Browns’ offensive coordinator calls Antonio Callaway drop “catastrophic”

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Late in the first half on Monday night, the Browns trailed 14-3 but appeared to be poised to get back in the game when Baker Mayfield hit wide receiver Antonio Callaway in the hands at the goal line. Unfortunately, Callaway bobbled the ball into the hands of 49ers defensive back K'Waun Williams, who returned it all the way across midfield, and the 49ers’ route was on.

Browns offensive coordinator Todd Monken was, to say the least, unhappy. Monken today cited Callaway’s drop as a devastating moment for the Browns.

“We didn’t execute the play for God’s sakes. It’s catastrophic. It completely changed the game,” Monken said, via Mary Kay Cabot of

Monken said the Browns’ mistakes are killing them.

“Bad football loses before good football wins,” Monken said.

It didn’t help that the Browns were playing the 49ers, who have one of the best defenses in the NFL. Things should be a little easier on Sunday against the Seahawks’ defense. At least if they can avoid more “catastrophic” mistakes.

68 responses to “Browns’ offensive coordinator calls Antonio Callaway drop “catastrophic”

  1. The Browns don’t get it. Call the players out at BROWNS headquarters, meeting room, and in PRIVATE! You do it in the media & use damaging words and you lose the team! The Browns are their own worse enemy.

  2. 49er D > Seahawks D

    Wow, have things changed. Seattle still has Wilson though, and that’s why they are still considered #1 in the division.
    And rightfully so, … For now

  3. “Bad football loses before good football wins,” Monken said.
    That’s the backbone of the Patriots dynasty and the meaning behind “do your job.” which implies that your counterpart or guy across form you will not do his job (correctly)

  4. Does it make sense for the OC of a team that is trying to build a winning culture after years of dysfunction to publicly call out one if his receivers? Best to keep that in-house I think. Seems like the same old Browns to me.

  5. How about the catastrophically bad placement of the ball by the QB? Oh, I’m sorry this is CLE, I should have said by “Jesus2”.
    How about the interception before that? How about the QB losing the ball twice? Sheesh that reciever should be looking for a way out of CLE if he is to be the scapegoat for Jesus2.

  6. The 49ers had come out on fire, but if Cleveland gets that score they would have weathered the storm and would have been back in it. They might have got killed anyway, but that kind of play is so demoralizing it’s hard to recover from.

    Obviously Monken still isn’t over it.

  7. While the coach is correct, everyone already knew it. But when coaches start to publicly throw their players under the bus, you know the team is in full meltdown mode! Stick a fork in ’em ’cause they’re D-O-N-E done… Same old Browns…

  8. Right, only 1 play screwed it up, Browns gonna be Browns. Can’t change a leopards spots. Faker Mayfield over rated, point the camera at me baby I need more attention.

  9. Wow.

    I remember seeing the Ravens lose to the Patriots in the AFC championship game in 2011 on a missed kick. Ray got the team together and said it wasn’t one play that lost that game, we lost it as a team.

    I remember seeing Brady play below his standard in Denver and get abused in the 2015 AFC championship and never say a word about his line.

    Russell Wilson got destroyed in his rookie year’s playoff game against ATL and talked about how excited he was for the future and vowed to be better. He could have easily talked about his receivers dropping passes as well.

    This was a bad play sure, but it was 14-3 IN THE SECOND QUARTER OF A REGULAR SEASON GAME. You still had 30 minutes to climb back in and make it a game. Even with it 21-3 at the half, you get a stop, make it 21-10 and the dynamic changes.

    But the larger point is this; if you’re pointing fingers at this point you’re not gonna make it through any game this season. And more importantly if you’re harping on it on Thursday then what are you saying to the team moving forward?

  10. Yeesh, talk about kicking a guy when he’s down.

    Btw, if Mayfield leads him just a little bit, instead of throwing it behind him, it’s a touchdown.

    Plenty of shared blame.

  11. The team came out unprepared and that’s on coaching. Inexperienced coaching staff plus young roster full of stars equals problems.

  12. natural disasters like Hurricanes such as Katrina are catastrophic,a dropped pass not so much. with that said the pass was poorly thrown as was many of Mayfield’s passes that night, and if you do want to choose using the word catastrophic then apply it to describe the offensive line play.

  13. Bunch of insecure babies in the coaching ranks of the Browns. How does throwing you player under the bus publicly improve the situation? It shifts the blame off you persoanlly to the player, but only in your mind and among people too dim to matter. Foolish thing to do because most people see it for what it is. Cowardly, childish, insecure baby.

  14. Please remember we folks here in Cleveland have never been thumping our chests about what the Browns were going to do. We have been cautiously optimistic but we know we need to crawl before we walk and walk before we can run. It’s going to take time and we know it.

