Since the day that the Brown's Pat Shurmur stepped in as head coach, the team's game plan for the season did a complete 180 degree spiral. Mentalities were flipped upside down, the team's motor shifted into full throttle, and, to all of our benefit, the Lady Gaga music that screeched in our ears during practice was turned off. Thank goodness.
Knowing how the league has become a pass friendly environment, General Manager Tom Heckert found the right guy for the job. As compared to the Browns previous three head coaches, Butch Davis, Romeo Crennel, and Eric Mangini, the Browns approach will be primarily offensive based. That's the way things have to be if they are to adapt to the twenty-first century gridiron lifestyle.
Acknowledging their new main focus, the tools necessary for aerial success will play a more active role. Ahem, Brian Robiskie, Mohamed Massaquoi, and particularly, Greg Little. The teams second round pick out of North Carolina has all of the tools that the Browns other receivers probably don't possess. Little is nearly a head taller than all the rest at 6 foot 2, and packs a heavier punch at 220 pounds. If not for his injury and for his off the field issues, Little would have gone higher in the NFL draft, possibly even into the late first round. Drafting him was a steal, but it will be for nothing if he can't improve the Browns receiving core.
The Browns ranked 29th in the NFL in passing last year, and were even worse the year before at 32nd. This, according to some, is not due to mediocre quarterback play, but lack of talent at the skill positions; at wide receiver particularly.
Greg Little has all the raw utensils to be a very good wide receiver in the NFL, and the Browns need him now more than ever in their plan to reallocate to the West Coast style offense. Though not very polished at his position, Little spent time in the Tar Heels backfield in his freshman and sophomore years.
Little was suspended for the 2010 season as he possibly got benefits from an agent. Hopefully Little won't be another Kellen Winslow in that regard. Though he still has a lot to prove, both with his attitude and as a player, Little's raw abilities give him the change to start for the Browns in his rookie season, and might make him an often utilized passing target.