Former players rip Hue Jackson’s “punishment” of Antonio Callaway

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When Browns rookie receiver Antonio Callaway was cited for marijuana possession, coach Hue Jackson decided on a strange form of punishment: He made Callaway play a lot of snaps in the Browns’ first preseason game.

Jackson explained that Callaway was asking to come out because he was tired, but Jackson made him keep playing. Some former players say that’s a ridiculous way to punish a player.

“This is not a smart coach people,” Nick Hardwick wrote. “1-31 doesn’t happen by chance. Either he should’ve really punished him, or said, ‘He’s a rookie that is going to be suspended and we need to get him as many reps before then as possible,’ followed by a ‘sorry not sorry.'”

And wouldn’t a rookie trying to prove himself want a lot of playing time?

“If I’m an undrafted rookie for the browns I’m gonna make sure i get in trouble before the next game,” Danny Woodhead wrote. “Playing all game just gives you an opportunity to make the team! This isn’t a punishment this is a gift!”

Also odd is that Jackson, who was shown on Hard Knocks putting his assistant coaches in their place when they said players shouldn’t be given too much rest, said that he forced Callaway to stay in the game when Callaway was getting worn out. And it raises questions about Callaway that he was apparently asking to come out of the preseason game and being told he couldn’t: Callaway is a rookie who should want every opportunity to prove himself. And although he played more than most players play in preseason game, he totaled just 57 snaps, which isn’t a particularly grueling workload compared to what players are often asked to do in the regular season.

Everything about Jackson’s “punishment” is strange, and it’s not surprising that some former players were left shaking their heads.

80 responses to “Former players rip Hue Jackson’s “punishment” of Antonio Callaway

  1. Most of the media has been protecting this guy because he’s nice and leaks them stories.

    Now everyone finally sees that he’s an inconsistent liar that likes to hear himself speak. He’s not a genuine dude. His decisions are erratic and make no sense and he cares about himself above all else.

  2. Yes, but when you read stories coming out of Maryland about the potential consequences of this method of punishment it just goes to show how dumb-as-rocks these coaches truly are and how little real consideration is given to player welfare.

  3. I am not a basher like some folks, but I think these former players are right. Not that Hue was wrong in playing the guy – he will likely be suspended and a smart coach is going to get him some reps before that. Got no problem with that. But don’t color it with your own warped version of what happened. Just say it.

  4. He CLEARLY, has no idea what he’s doing, he’s flying by the seat of his pants and he’s about to crash.

    The Brownies finally have their share of talent, they have to get rid of this clown ASAP, if not sooner.

  5. We’re talking about the Browns here, you know. 1964 is long gone and probably is not returning soon. It’s not the players who suck there. it’s the ones running the organization. they have consistently made the poorest choices of any other team in the NFL, include teams like the Jets and raiders. (Lower case intentional. Good luck chucky)

  6. We’re going into week 2 of the preseason and it’s already evident that this team is heading towards another losing season.

    Laundry speaks out stating if you’re not really hurt to be practicing and then Jackson is holding players back from practices due to injuries players usually play through.

    You can tell Jackson is only adding to the losing culture. Laundry must have been shocked to see what players were missing practice for as well as Todd Haley and the line coach.

    This team is stacked and can potentially do great things, but I just don’t see it right now. Like Laundry said the team isn’t getting better when players are missing practice. Some guys are just their to preserve their bodies and collect a check. Sad!

    You don’t have the record that Hue’s had by accident or because of injuries. It’s all about coaching. Mentally and physically preparing your team for the most grueling 16 weeks in sports.

  7. So are we now saying we believe everything that comes out of a coach’s mouth? Good grief people! Hue Jackson is just talking. He’s not honestly going to give us every bit of information about what he’s planning. No coach has ever done that. I think Hue wanted everyone to see how talented this kid is, and why the Browns drafted him and all those red flags. 57 snaps? Lol. Yeah, that’s really abuse. Sell us a bridge Hue. Apparently, we’ll buy anything.

