Callaway had his first off the field issue since being selected by general manager John Dorsey in April. Callaway was pulled over in the Cleveland suburb of Strongsville at around 3 a.m. on August 5. Strongsville police found marijuana and gun parts inside his vehicle.
Lucky for him, head coach Hue Jackson did not make Callaway inactive for the Browns preseason opener on August 9 against the New York Giants. Jackson did the exact opposite. Instead of making Callaway serve a team penalty off the field, Jackson made Callaway serve his penalty on the field.
I'm a bit surprised at Hue Jackson's response to my question about playing Antonio Callaway whole game (54 snaps) in 1st preseason game. Said it was "a consequence" of his traffic stop early Sunday morning.
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) August 12, 2018
Jackson gave Callaway tons of playing time in the Browns 20-10 victory at MetLife Stadium. Antonio played into the fourth quarter.
“That was part of the consequence of what he has been through, and he knows it,” Jackson said. “That is what it was. Either you sit him or make him play. I thought it was better to make him play. Make him play as long as he could. There were a couple of times he kept waving to come out, and we said, ‘No, stay in.’”
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) August 12, 2018
As a result, the plan served two purposes. Number one, get Callaway used to the speed of the NFL game. Number two, to send a message that if you have the energy to be out at 3 a.m., then you must have the energy to play an entire NFL game.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 10, 2018
So did Callaway got the message? He did respond to the penalty. Despite a couple of drops, Callaway finished with a game high 87-yards receiving on three catches. His 54-yard touchdown catch and run sealed win number one of the preseason.
— NFL (@NFL) August 10, 2018
“He worked through it,” Jackson said. “There were times he had his hands on his head, and he was ready to go to the sideline. So we said ‘Uh-uh, you are back in there.’ He fought through it, came out the other side of it and made some plays. That was good.”
It is a good way to teach a lesson to a rookie who comes to the Browns with some baggage.
Scott Piker is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Browns. So follow him on twitter @ScottPikerSport