Cleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway (11) runs for a touchdown after a catch against New York Giants linebacker Tae Davis (58) during the second half at MetLife Stadium.

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Hard Knock Life: Browns camp – day 12 news and notes

Hue Jackson punishes Antonio Callaway with extra playing time in preseason opener

August 13, 2018
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Daryl Ruiter-Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Browns head coach Hue Jackson punished receiver Antonio Callaway by making him play the most offensive snaps of anyone last Thursday night at New York.

“That was the plan. It was,” Jackson said. “I was trying to make him play the whole game if we could. I did not want him to come out.”

Callaway played 54 snaps, 1 more than offensive linemen Austin Corbett and Spencer Drango did, or 78 percent of offensive plays.

“That was part of the consequence for what he’d been through, and he knows it,” Jackson said. “That’s 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.”

Callaway was cited for driving with a suspended license and possession of a small amount of marijuana found under the driver’s seat by Strongsville police at 2:59 am on Sunday, Aug. 5 but he did not tell the team about the stop or citation.

Callaway caught 3 passes for 87 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown for Baker Mayfield, in the second half after dropping the first 3 throws to him and having a catch wiped out by penalty in the first half.

“He pushed through it,” Jackson said.

Callaway was limited during Sunday’s practice due to a rib injury apparently suffered in the game. He could be seen laboring during 11-on-11 work before eventually sitting the remaining portion of practice out.

Potty mouth – Defensive end Carl Nassib didn’t realize just how much he used colorful language until he saw the first episode of Hard Knocks.

Neither did his grandmother.

“I’m a little bit embarrassed about my swearing,” Nassib said. “I didn’t know I swear that much. My grandmother was upset with me.”

Nassib was one of a few stars of the first episode of the series, featuring the Browns as they go through training camp.

“That is the real Carl Nassib. Don’t let anybody fool you,” Jackson said.

Nassib’s financial advice speech to a few of his defensive teammates was one of the most memorable moments of the premiere last Tuesday.  

The question everyone is asking though is, where can anyone find 10 percent interest on their money?

“I do not think that anybody is even giving two percent interest,” Nassib said. “The way it was edited it made it seem like I said that. I was talking about gains on stocks and other investments.”

Nassib, a biology major at Penn State, did some homework this offseason by looking into financial planning.

“I really didn’t have any finances to worry about, so there wasn’t really any need for it,” Nassib said when asked why he didn’t study it in college.

“I don’t want to pay anybody to do something I can do myself, so I wanted to learn how to do it myself.”

Nothing to it – Another memorable scene from the first episode of Hard Knocks came when offensive coordinator Todd Haley and running back coach Freddie Kitchens questioned Jackson about having certain players sit practice out.

Some perceived both Kitchens and Haley to be questioning Jackson’s authority and tension mounting among them. Not so, Jackson said Sunday.

“We have done this now for two years, and we have had really good success,” Jackson said. “I do not think that Todd meant anything by it. I just think that he meant from his feeling, he has been at different places and everybody has a different way of doing things. It is just how we do it here, and it works for us. The most important part is that we keep our players healthy. If we end up losing somebody, they will not be out here practicing.

“There was no animosity or anything like that. It was not a back and forth between Todd and myself. Todd gets it, trust me. That has never come up again. I want our guys to ask questions about those things. Once I explain them, then we move forward.”

The Browns employ data collected by Zebra Technologies that track every player’s movement at practice daily and Jackson reviews it. When players get into the yellow and red areas of the report, Jackson knows to back off that player in the practice to follow to prevent a muscle pull.

“That is the one piece of analytic information that I really like. I think that the data really shows,” Jackson said. “I had to learn that it is not the day that affects the player, it is two days later. All of a sudden you lose a player and then all of a sudden they do not practice guys and here we go.”

Jackson swears he’s not gone soft and he points to how he runs practice in camp as exhibit A.

“I think you see we go hard. We bump into each other. We run into each other,” Jackson said. “That is the other side of it for me. I have never been one where we patty cake at practice. We go after it. That is the other side. You have to practice physical and tough, but you also have to take care of them because you can’t have it both ways. If you do both, then players are going to break down. I think that is when the locker room goes, ‘What are you doing?’ I think our players understand that I am going to push them, but at the same time, if they are close and if something says there is an issue, we are going to take care of them that way as well.”

Good hands – Tight end David Njoku’s drops early in training camp seem like a distant memory and they have been replaced by big plays daily.

“It is training camp. Things like that are going to happen,” Njoku said. “We are out here to practice and get better every day. I do not really see that as an off day; I see that as a day of learning. After that day, things have been going well. Just trying to work hard every day to be the best that I can be.”

Njoku caught 2 passes in the preseason opener – both went for touchdowns.

The first from Tyrod Taylor came in the hurry-up offense that saw him make the catch and then out-race a pair of Giants to the end zone. The second TD saw him catch it in the back of the end zone between a pair of Gants defenders.

Those are plays the Browns are counting on from him this season.

“I just kept working, along with our whole team. Our focus is to get better,” Njoku said. “I believe that I am getting better.”

Three return – Offensive lineman Desmond Harrison (toe) passed his physical and participated in his first training camp practice Sunday.

Linebacker Justin Currie (concussion) and tight end Seth DeValve (quad) also returned to practice.

Puppy pound counter – The Browns are up to 114 adopted puppies after 10 more were adopted from the Northeast Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Monday. Since the program was launched in 2015, 337 puppies have found homes.

Injury report – TE Julian Allen (abdomen), DL Trevon Coley (ankle), DL Daniel Ekuale (calf), DL Marcell Frazier (concussion), DB Montreal Meander (concussion), FB Danny Vitale (calf) and OL Kevin Zeitler (calf).

Up next – Practice Monday from 3:00-5:55 p.m.