  8. Hue Jackson is a bad head coach, just in case an 0-16 season and 1-31 record wasn’t evidence enough.

  9. Poor Hue Jackson can never do the right thing in other’s minds. Meanwhile cheaters like BB, rapists like Matty P, and Trip Tomlin get praised as saviors. And somehow Marvin Lewis still has a job.

  10. Astute comment by Hardwick that 1-31 doesn’t happen by chance. You know, as a Steeler fan, I would really like to see the Browns be good and competitive again in the division. It just always seems like, at every turn, the Browns just can’t get out of their own way and get it right for some reason. Keeping Hue Jackson as HC is likely the biggest problem.

  11. Hue Jackson seems like a good guy but his punishment decision for a player with an already checkered background seems off. I am in agreement with Nick Hardwick and Danny Woodhead – how does playing him extensively in a game hurt his chances?

  12. Pointing fingers at the coach for the way he handled the situation, but didn’t point any fingers at Callaway for being an idiot.

  13. He’s 1-31 for good reason. The funny thing with Jackson is that he will win 5 or 6 games and they will give him credit for improvement and he’ll probably last until 2020.

  14. Also odd is that Jackson, who was shown on Hard Knocks putting his assistant coaches in their place when they said players shouldn’t be given too much rest …


    He didn’t put them in their place. Jackson patronized them by saying that they don’t have the perspective that he has because he is the head coach (despite the fact that several of his assistants have been NFL head coaches). Haley’s head looked like it was going to implode.

  15. So what?
    He’s being paid to play.
    Man up and play as long as coach tells you to.

  16. Where do we start?

    A. The Hard Knocks scene was specifically about INJURED VETERAN PLAYERS getting rest which I still side with Hue considering the injury history of Steelers running backs over the past few years and guess who was the offensive coordinator there the last few years?

    B. Calloway hasn’t played a football game in nearly two years. I would put money that these guys who haven’t been in the league in awhile would think it’s a punishment if we give them a weeks practice and expected them to play every snap. Especially Woodhead who never played every snap in a game in his NFL career. The only people who want to play every snap are the people who aren’t good enough to play every snap because they don’t need the rest.

    Like Hue said in the meeting, you think you can coach better find someone who will hire you as a coach and you can do it your way. People are acting as if the Browns were a Superbowl team when he got there. Hue is the guy who had to deal with the aftermath of the worst front office in the franchises history who blew 1st round draft picks on guys like Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert and got fined and suspended for telling their coaches how to coach literally resulting in coaches quitting over the front offices dysfunction. This is a franchise where only 2 coaches out of 9 have had more than 2 seasons before getting fired since 1999. Hue didn’t even have a general manager until this year.

    What level of delusion does some of these people have to think any coach could get a winning season out of that. Check the odds for the past two years. They were expected to go 0-32 the last two years, they literally exceeded what they were predicted to do by actually getting a win. Hue is the guy who is getting blamed for losing a Nascar race even though the car his owner got him to race is was a 77 Ford Pinto with a broken gas pedal. Even the owner of the team acknowledged this.

  17. Antonio Callaway is not a battle to make the team. To the contrary, he’s a starter on the current depth chart. While “punishment” may be too strong, most starters would not consider it ideal to play a full pre-season game. Keep the hot takes coming though…

  18. From one episode of this season of Hard Knocks and comparing it too Cinci’s season of Hard Knocks. Its painfully obvious that Hue Jackson is not meant to be a Head Coach. HE is great OC and should stay that way. A lot of great coordinators make terrible HCs.

  19. I realize it was just one episode but after watching it seems like Hue Jackson is too much of a decent human being to be a ruthless head coach.

  20. Browns former players that are on the street because if you aren’t good enough for Cleveland you really suck. I would really value their opinion.