  15. One play doesn’t cause you to lose by 28 points. Yes, you have to execute better then that, but an NFL team with so many talented and highly paid players needs to be more mentally tough than that.

  16. Yesterday, Brady Quinn on Siriux XM NFL radio analyzed the play and said the drop was unfortunate, but the cause was actually a terrible throw by Mayfield. The ball was slightly behind when it should have been in front because, the way the coverage evolved, no one could intercept a ball that was in front of the receiver. There was no reason to throw it where he did.

  17. If he had caught the ball, the final score would have been 31-10, instead of 31-3. If the OC thinks that a TD would have resulted in a win by the Dawg Pound, then he is smoking something stronger than what is legal in the states of Washington, Colorada and California.

  18. I don’t fault the throw. Mayfield placed it where he did to shield it from the defender. Hit the professional WR in both hands and he still batted it in the air like it was beach volleyball.

  19. i totally get everyone’s disdain for calling out a player in public, but it IS refreshing to finally hear a coach not falling for the BS adage “it was just one play” In fact, it was THE play. Sadly, one play in the first half can turn a game, and there was no excuse for that hideous drop. Actually a drop woould have been perferable, as he actually just gave it to defender. Its why i could never be a GM, as not only would I have cut the dud on the spot, i wouldn’t have let him board the plane home.

  20. He’s not wrong. If they do score, it’s a close game and the Rams could have run the ball more and made the passing game easier instead of chasing the 49ers down by multiple scores all game.

    HOWEVER, there’s no reason to say so publicly. It makes him look like he’s whining, providing excuses and throwing his player under the bus.

    The REALITY is that anytime you can point to one play as a turning point in a game there are a dozen or more other plays that were probably not executed correctly that led to a single play being a so important. A team has to play well enough to give allow for a margin of error.

  21. It was a bad throw, low AND behind the receiver. Why is nobody mentioning this?

    Oh, this guy said it too 🙂

    steaksandwichandsteaksandwich says:
    October 10, 2019 at 11:11 am

    The quote says “it” was catastrophic. Are we sure he wasn’t talking about the throw, which was both low AND behind the receiver?

  22. Wow, have things changed. Seattle still has Wilson though, and that’s why they are still considered #1 in the division.
    And rightfully so, … For now
    The standings disagree.

  23. Catastrophic? The Browns were outclassed in every facet of the game. So instead of losing 31-3 they would have lost 31-10. Unfair to put this loss on Callaway.

  24. Wow, that “constructive” criticism should do wonders for Callaway’s confidence going forward…. lol, only in Cleveland…

  25. He’s not wrong tho. It hit him squarely in the hands. That pick and the ensuing TD changed the whole complexion of the game. However my big beef with the whole thing is, they shouldn’t have even played Callaway to begin with. He hasn’t played since camp, and was nowhere near ready to take the field. That falls on Freddie, unfortunately.

  26. And so the implosion begins. What will happen first: Mayfield and/or Beckham get called out? Or do they strike first and go after Kitchen? Because NONE of those guys are going to take responsibility for anything.

  27. carloswlassiter says:
    October 10, 2019 at 11:34 am
    I don’t fault the throw. Mayfield placed it where he did to shield it from the defender.

    Ummm, no – he placed it behind the WR which is where the defender was. If he leads him it’s a TD or at worst an incomplete pass. He threw it in the ONLY place a defender could have picked it, which was behind the WR.

  28. i thumbs down your comment says:
    October 10, 2019 at 10:50 am
    49er D > Seahawks D

    Wow, have things changed. Seattle still has Wilson though, and that’s why they are still considered #1 in the division.
    And rightfully so, … For now

    Clara has the better Dline and Secondary on D
    Seattle has the better everything other than Oline on O
    This = the Seahawks better than Clara Clowns

  29. Just remember that the score was closer than what it could’ve been. Three missed field goals by SF and another 4 points lost (IIRC crumby penalty forcing a field goal instead).
    But yeah, Baker’s low throw was probably the turning point.

  30. Mistakes, poor execution and poor tackling are all products of poor coaching. Offensive minded coaches tend to neglect fundamentals like blocking, catching, getting off on the snap count and tackling because they want to spend all the, now limited, practice time on their “genius” offense and try to get in a 100 variations of a play times 50, just because. Same issue with McVay and Gruden(s). The aforementioned play was caused by a poor throw because the QB couldn’t correctly read the play, Baker was slow on the pass, which then caused the receiver to have to make an awkward catch. Monken should resign do to his poor coaching ability and not having his players ready for the game.

