Little was stopped Monday for speeding, at least the fourth time since December he’s been involved in a traffic violation. The incident that got his attention was a single-car crash in April in which he told police he was going 127 mph in a 55 mph zone.
“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 Thursday after practice. “I could have seriously put my life and other lives in danger.”
Little totaled his luxury gray Audi in April when he hit a guardrail, knocked down a light pole and left approximately 40 yards of brake marks at 2:47 a.m. He said the back tires blew when he hit a pothole on the Jennings Freeway in Cleveland.
“Yeah, it was a pretty traumatic experience and it’s something that I learned from and I’m just trying to move forward,” Little said.
He and his passenger left the scene, then returned and refused medical attention. He estimated his speed at 127 mph for the police, told reporters he had never driven that fast before and disputed the police report notation that he was drag racing. Alcohol wasn’t suspected, according to the police report, and he was fined $350.
“It was really just a mindless effort on my behalf and just not thinking at all, just being careless,” Little said. “There are laws in place on the roads and (I just wasn’t) abiding by them.”
He said the Browns organization knew about the accident the day it happened, it was discussed and he moved on. The speeding ticket Monday on I-71 in Strongsville — 81 mph in a 60 mph zone — prompted a look into his driving record by WOIO-TV and the other violations were discovered, including two for failure to properly display license plates.
Fellow starting wideout Josh Gordon was also found to have two speeding tickets in Cleveland since May — a 45 mph in a 25 mph zone on May 10 and a 98 mph in a 60 mph zone on Aug. 13.
“We take that seriously. It’s not acceptable,” coach Rob Chudzinski said. “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.”
Chudzinski said both are contrite and understand his point. He wouldn’t reveal details of the discussions or if they had been disciplined.
“I addressed it and we’ll handle all of that internally,” he said.
Arrest warrants were issued for Little and Gordon after they failed to appear in court, but they’ve been resolved. They have histories of off-the-field troubles.
Little received 93 parking tickets on multiple cars under nine license plates during his four years at the University of North Carolina. He was ineligible for his senior season for accepting improper benefits.
Gordon will be suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He claims he tested positive for codeine that was in a prescribed cough medicine. He failed multiple tests for marijuana in college and was dismissed from the team at Baylor.
Little and Gordon had productive training camps and earned praise from the coaching staff.
“All of these guys are guys that are learning how to mature,” Chudzinski said. “We’re working to build a locker room and a team and a foundation of guys that are accountable and that’s what being a Brown is going to be about.”
Little has arrived at practice early and stayed late throughout the summer and has talked often about how he’s matured.
“As Coach said, even how many good things you do it could be one thing that can set you back and create a bad reputation for you,” he said. “And by any means I’m trying to move forward and do all the necessary things so that I do have a good reputation and so these things don’t necessarily tarnish my reputation.”
Gordon wasn’t in the locker room during the 45 minutes open to the media. He has a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday for the latest ticket.
Little’s court date is Sept. 4 for the Monday stop, which he downplayed.
“I was just going with the flow of traffic, and I just happened to look down and I was going a little bit faster than the speed limit said and I think it was a couple miles before I was stopped anyway,” he said.
Little was a rookie in 2011 when Browns linebacker Marcus Benard was seriously injured when he wrecked his motorcycle and was thrown 241 feet.
Running back Brandon Jackson said it’s difficult to not speed in a fast car but the driver needs to figure out how to control it. He was in disbelief when told Little was going 127 mph and acknowledged that’s not normal speeding.
“I don’t know what you’d classify that as,” he said.
Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson defended Little but not the action.
“You can’t do it. It’s something you have to learn from. You’ve got to slow down and that’s the simplest way I can say it,” Jackson said. “But it’s not going to affect his playing. Greg has made major strides this year, he’s been more professional, he’s taken on a leadership role. He’s been working extremely hard at practice and to me it’s not a big deal.”
Veteran receiver Davone Bess also had his teammates’ backs.
“You have to be accountable to not only yourself, but your teammates and the organization,” he said. “They’re great teammates. They bust their tail at practice, and stuff happens. It’s just a matter of learning from the mistakes, growing from them and not making the same mistakes again.”