The latest episode of Hard Knocks contains plenty of interaction between team officials and rookie receiver Antonio Callaway regarding Callaway’s recent citation for marijuana possession. But the most important interaction happens early in the episode, when Callaway is pulled over by police.
“Antonio,” the officer says in the portion of the video generated in connection with the stop, “I do smell a little bit of weed in the car. Were you smoking earlier or anything like that?”
Callaway then trots out the “my car just got shipped up here” defense, a far more specific (and somewhat less implausible) version of “the weed wasn’t mine.” But here’s the flaw in his argument, one that isn’t addressed at all during a Hard Knocks episode that focuses on whether Callaway tells the team the truth about not knowing that marijuana was in the car: If the police officer smelled it, Callaway should have smelled it, too.
Unlike tobacco, marijuana has a distinct, pervasive odor (or so they say). Callaway, barring an olfactory deficiency, would have smelled it from inside the car, especially if the officer smelled it from outside the car.
And let’s rewind to the moment the car arrived from Florida. The moment Callaway opened the door for the first time, that dank, skunky, nasty smell would have smacked him in the face (or so they say).
The episode includes coach Hue Jackson on multiple occasions making it clear that he believes Callaway, but that “if I’m wrong on this one, I’m gonna have your ass.”
“I think he’s telling me the truth,” Jackson says. “He knows if he’s lying to me, then I’m done. . . . Everybody gets one Mulligan. And it better be a Mulligan when you’re telling the f–king truth. If it’s not, then I’m done with you.”
The editing of the episode doesn’t make it entirely clear whether the truth on which Jackson relies is that it wasn’t Callaway’s weed or that Callaway didn’t know the weed was in the car. Regardless, if he’s lying as to the latter point (and, again, unless he’s hard of smelling, he is), he’s lying as to the former point.
That said, who cares if Callaway was smoking weed? The NFL shouldn’t. The problem for Callaway is that the NFL does, and that the deeper issue here isn’t weed but trust. Based on the reality that there’s no way he didn’t know weed was in the car, the team’s current trust in him may be misplaced.