The Cleveland Browns couldn't make it up if they tried: only days/hours after trading away starting wideout Corey Coleman, who was shipped to Buffalo for a ham sandwich and a bag of stale chips level 2020 seventh-round pick, rookie wideout Antonio Callaway, filling the void left by Coleman, had a run-in with the law that led to him being cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license. It was high drama at the wide receiver position for Browns and HBO/NFL Films captured all the hidden details on Tuesday's episode of "Hard Knocks."
As it turns out, the Browns didn't give up on Coleman so much as he asked to be traded. The opening scene of "Hard Knocks" featured Coleman being chewed out repeatedly by offensive coordinator Todd Haley for making mistakes on the practice field. Coleman then rolls into coach Hue Jackson's office, where he complains about having to run on the second team.
When Hue tells him to talk with Haley, Coleman says if the Browns don't want to play him, they should just trade him. They did exactly what he asked.
It left a major void at the receiver position, with Josh Gordon still away from the team, and that void was going to be filled with Callaway. Which led to a pretty awkward conversation, captured by HBO and NFL Films, between the receiver and his bosses.
Dorsey started off by saying he was "a little disappointed" as was Jackson and then told Callaway to "explain to us the whole situation" in the meeting.
Callaway broke down the situation with the police officer, noting that he "just got my car" to Cleveland when the office found a "roach" (a small end of a joint) in the car.
"He said I ain't stop but I was coming out of the gas station. There was literally no cars on the road. He came out of the other gas station and he stopped me and he was like, 'You got your ID?' I gave him my ID and he was like, he went back to the car, he was like my license is suspended. He searched me. He searched my car. He found a roach, like an old roach, like a clip," Callaway explained. "He opened it. I asked him like, 'You really going to use that?' I just got my car up here. I got my car up here like four, five days ago. He found that and then I said, 'You finna use that?' and he was like, 'I have to.' I was like, 'Alright.' He said it was less than a speeding ticket, I don't know what that means but he said it was less than a speeding ticket."
It's not the world's greatest excuse, and perhaps it would be better to call a lawyer instead of having the cop simply suggest, as Callaway claimed he said, misdemeanor possession would be better than a speeding ticket.
Dorsey and Jackson were clearly willing to give him a second chance. Dorsey pointed out "this isn't college football" and there are people waiting to see him fail.
"This isn't college football. This is the National Football League and just to put it out there plainly, you are under the microscope. They want to see you f--- up," Dorsey said. "You know what, but you gotta prove to them f---ers, you know what? I'm a man. I've learned from my past. I've learned from my mistakes and we are moving forward."
Jackson was a little more forgiving about the matter, pointing out that he's going to give Callaway a second chance, but needs the rookie to step up his game and handle things in a smarter fashion.
"I mean, we are dealing with something that all this can be prevented. You check your car, first of all, you know your history. You can't take a chance. You can't put first yourself in that situation and you can't put us in that situation. Now listen, you've got talent but talent ain't everything I'm looking for," Jackson explained. "I want you to become a man here, and responsible and accountable to John and me, this organization and your teammates. Or else I wouldn't keep you on this team. I'm just being very honest with you. If s--- comes up, you have my number and you got John's number. You call us ASAP.
"That's what I expect from you from here on in. I believe you, but if I'm wrong on this one then I'm going to have your ass."
Jackson also had the receiver step up in front of the entire team and explain what he did wrong, apologize for the incident and to try and put it behind him. And then he made him play the entire preseason game as punishment.
Callaway getting popped for a roach is pretty brutal, but the biggest point to take away from this might be how much leeway Jackson and Dorsey are giving him. They basically said "call us when stuff happens" instead of saying "don't let stuff happen again." Considering they shipped Coleman out of town, it says a lot about how good Callaway might be on the field.