Browns report: The catch that wasn’t made

BY foxsports • September 28, 2012

BEREA—Greg Little caught four passes for 77 yards against the Ravens, but he will be remembered for the one he didn’t catch.

With 4:45 to play in the game and the Browns trailing 23-13, Little went high into the air in the end zone and couldn’t come down with the pass that would’ve made it 23-20. Instead, Phil Dawson kicked a 52-yar d field goal to make it 23-16.

“You dream and go over things over and over in your head,” Little said. “It comes down to those three to seven or eight plays where you have to make a spectacular effort.

“In this league there are not many blowouts,” he said. “We just have to find those one or two plays that we need to win.”

If Little would’ve made the catch, the Browns could’ve tied the game at 23-23 on their final drive. Instead, the Browns drop to 0-4.

Pat Shurmur still insists that Little is improving.

“(Little) dropped an obvious one, but there was progress made that might not be noticed by those not privy to everything we do,” Shurmur said.

Little has 11 receptions for 151 yards and one touchdown.

Shurmur once again said he has ‘zero tolerance’ for dropped passes.

Little was targeted 10 times and did connect with Weeden on a 43-yard play on the Browns 94-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter to make it 9-7. Later in the game, Little caught a 22-yard pass to set up a 50-yard field goal by Dawson to cut the Ravens lead to 23-13.

Weeden tried to throw to Little on the game’s final play, but threw the ball uncatchable out of the end zone. Shurmur said Weeden was hit as he threw the ball.

Little knows to be considered a great player, he is going to have to make great plays.

“I just know in order to be a great receiver and be great, you have to make a great play that people remember that when a play is made.”

Little says he’s doing everything he can to get better.

“(You get) more chances as you get more game experience,” he said. “I feel like I’m making progress every week, but it comes down to making that spectacular play sometimes.”  

Shurmur said he’s seen cases before with players who went through stages in their careers of dropping the ball, but then put it behind them. He noted Brandon Gibson when he was with the Rams as a player in a similar situation.

“There is a lot you don’t see we work on from philosophically on how you approach catching the ball and out on the field,” Shurmur said. “I’ve seen a lot of players that have worked through it. You just keep working every week.”


No Doom and Gloom: Shurmur said he refuses to talk doom and gloom despite the Browns 0-4 start. No team has ever made it to the playoffs after starting the season 0-4.

“No doom and gloom here,” he said. “We’re going to do what we can to go to New York and beat the Giants.

“We need to win the game.”

Shurmur said he doesn’t see the team giving up.

“I’m confident our guys are going to bust their tails all year,” Shurmur said. “That’s the little tunnel we live in.”

Shurmur said he really likes the team he has.

“They work extremely hard and play extremely hard, but they have to play better,” he said. “This is the group of guys I want to get this fixed with. These are my guys and I want to get it done with them.”

Cribbs Update:  Shurmur said that WR/KR Josh Cribbs came home with the team after suffering what appeared to be a concussion on a punt return in the first quarter.

“Josh is doing well today,” Shurmur said. “He’s doing much better than you might expect.”

Shurmur said he didn’t have a problem with the hit.

“It was a good tough hit,” he said. “I didn’t like the fact that Josh got hurt.”

Ward Dinged: Shurmur disclosed that S T.J. Ward injured his right thumb against the Ravens.

“He’s being evaluated,” Shurmur said. “There’s a chance we might have to do more evaluating.”

Shurmur did compare the injury to DB Ray Ventrone, who is back playing after missing a game with a similar injury.

Amazing Phil: K Phil Dawson booted three field goals from 50 yards and beyond to keep the Browns in the game.

“Phil Dawson is amazing,” Shurmur said. “He just keeps going.”

Dawson tied Doug Dieken in playing in his 203rd game with the Browns. He trails just Lou Groza (216) and Clay Matthews (232) in games played for the Browns.

Injury Update: A couple of other players were injured with undisclosed injuries in the Ravens game. DB Usama Young was seen on the side line being looked with by the medical staff.

“We’ll let the dust settle and be back on the field Monday,” Shurmur said.

Also, after WR Travis Benjamin returned a 40-yard punt filling in for Cribbs, he was not on the field at the end of the game when the Ravens punted. WR Jordan Norwood was out there. Shurmur didn’t disclose what was wrong with Benjamin.

“He had a little issue.”

Fujita in New York: Shurmur confirmed that LB Scott Fujita was in New York meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell on the 3 game suspension that was over turned by a panel.  Fujita was supposed to meet with Goodell a couple of weeks ago, but was unable to attend as he was rehabbing a knee injury.