The Cleveland Browns appear to be pretty pleased with one of last season’s big question marks in wide receiver Greg Little.
In his latest Sunday column, Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer describes Little and teammate Josh Gordon as integral parts of the team’s future, but it is only little who appears to have calmed nerves regarding his maturity and work ethic.
“Reviewing the tapes from last season, the coaches were very impressed with the improvement of Greg Little,” writes Pluto. “In the first five games, he had 11 catches and six drops. In the last 11 games, it was 42 catches and three drops. Little receives high grades for blocking and toughness. He seems to be a significant part of the plan for 2013.”
Meanwhile, with regard to Gordon, despite a head-turning middle of the 2012 season, the team appears more concerned about the bookends that yielded very little.
“Former coach Pat Shurmur and his staff were not thrilled with Gordon’s approach during the 2012 training camp,” writes Pluto. “The coaches taught him how to prepare for practice and film work. He seemed to believe his immense natural talent was enough. By mid season, they thought Gordon had made enormous progress, with former offensive coordinator Brad Childress praising Gordon for “always carrying his notebook” and taking notes.”
During his rookie season after having not played football for a year, Gordon hauled in 50 catches while being among the league’s best in yards after catch — 80 percent of his receptions were for first downs. Essentially serving as this year’s second-round pick, the Browns insists that Gordon must make the leap to a high-impact player in his second or third season. Pluto added, at least in the print version, that the team is monitoring Gordon’s use of social media.