Greg Little planning on proving his talent in Oakland
By Chase Ruttig
Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little (18) warms up on the field before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Just a few short seasons ago Greg Little was a promising young wideout for the Cleveland Browns, one of the team’s top pass catchers as a rookie and looking like he was on the way to being a fixture in the Browns depth chart at wide receiver for years to come. That future never panned out as Little’s last two seasons have both been drop offs from his rookie campaign, showcasing erratic behavior on the field by way of dropping the ball in addition to some questionable decision making off of the field as well picking up a reckless driving case.
Inconsistent play allowed the Browns to make what they felt was an easy choice in waiving Little after picking up some free agent talent, but Little has been given another chance by general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen to prove his talent. A chance that Little feels he can take full advantage of if he finds that consistency his game as a pro has been lacking.
“This league is built on consistency, performing at a high level for all the time,” Little said last week in an interview on Sirius XM’s “Late Hits”, with hosts Alex Marvez and Bill Polian. “Those players are looked at as the top guys. I remember Norv Turner saying that’s the type of guy you want to be. You want people to know what you’re going to be week in and week out. I believe that’s what I’ve lacked in my career so far. I’ve had flashes of being that talent that many teams want.”
Preparation is something that Little says he has been working on as well as a focus on fundamentals that he hopes translates into success when put in the high pressure and high speed of game situations.
“It’s the way that you prepare and the way you go about things,” Little said. “That’s what it comes down to. If I prepare like every day is Sunday, you’ll see changes in my play as well.”
Should Little find a way to find his rookie form the Raiders could have a potential reclamation project that has strong upside. After all Little is only a few years removed from being a second round pick who was on the rise to becoming a fixture near the top of the Browns depth chart. Now coming to Oakland looking to fight his way onto the roster this summer, Little says that he is happy to be where he is and at a team he feels is headed in the right direction.
“I didn’t know much about the team at first, but being in the building and around the team the last couple days has really let me know what this team is capable of doing,” he said. “I’m really happy to be here. I know the team is headed in the right direction.”
What Little’s future will be in Oakland is unknown, but a key to his redemption narrative turning into a successful one with the Raiders does hinge on consistency being found in both his life and on the field. If Little can become a true professional and work hard enough to fix his issues with drops and poor numbers there is a chance the former second round pick can stay in the league long enough to show his talent on the type of basis that he aspires to reach.