a slow start. Good teams take advantage of their opportunities. We made enough plays to win."
Browns coach Pat Shurmur wasn't critical of Cribbs' decisions.
"I'm going to look at it," Shurmur said. "It's hard to tell unless you're out there, but the ball was doing funny things. Those were hard balls to judge coming off the punter's foot."
Cribbs is normally aggressive in his approach to fielding punts. He didn't feel comfortable yesterday.
"It was raining," Cribbs said. "The ball was wet. It was windy. The ball was moving on you."