Little, rest of the Browns' receivers make sure-handed plays vs. the Cardinals

Posted Dec 20, 2011

In what might very well have been a breakthrough, Greg Little and the rest of the Browns' receivers did a nice job of hanging onto the ball and making plays against Arizona.

When you think about the Browns’ receivers, the first thought isn’t about dynamic play-making.

It’s about passes being dropped and opportunities for dynamic plays being squandered. Say what you will about the Browns’ uncertainty at quarterback, but the wide receiver position had generally done few favors for Colt McCoy during his first full season as a starter.

Yet all of that seemed to change during Sunday’s overtime loss at Arizona.

Browns receivers caught the passes that reached their hands. They made dynamic plays.

Did it matter that Seneca Wallace, and not McCoy, was the one throwing the ball? It makes sense to be cautious about placing too much of the credit there, but the passing game did receive a little bit of a lift from Wallace’s presence.

There was more of an up-tempo pace that resulted from the way Wallace moved the offense, and he did show some good field vision when he found his first and second options covered on one side and would throw to the other -- and get the ball there.

Nevertheless, the Browns’ receivers did their part by hanging onto the ball when it came to them.

The most notable example was Greg Little. The rookie had become notorious for repeatedly allowing balls to slip through his fingers. His drops were a primary source of frustration for the Browns and their fans.

However, against the Cardinals, Little caught five passes for 131 yards. He helped turn what essentially was a broken play into a 76-yard touchdown reception.

The performance looked as if it could very well have been a breakthrough for Little, who because of his drops, hasn’t always been able to get the most out of his considerable physical skills.

The game was proof that when Little is focused and fully concentrating, he can be every bit the game-breaking force the Browns envisioned when they made him a second-round draft pick last year.

But it was only one game.

Little must continue to have similar performances through the final two weeks of the season to show that what he is doing is a trend and not an anomaly. And he must spend the offseason honing his pass-catching skills.

And even if Little does all of that, the Browns need the rest of their receivers to show the same consistency catching the ball that they displayed against the Cardinals.

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