Over the past couple of days, Kevin Jones of Browns.com has been running a series of articles based on the buzz words instituted by head coach Mike Pettine and GM Ray Farmer this offseason -- words like accountable, passionate, and relentless, which are associated with the "Play Like a Brown" mentality. In Jones' article about the "passionate" aspect, it sounds like Browns are taking a bit of a jab at one of their former players.
Some Browns players weren't passionate about football. Now they aren't on the roster. More on passion in CLE http://t.co/ASQnpdhHsU— Kevin Jones (@Mr_KevinJones) July 15, 2014
In the full article, Jones says that some of those players no longer on the team who lacked a passion for football "have landed on other NFL rosters." These are the type of players that Pettine and Farmer want, per Jones:
But Ray Farmer, Mike Pettine and the rest of the coaching staff want men in their program who can’t wait to come to practice; who walk into the film room with a dozen questions to ask about next week’s opponent; who, most importantly, are passionate about restoring the Browns to an AFC powerhouse.
"We want to get guys that hate to lose," Pettine told ClevelandBrowns.com in a sit down interview. "Losing makes them almost borderline physically ill. I told them, there are guys in this room are good enough to play in the NFL. They just might not be a fit for us."
My assumption is that they aren't referring to players who were unrestricted free agents after the season (Shawn Lauvao, T.J. Ward, Oniel Cousins, and Willis McGahee).
That leaves five players who the Browns outright released from last season. One of those players was WR Davone Bess -- he could certainly be one of the guys the Browns are referring to. Although Bess hasn't signed with another NFL team, he clearly lost it at the end of last season, and his performance on the field indicated that he really didn't want to be out there.
Quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden were both released, but I think that was cap-related and just an obvious sense that this team wanted to improve at the quarterback position. ILB D'Qwell Jackson was released, but that was strictly to avoid paying him a bonus. He was a defensive leader, and no one would question his passion. That leaves us with one more player, and it's the guy I imagine the team's message was most directed toward: WR Greg Little.
Caught up with Greg Little & Rod Streater. Little was surprised #Browns cut him because he had "tremendous relationship" w/ new coaches ...— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) June 18, 2014
Little's contract was affordable, and the Browns were in desperate need of receivers with the potential suspension of WR Josh Gordon. The fact that he never saw a release coming points more toward the fact that he just didn't fall in line with Pettine and Farmer's vision.
What do you think, Browns fans? Were the comments referencing Little, or somebody else?