  31. I wrote it last week when PFT announced he was back in the lineup and got lots and lots of thumbs down… it’s a bad idea to rely on Callaway. He will only ever be 2nd or 3rd option guy because, though he has all the tools, he mentally doesn’t possess the focus. You have to ease him back into the lineup and go to him only when it isn’t “the” big catch or turning point of the game. He’s not clutch. We’ve seen this exact kind of player dozens of times in Cleveland, we never learn.

  32. I’ve been rooting for the Browns for awhile now because I love to root for the underdog. Before the season began I saw a Freddie Kitchens press conference in which every question was answered with cliches and “football-speak”. He was talking a lot but not saying anything. It reminded me of listening to John Defilippo talk before the Vikings’ season last year… it was all empty talk. I told myself then that maybe this wasn’t gonna work out the way everybody had been predicting.

  33. Da Bears, Da Browns. Do they really believe someone named Baker is a pro quarterback ? Who would draft a guy named Baker other than Da Browns? Maybe Da Bears.

  34. Browns finally have some talent, but it’s obvious this coaching staff is in way over their heads. Even most high school coaches wouldn’t throw their players under the bus the way Monken did.

  35. i recall McFarland saying the throw was great from Mayfield…i was like what the el is he looking at?? the mnf crew is horrible…

  36. Hiring last years RB coach as this years head coach is catastrophic. Trading for Odell instead of a left tackle is catastrophic. Drafting a sober Johnny Manziel first overall is a catastrophe.
    In other words, being a Browns fan is a catastrophe.

  37. While I agree that Mayfield is overrated, that was a drop by Callaway. Watch the replay and it is in a spot where receivers catch the ball all the time. Callaway didn’t even get his hands on it, he let it hit him in the forearms and then tried to cradle it into his chest. You’re taught to NOT catch that way in about 3rd grade.

    Can’t blame the guy though; he was off for a month and then first game back you throw him to the wolves. That’s a dumb coaching decision. You supposedly have stars on the team. Use them in the red zone and don’t outsmart yourself by throwing to a guy who should be the 5th option on offense.

  38. It should have been caught, and it should have been a better throw. Jerry Rice dropped a ton of perfectly thrown passes early in his career but I never heard Bill Walsh come out and blast his own player like that. Calloway is one of the most talented WR’s in the NFL, but he’s had multiple off-field issues. Maybe the coach is trying to throw shade on his own personnel department, and I wonder what’s making him feel empowered to do that? That’s the question I’m coming up with. It sounds like some back-stabbing may be getting started in Cleveland’s front office between the coaching staff and GM’s office.

  39. ravensbob says:
    October 10, 2019 at 10:49 am
    Mayfield. Rudolph. Jackson. All bad QB’s

    To me, the jury is still out on most of these guys. A little humility may do wonders for Mayfield, Rudolph hasn’t looked terrible with only 3 starts in his career (knocked out in the third), and Jackson looks to run too quickly. Hard to write these guys off with so few starts under their belts.

  40. Id cut him before he drops another huge, game changing pass.
    This is the NFL, sonny. That stands for “Not For Long” when you make game changing plays for the other team.
    He’s done enough damage. He’s a coach-killer.

  41. I’d never before heard the line: “Bad football loses before good football wins.” Now, I’m wondering about it.

  42. Look… this is also a by product of the fast pace of todays media…

    Monken never called out Calloway… per se… he said “We didnt execute the play…”

    Execution doesnt lie on just the ball being caught… it means the throw, the routes, the line play, everything…

    It reminds me of the Russell Wilson pick in the Super Bowl…

    There were SO many things that werent executed on that play that it wasnt even funny.

    Sure… Calloway needs to catch that ball… but before we say he is throwing any one person under the bus…is not taking time to listen to exactly what he said.

  43. “Bad football loses before good football wins” is a great statement, and applies to many things in life, so kudos to Monken for that.

    But the “catastrophe” thing – man, that is not how good leaders talk. He’s not going to win the trust of his team that way. Good leaders do the work they need to do with their team in private, and in public, they accept the responsibility and refuse to let it be about individual players.

  44. nomesayin says:
    October 10, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    He’s done enough damage. He’s a coach-killer.


    It was 31-3. Who was helping the coaches, exactly?

  45. Pass was awful and inexcusably poor. Six yards and Mayfield throws ball at shins and slightly behind wide open receiver. OC is a fool to throw the wrong player under the bus, I expect this from such an ignorant culture however.

  46. californianewton says:
    October 10, 2019 at 11:28 am

    If he had caught the ball, the final score would have been 31-10, instead of 31-3.
    There is now way to know that.

    Maybe SF wins 31-10, maybe Cleveland gets back in it. It was certainly a play which destroyed any momentum Cleveland had to get back in the game at that point.

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