It still amazes me -- mid-way through last season, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little was still be ridiculed by the masses for dropping critical passes or not having his head on straight. Then, during the team's bye week, we heard reports that Little had an "epiphany" so-to-speak. Here was my reaction at the time, heading into the Browns' first game after the bye week:
Greg Little reportedly had an inspirational talk with former NBA player Alonzo Mourning during the bye week and relayed that message to his teammates. I usually don't bye into something like this setting off the light in someone's head instantly, but I'm interested in seeing if there are any changes to Little's demeanor and play.
You could hear a million stories about players proclaiming to turn things around. I'm sure Braylon Edwards did it a handful of times. With Little, it actually happened. The drops just faded away for the rest of the season, and the rest of his game didn't suffer: he blocked like a machine, was more tame with his celebrations, and just played very efficient football.
That trend has continued into this season. Here is what Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer said about Little in the offseason programs so far:
1. Greg Little has been one of the most impressive players in the minicamps. The Browns are excited about how he has embraced the new offense and performed in downfield passing schemes. The new coaches know Little is a tough guy who likes to block, doesn't miss games and his skills will translate once they actually start tackling.
The guy acts like a pro off the field, too:
The official team site also had an article up describing how Little is looking up to the newly acquired Davone Bess as a mentor at the position, which kind of goes along with what I posted earlier about the front office not wanting our players to have a sense of entitlement:
"He's a pro," Little said. "He’s one of those guys that’s first-in, last-out, and that was good for him to come into our room and bring that with him. I think he compliments our room well, and what he’s able to do inside and on third downs, he’s proven he can be a playmaker. ... Just talking with him and seeing how he runs routes and what he’s thinking when he’s running routes is really what we’ve been talking about. He’s just added a little bit more to my game as well."
It is not a surprise to hear about Bess teaching others a little bit. That is the give-and-take mentoring approach that Bess stated he would bring after the Browns first traded for him. Hopefully the tandem of Little, Gordon, and Bess shapes up to be as promising as it is looking to be right now.