CLEVELAND (AP) — Rookie wide receiver Antonio Callaway has been warned by the Browns to run straight routes off the field.
Callaway, who came to Cleveland with a troubled background, was cited last week for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license.
The fourth-round pick didn’t inform the team for several days, but in a meeting shown on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” on Tuesday night, both coach Hue Jackson and general manager John Dorsey told Callaway they were disappointed in him and cautioned him to change his behavior.
After Callaway explained details of the traffic stop, Jackson told the 21-year-old that things have to change.
“Now listen, you’ve got talent but talent ain’t everything I’m looking for,” Jackson said. “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 (stuff) 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.”
Callaway was suspended last season at Florida following his involvement in a credit card fraud scheme. He had other transgressions in college and he fell in the NFL draft after providing a diluted urine sample at the combine.
The Browns took a chance selecting him and their gamble appeared doomed when Callaway got into trouble on a recent off day from training camp. However, Jackson said he believed Callaway’s account of his traffic stop and he told Cleveland’s players that he intends to support him.
During the “Hard Knocks” episode, Jackson brings Callaway to the front of the room to apologize to his teammates.
“It won’t happen no more,” he said.
Dorsey explained to Callaway that he’s going to be under more scrutiny as a professional athlete.
“This isn’t college football,” Dorsey told Callaway at the meeting with Jackson. “This is the National Football League and just to put it out there plainly, you are under the microscope. They want to see you (mess) up. You know what, but you gotta prove to them, you know what? I’m a man. I’ve learned from my past. I’ve learned from my mistakes and we are moving forward.”
The Browns punished Callaway by making him play in every snap of last week’s game against the New York Giants. He flashed some of his skills with a touchdown and several nice catches.
During the game, offensive coordinator Todd Haley asked Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry to take Callaway under his wing.
“You need to take that kid on,” Haley said. “I don’t care if he’s living at your house.”
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