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Easterbrook: “Don’t cover Greg Little”

One of the things that every offense seeks is balance in order to keep the defense honest. Play too much blitz? The offense wants to gash you quickly or with draws. Play too run heavy? Offense wants to gash you at the sidelines. Etc. If the Cleveland Browns receiver problem is as bad as Gregg Easterbrook from ESPN seems to think, it could be very difficult for the Browns to find any balance.

TMQ noted in my preseason preview that the Browns were going nowhere until Greg Little stops dropping the ball. At Baltimore, he dropped four passes, including a strike in the end zone; Cleveland had to settle for a field goal. Little dropped a dozen passes in 2011 and already has six drops in 2012. The obvious move for defensive coordinators is to leave Little uncovered and hope Brandon Weeden throws to him.

Certainly there might be a bit of hyperbole in there from Easterbrook, but if Little’s issues are even a percentage as bad as he indicates, it makes the opposing defense’s gameplan much simpler.

[Related: “Cleveland ’95: A Football Life” will be mandatory viewing for me]

  • MrCleaveland

    Did you guys see Dez Bryant Monday night? He reminded me of our boy Greg. Bryant’s another underachiever whose ego is writing checks that his hands can’t cover.

  • BenRM

    To be fair, Little doesn’t seem like a terrible citizen in the way that Dez is.

  • nj0

    Man, I hate Easterbrook.

  • The endzone play was catchable but difficult. I’d have focused on the drive killing easy 1st down drops. But then again, I’m not a hyperbolic (good word, Craig) a-hole like Easterbrook. Ok Giants, try not covering him and see how that works out. Thanks, Gregg, very informative.

  • Harv 21

    In Sunday I saw Julio Jones, after doing little all day, get open deep on the sideline in the 4th quarter while Atlanta was trying to rally. But somehow he lost track of where he was and didn’t even try to drop his trail foot after he caught it, he just took a running step on the chalk for an incompletion that ultimately cost the Falcons the game. I’m not comparing him to Little, I’m very worried about Little, but few receivers step into the NFL with both body and skills fully formed.

  • JK

    I think it’s a play you have to make.

  • BisonDeleSightings

    Number fifteen is
    Just another glory boy.
    I’m smarter than you.

  • BomberDawg

    Ya think? Anyone on here making excuses for Greg Little is out of there mind. Bench him. Seriously.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Bench him for who? It’s not like we have a 28 year old Jerry Rice on the bench waiting for reps. Greg is an unfortunate problem for the rest of the year, our best hope is that he starts to get it together – not that we miraculously found Larry Fitzgerald’s identical twin on our way out the tunnel on Sunday.

    Of the guys on our staff, Little is the only one who has shown a consistent ability to get separation. It sucks, but we are not a deep team.

  • mgbode

    cost Atlanta the game? they are undefeated.

  • eldaveablo

    Jones definitely has talent, but I have seen plays like this and also some bad drops too. I think Little gets emphasized here because the Browns and Falcons are on two opposite ends of the spectrum, and the Falcons can always rely on other receiving options.

  • mgbode

    you beat me to it. Gordon is the logical replacement for Little if any but he isn’t ready. It’s not like Norwood is an outside WR. Benjamin really isn’t either but with MoMass hurt we are force-fitting him there.

    we have to get Little to start catching the ball. at least this year (then we can worry about replacing him if needed).

  • mgbode

    I used to like him but he is too rigid with his talking points and refuses to budge from his line of thinking on them to any degree. That’s what happens when a political writer starts writing about sports I guess.

  • Harv 21

    i know, I know, here’s what it is: I turned it off sure they would lose and was shocked to later read they pulled it out. Already decided Jones lost them that game and it’s just hard to change my position now.

  • Was more crapping on Easterbrook than defending Little, but to SF’s point, it’s not like Gordon or Benjamin are seasoned WRs. It sucks, but just have to hope Little develops some consistence.

  • Garry_Owen

    Let me add my sweet dulcet baritone to the amen chorus:
    Exactly! If we bench him, we have to play with 10 men on offense. It’s fine to think he sucks (I tend to agree), but until someone shows us an alternative, he has to play.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    DOH!!!!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The comparisons of Little to Dez Bryant or Julio Jones are laughable c’mon people your better then that stop with the excuses already!

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Man…I knew Little was struggling, but I didn’t realize he was on pace to increase his drops by 100% this year. Also, knowing that he only had 12 drops last year really puts into perspective how good these guys need to be.

    He really needs to tone down the peacock routine and just work on catching the ball or he’s likely gone next season.

  • jewpants47

    Norwood dropped 4 of 5 balls thrown his way vs Baltimore.

  • mgbode

    I had him down for 2 clean drops (maybe a 3rd i’m forgetting?), but both of those were in crucial situations.

    in fact, Little bailed Norwood out after his last drop on the final drive. Little made a fantastic play to keep things moving right after it.

  • saggy

    I’ve watched all of the Falcons games this season so far. In my opinion, Julio Jones is a top-5 WR right now. He is Atlanta’s #1 guy, no doubt. He has everything.

  • Roddy White

    Atlanta’s #1 whaaaaa????!!!

  • porckchopexpress

    Counterpoint, if Coach Norman Dale ran with 4 and ended up winning a state title we can run with 10. Can’t you just see us at 0-6, Haslem finally takes full control and has a meeting of his top brass and they decide to fire Shurmur. In walks Jim Brown and he says; “I reckon its time for me to start playin’ ball.” Stunned looks on the faces of Haslem and his staff. “One thing though.” Brown continues, “I play and Coach stays.” Silence fills the room until finally Haslem gathers himself and says what everyone is thinking. “Aren’t you like 70 years old? He’s still fired and please don’t come around here anymore.”

  • WFNY_DP

    Roddy White would like a word with you…

  • Wow

    Why is everyone so upset? The guy’s got a point, Little can’t catch.

  • Harv 21

    love Julio Jones but did you see the play I mentioned above? A “top 5” drops his trail foot, can’t help but do it. Jordan Norwood drops his trail foot there. [ok, that was unnecessarily provocative].

    Jones will probably be one of the league’s best receivers. He’s not quite there yet.

  • nj0

    That’s funny you say that. I had the exact same experience with him. I once read him regularly and found him to be entertaining. But yeah, then it became a rigid, boring column that seemed to recycle the same topics every week.

  • mgbode

    I thought Brandon Weeden was ATL’s 2012 #1 🙂

  • mgbode

    yep, Roddy is the Irvin to Julio’s Harper.

  • Hopwin

    “and please don’t come around here anymore.” Made me lol so hard the people around me think I am nuts.

  • Garry_Owen

    Every time I think I’ve come across the last great thing on the internet, and am about to shut it all down and go Amish, a comment like this is created and gifted to humanity. Thank you for once again renewing my faith in the snarky citizenry of the internet.

  • steve-o

    Definitely, the Giants should leave one of our recievers open the entire game. The three or four passes Little doesn’t drop would turn into TD’s.