Berea, OH (WOIO) - Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin gave an emotional speech to the Browns on Wednesday, and if Greg Little's as smart as I think he is, he was paying close attention.
Irvin has been there, done it, and I mean on the field and off. On the field, there were few receivers better. Not just during his heyday, but in NFL history. And he's got the three Super Bowl rings and five Pro Bowls to prove it. But it's what Irvin has experienced off the field that should serve as a warning to the young players in the league today. Multiple arrests. Drug charges. Controversies that continue to this day. To his credit, though, Irvin is more than willing to give back, and reach out to the next generation, mentoring athletes at his alma mater in Miami, and making his way to Cleveland when his former teammate, Rob Chudzinski, and former coach, Norv Turner, came a'calling.
Greg Little's transgressions don't remotely resemble Irvin's, of course. While he's been inconsistent on the field, and shattering speedometers off it, his actions aren't in the same category of what took place down in Dallas in the mid-90's. But, there is a lot Irvin can teach a player like Little. About preparation. About focus. About consistency. And about producing.
We saw on Sunday just how good Little can be, when he made tough catches and big plays in the win over the Ravens. Now we need to see more. Michael Irvin didn't produce his first 1,000-yard season until his fourth year in the NFL, when he racked up 1,523. So, Little's career, in its third year, is still young. Hopefully, Irvin's message came through loud and clear.