  21. If I have learned anything by watching the NFL over the last 55 plus years, it’s that most NFL players (former or present) are not very smart when it comes to issues such as player discipline. To rip Coach Jackson for telling a guy who is an undrafted free agent trying to make the team to get back on the field when he’s begging to come off is ridiculous, to me.
    This is not a case of the player’s health being at jeopardy — after all, he’s just a WR. It isn’t like he’s down in the trenches fighting another 300 lb guy every snap.
    This kid is obviously not very bright. He got nailed because he can’t follow rules with the marijuana arrest, and now he’s asking to come out of the game because he’s tired????
    The thing Jackson did wrong to me is when the kid came off the field and asked to be taken out, he should have said, “okay — come out and head for the locker room and don’t bother coming back because you are cut as of right now”.
    I will always remember what Mike Singletary did to TE Vernon Davis when Singletary was HC of the 49’ers. He not only took him out of the very first game he coached, he ordered him off the bench and into the locker room and then in his post game press conference, he ripped him and explained exactly why. I thought that was awesome of Singletary, who really understood what it takes to be a great NFL football player. And it definitely helped Vernon because he became a very good TE after that. And to his credit, years later Davis said it was the best thing that ever happened to him.
    I am one who believes head coaches are way too soft today and have lost a lot of their power because their GM’s won’t allow them to be in control. I loved Vince Lombardi and think many of his methods should be used today. Can you imagine what Vince would have said and done to any player who begged out of a game because they were tired? it would have been great footage for NFL Films watching Vince rip the guy.

  22. “Truck Stop Jimmy” Haslam doesn’t care about winning. He just wants those fat profits.

  23. Maybe he’s trying to teach the kid a little mental toughness. When you think you’re tired you physically can do a lot more, your mind just has to believe it. That mental toughness would also help him make better off field choices.

  24. I wish the entire OL would get pulled over by the police so they can play into the 3rd quarter and work on developing a running game.

  25. This guy needs reps as he’s expected to make the team.

    Hue Jackson created a punishment that gets this guy reps. PS – is it smart for a coach to say a player is going to be suspended? I don’t remember Jason Garrett saying “Zeke is going to be suspended” last year. And as for saying “Sorry not sorry” I’m pretty sure Hue saying that this was a punishment is the same thing as saying “Sorry not sorry”

    Why are former players weighing in on this?

    Everyone remember Miracle where Herb Brooks sends guys to skate until they puke to get a message across to them? It’s OK if it’s an entire team and not one guy, eh?

    I think this is a great move. Rookies should get ran through the ringer in preseason to get them to game speed. Kerryon Johnson played into the 4th Qtr for the Lions, and he was a higher draft pick than Calloway.

    I hope Hue keeps running his team his way. If he crashes and burns, then it’s on him. If he doesn’t do it his way, and he crashes and burns, it’s still on him. Let the guy run his team.

  26. Cleveland keeps Hue around this year to ensure a top 10 pick in next year’s draft.. He’ll be gone after this season!

  27. watching that 1st episode of hard knocks and directly seeing his unwillingness to get input from a coach that has been part of a winning organization really helped explain 1-31 to me. He’s just not a good coach. Flat out.

  28. Hugh isn’t long for his job anyway. That’s why there are so many ex-coaches on his staff because management will slide the next guy right in after they fire Hugh.

    Hugh is a good offensive coordinator but that’s as far as he goes in the NFL. He’s not head coaching material.

  29. I’m pretty sure the decision to not suspend him and how much he played came from above Jackson’s head. Hey, but what do I know. John Dorsey just came out immediately after his incident and said so.

  30. Also, Callaway is a starter as of right now. They’ve been raving about him all off-season and traded a former #1 pick 3 days into seeing him in camp. Pretty sure he didn’t need this “punishment” to play more. I’m pretty sure that most guys who are starting hate to play more in the pre-season, not less. Hey, but what do I know. Just the history of the NFL always has said so. But carry on. Carry on. We’ll need another Hue Jackson bashing post by lunchtime. You might want to throw some of those hot takes at the GM whose purview it would be to suspend him or other punishment of the like, which is exactly the level where those suspensions in Jacksonville came from yesterday, not Doug Marrone.

