Browns' Little knows he has to slow down driving
BEREA, Ohio (AP)
His career, and perhaps his life, depends upon it.
Little vowed Thursday to act more responsibly after it was revealed that he wrecked his car driving 127 mph - more than 70 mph over the legal speed limit - in April, an incident and decision he called ''mindless.''
Little was cited for drag racing after crashing his expensive, high-performance Audi into a guardrail, taking out a light pole and leaving more than 40 yards of brake tracks, according to a police report. Little and a passenger were uninjured in the single-car accident, which records say took place at 2:47 a.m. He said he understands his behavior was unacceptable and realizes he's lucky to have survived.
''It's obviously something that I've got to take very seriously and slow my speeds down and be cautious of others on the road,'' Little said following practice. ''I could have seriously put my life and other lives in danger. It was a pretty traumatic experience and it's something that I learned from and I'm just trying to move forward and just learn from it.''
Little was fined $350.
Although Little vowed to change his behavior, earlier this week he was ticketed for driving 81 mph in a 60 mph zone and expired license plates. He's due in court on Sept. 4 - four days before Cleveland's season opener.
Little, 24, isn't the only Browns player to recently break the law for speeding.
Fellow wide receiver Josh Gordon was cited for driving 98 mph on Aug. 13, at least his second offense since May.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he reprimanded Little and Gordon, who is suspended from Cleveland's first two regular-season games for violating the NFL's drug policy. Chudzinski would not reveal whether he disciplined the players, but said both seemed remorseful and recognize the potential severity of their thoughtless actions.
''We take that seriously,'' Chudzinski said. ''It's not acceptable. I've sat down with both of those guys individually and talked to them and addressed that with them as well as with the team. All these guys are guys that are learning how to mature. We're working to build a locker room and a team and a foundation of guys accountable and that's what being a Brown is going to be all about.''
Risky behavior on vehicles is nothing new for the Browns. Kellen Winslow (2005) and Marcus (2011) both had near-fatal motorcycle accidents.
Chudzinski said the violations by Little and Gordon will not affect their playing time Saturday when the Browns play Indianapolis.
Beyond the violations, Little, who has been stopped at least four times for traffic offenses in the Cleveland area since December, twice had warrants issued for his arrest after failing to appear in court. Little said he notified the Browns immediately after the crash in April.
''It was really just a mindless effort on my behalf and just not thinking at all, just being careless of the, you know, there are laws in place on the roads and just not abiding by them,'' Little said.
In explaining his most recent violation, Little said he was driving with ''the flow of traffic'' and didn't realize how fast he was doing.
It's part of a troubling pattern for Little, who was issued 93 parking tickets on multiple vehicles with nine different license plates while he was at North Carolina.
Gordon, who was cited driving 45 in a 25 mph zone and failed to appear in court, was not in the locker room during the period it was open to the media.
Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said his message to his young teammates is simple.
''You've got to slow down,'' he said. ''Now, everything (Little) does is going to be talked about and written about. The last thing you want is something bad to happen out there.''
Little's off-the-field missteps seem to contradict talk that he has matured, and brought an unfavorable light on the Browns, a team trying to shed a losing image.
''We want to talk about football,'' Jackson said. ''We don't want to talk about any other distractions.''
NOTES: Browns DT Desmond Bryant (back spasms) and rookie K Brandon Bogotay (groin) will not play Saturday against the Colts. ... Chudzinski said CB Chris Owens (foot), WR Davone Bess (knee tendinitis) and LB Jabaal Sheard (knee) are unlikely to play after missing time this week. ... The Browns waived punter T.J. Conley, who kicked for the New York Jets in 2011. ... Chudzinski said Oneil Cousins will start at right guard and rookie Garrett Gilkey will get some snaps with Cleveland's first-team. The Browns are looking for a right guard after Shawn Lauvao and Jason Pinkston suffered ankle injuries and their trade with Seattle for John Moffitt was voided.
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