Browns “impressed” with Greg Little’s maturation

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.

[Related: The Browns’ dive into analytics will be a subtle revolution]

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Little obviously has the physical tools if his head can catch up he has huge potential. Browns still need a slot receiver between Little and Gordon though IMO.

  • mgbode

    Little to slot Anquan Boldin style with a pure speedster on the edge with Gordon (possibly Benjamin or Louis Murphy or Mike Wallace though I do not believe we have to pay that much for this particular need)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Ya know…but give me Wallace and no problem with Little in the slot. I don’t think Benjamin can be an every offensive snap player just assign him #16 and let him be the new special teams returner.

  • MrCleaveland

    Tsk tsk tsk. Scott, Gordon did not haul in 50 catches. He either MADE 50 catches or he hauled in 50 PASSES.

    Illegal procedure. First and 15.

  • mgbode

    if we get enough small speedster WRs, then one of them will be healthy in any given week, right?

  • Sam

    Uh oh, I sense a fifteen yard, “double fragment” flag coming your way.

  • I’m very encouraged and optimistic about Gordon, Little, and Benjamin going forward. We’re obviously going to focus on TE this offseason, but I think that the addition of a WR like Danny Amendola in FA would be perfect. I also know that the Browns really like Kenny Stills and Tavares King in the draft and have met with them and Kenbrell Thompkins from Cincinnati, who would most likely be an undrafted FA.

  • And ranked 73rd in the NFL in receptions and has a lower reception per target rate than our other 3 leading receivers — Little, Richardson, and Watson.

    I can see why the Browns were reported last week to want to see much more progress toward being a top receiver.

    As far as Terry Pluto is concerned, his sources appear to be his own best guesses — not worth any more than anyone else’s opinions.