  31. To everyone defending Hue Jackson. This is the guy that was willing to give up 2 1st round picks for Carson Palmer. Not a knock on Palmer but this wasn’t Peyton Manning or any other elite QB the Raiders were trading for. He helped in setting the Raiders back for years with that trade. Even with this trade the Raiders went 8-8 and were kept out of the playoffs by the Tim Tebow lead Broncos after starting the season 7-4.
    The man is not a good HC. He has been a good OC but never a good HC. Just on raw statistics and pure luck an NFL should win at least 2 games a year. Hue Jackson hasn’t managed 2 wins in his time with the Browns.

  32. Hue Jackson still has a job because no worthwhile coach will take over a 1-31 team. Hue is assigned the task of rebuilding the team to a level that will attract coaching talent.

  33. The fact that Callaway is so freaking lazy and undisciplined that he was begging to come out of the game is icing on the criminal moron cake that is the wasted draft pick of Antonio Callaway. Take the reclamation projects back to Cinci, Hue. It didn’t work there and it won’t work in Cleveland.

  34. And the shame is that other receivers missed snaps (opportunities) for a 1-31 coach to punish a player. I would have kept him out of the game to allow some other people who don’t stay out crazy hours w a bag of weed in the car to earn a job.

  35. Another pinhead following in the line of other horrible Browns coaches: Crenell, Butch Davis, Chud, Pettine, Mangini. Browns have had more clowns than Barnum & Bailey.

  36. I am no baby Huey fan at all – loathe him for being overall incompetent.

    However, it was not outrageous what that player had to endure – if he were a starter, that would be a light load.

    I think the problem with the Cleveland football team is that they are marshmallows who have no clue how to play and are just plain lazy. A team of losers should never be allowed to second guess a coach.

    With that said, Huey should have been fired last year.

  37. Hard to believe Hue continues to find ways to make himself and the Browns a national embarrassment. I guarantee guys like Haley, Williams and Dorsey cannot wait till he’s gone. All you have to do Is listen to him speak to realize he has no idea what he’s doing, no conviction. There was no reason to say such a moronic thing, just say you wanted to get a good look at the kid. PERIOD Hue never shuts the F up. He’s a dark cloud above a franchise that can quickly be competing.

  38. I am not impressed with Hue Jackson as a coach. The way he handled Calloway is ridiculous.

  39. Hue Jackson might be a nice guy but he clearly has no business leading an NFL franchise. He say’s things like “it’s my team so i’m gonna drive the bus…that’s just the way it is guys” and then immediately follows that with “i’m open to any suggestions if it makes the team better.” He gives veteran players days off as a “preventative measure” and then punishes his players by forcing them to play the entire game? That is completely backwards. Hard Knocks has exposed Hue Jackson for what he is and that’s an incompetent football coach. If the Browns happen to improve in 2018, it’ll be the result of new coaches like Todd Haley and better players like Jarvis Landry. Any improvement the Browns show this year will be in spite of Jackson…not because if him!

  40. I hope the Browns lose the first three games so that Hue will be fired. He’s just not a head coach. Not a Browns fan but I would like to see the team win, but it will never happen with Hue Jackson.

  41. Meh. This really wasn’t the hardest thing in the world to understand, unlike the rest of the Browns’ decisions. He punished him the way a coach would in at a lower level of play and winning the game did not matter. Plus, Woodhead’s attitude is not the one shared by all players, especially today. Woodhead was an undrafted fringe player who barely had a shot at making the roster and turned it into a great career. Most of the guys on the roster did not have to work that hard to get noticed and some take it for granted.

    It’s dumb if Calloway has a similar to Woodhead about getting opportunities, and it’s dumb in the sense that it runs the risk of injury, but if Jackson’s belief is that Calloway lacks maturity, then I think it’s appropriate. Maybe not smart in the overall consideration of the team as a whole, but appropriate to address Calloway’s specific problem. This is not the type of punishment to give if you don’t think the guy has potential to develop, though, or if you plan to get rid of him. It’s more of a lesson in hard work-if the player lacks maturity, then it is good. If that is not the problem, it’s inneffective.

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