Browns notes: Turf, or lack of, kept Antonio Callaway from scoring at Oakland

Rookie receiver not letting drops get him down either

Daryl Ruiter
October 04, 2018 - 5:45 pm

© Cary Edmondson/Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Browns receiver Antonio Callaway is feeling better after tweaking his knee on the infield at Oakland last Sunday.

Callaway suffered the knee injury that kept him from practicing on Wednesday after catching a ball from Baker Mayfield that led to his 59-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter of the Browns 45-42 OT loss.

The tweak cost Callaway, who denied that he cramped on the play, a touchdown despite employing a stiff arm as he got closer to the end zone.

“I would’ve separated,” Callaway said.

“I tried to bounce off of him and give myself a little speed. It was hard for me to bring my knee up so I tried to get myself a little speed.”

Head coach Hue Jackson was surprised like everyone else was that the speedy Callaway didn’t score on the play instead of having to wait for Carlos Hyde to punch it in on the next play.

“Me too. I said to him. ‘Why did you not score, man?,’” Jackson said.

“He was hurt a little bit. He was making that left hand turn but just run. It was not like he was fighting a guy back behind him. Just run and score. I do not think he was shocked that he was so wide open when he caught it. He was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Now some guy is chasing me.’ He did a good job and that was a heck of a play by Baker, a heck of a play by offensive line and the young man making the play, but I would like to see him finish that because he is fast enough to do that.”

Callaway had a tough day in Oakland.

Right out of the gate he slipped and Mayfield’s pass went right off his hands and was returned by the Raiders for a touchdown.

“That was on me,” Callaway said. “Ball hit my hand. I should’ve caught it. That wasn’t on him. That was on me.”

The Browns dropped nine passes according to Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley last week and Callaway was one of the primary offenders with at least three. He caught just three of nine targets against the Raiders and he has caught 10 of 24 targets on the season.

“Drops gonna happen. I ain’t [worrying about them],” Callaway said. “Moving on. We got the Ravens this week so we going to focus on the Ravens and catching the ball, doing my assignments to the best of my ability. That’s what I’m focused on right now.

“I ain’t worried about it.”

Following the loss Jackson said he might cut back some of Callaway’s snaps going forward.

“Whatever plan coach Hue got I’m just rolling with his plan,” Callaway said. “He the man with the plan. I just follow his lead.”

And hopefully make some more big plays for Mayfield.

“Baker’s gonna be great. He’s good. He’s great,” Callaway said.

“He’s confident. Even after a bad play he’s still confident.”

Crash course – The Browns are trying to prepare rookie left tackle Desmond Harrison to face Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, including a phone call Wednesday night from former Browns left tackle Joe Thomas.

Left guard Joel Bitonio had been trying to get Thomas on the phone with Harrison.

“We are trying to get him a crash course,” Bitonio said. “Suggs is such a good player. He is a Hall of Famer. He has done a lot of stuff from his leader of the defense, leader of their team and it is going to be a big test. I think his biggest test of the year. I think he has slowly improved this year and he keeps getting better, Desmond.

“It is a big test for him, so have to see some and get a lot of film for him, get a lot of practice for him, but he is ready for the challenge and he is going to try to be his best this weekend.”

Harrison said their conversation was brief and that Thomas did warn him that Suggs likes to talk a lot during the game.

Jackson likes what he’s seen in recent weeks from the undrafted Harrison and is confident No. 69 will be ready Sunday afternoon.

“I know he has a tall assignment ahead of him,” Jackson said. “One thing I like about Desmond, he is not going to blink. He is going to go out and compete, and I am sure he is going to learn something as he goes through the game about these guys he is playing against and we have to do everything we can to help him and put him in the best position. It is the way this league is. You play, and you have to play against the best. He has to be up to the challenge.”

Do your job – Since Week 1, offensive coordinator Todd Haley has lamented mental mistakes from his offense and he once again saw too many in last Sunday’s loss.

Earlier in the week several players pointed to communication problems, but Haley said Thursday that was not the cause of their problems.

“I would not say communication problems. An underlying issue for our group has been just doing what you are supposed to do,” Haley said. “More so that than communication. The communication in that game was very good. What we need to get better at going forward is knowing what our job is on each particular play because that creates trust. A lot of the things that I have talked about in here a number of times – we are making too many mental errors or more than you can make in a game and expect to win.”

Haley is tired of talking about the same issues week to week and is expecting to have new problems to solve in the coming weeks.

“The first quarter of the season is over. I am looking for us to have new issues,” Haley said. “I do not want to have to be dealing with old issues. That has been the emphasis with us as a coaching staff. Those old problems have to be cleaned up, and let’s see what the new issues potential are. Lining up and knowing what you are supposed to do on each particular play is part of the guys’ job description, the entire group.”

Roster move – The Browns signed defensive lineman Brian Price to the active roster from the practice squad and waived defensive lineman Devaroe Lawrence to make room.

Price, originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2016, has appeared in 10 career games with one start with nine tackles. He started Week 2 for the Oakland Raiders after he was claimed via waivers from the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 3. He was signed to the Browns’ practice squad on Sept. 21. 

Lawrence, acquired from the Saints for a 2019 seventh-round pick on Sept. 1, appeared in one game this season and was inactive the past three weeks.

Injury report –Did not practice: LB James Burgess (knee)

Limited: WR Antonio Callaway (knee), WR Jarvis Landry (knee), FS Damarious Randall (heel)

Full: DE Myles Garrett (wrist), QB Tyrod Taylor (back), DT Trevon Coley (wrist)