Greg Little with a terrific game against Ravens, but…


Nov 3, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little (18) runs the ball in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little has always been inconsistent and somewhat unpredictable; from his play on the field to his behavior off of it.  Little has had issues with drops at times to questions with his ability to separate to issues with composure.  Against the Baltimore Ravens, Little’s hands were great and he was able to make a number of big plays, but also had penalties due to lack of composure before ultimately leaving the game with a shoulder injury.

Coming into this game, Little had caught just 21 passes in 8 games.  When Brian Hoyer was the quarterback, Little did not get a lot of looks his way in position to make big plays and had trouble making the most of the ones he did.

When Brandon Weeden came into the game after Hoyer suffered the ACL tear that ended his season, Little had a pretty big day in terms of production.  The number of catches was relatively the same, but he was able to make some big plays.  Little was shut down against the Cincinnati Bengals and had minimal impact against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Little came out with easily his best game of the season against the Ravens in terms of production, but it came with penalties.  He was able to catch 7 passes on 9 targets for an impressive 122 yards, including some big plays after the catch.  That included a 46 yard play and Little averaged 17.4 yards per catch before he went down with a shoulder injury; the details of which are unknown.

Little immediately went down after making a big play and started clutching his shoulder.  He went to the bench and was worked on before trying to give it a go in the game.  The shoulder clearly was a problem and he was forced to take himself out and go to the locker room which ended his day.  Little had a great day on the stat sheets overall, but the problem was the lack of composure.

In two different situations, Little was called for personal foul penalties after the play.  The first, for throwing an opponent’s helmet after coming out of a scuffle between the two and the second was for taunting a Ravens defensive back.

The refs seemed like they were going to let go of the fact that Little and safety James Ihedigbo were scuffling with each other, with Ihedigbo on top of Little.  Little took his helmet and when he was able to stand up and walk out of the pile, he tossed his helmet.  This gave the refs no choice but to throw the ball for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Later, on another nice catch by Little, he was shoved out of bounds by a defender.  Little responded by coming at the opponent with a gesture for the Ravens player to come at him, which again, gave the refs no choice but to throw the flag.  That made for 30 total yards of penalties.

Little had a great game on the field and unfortunately it ended early with a shoulder injury that could end up being separated or a possible sprain.  7 catches for 122 yards is huge, but the 30 yards of penalties put a damper on him.  Instead of just having a great game cut short by injury, Little had a great game cut short by injury with a ‘but’ at the end with regards to penalties.  For a player who is trying to prove he can be someone they can count on, Little so is so often unable to handle success and just have a great game.  The talent is there, but so are a frustrating number of ‘buts’.