3. Punishment or prize?
The Browns decided to punish Callaway by making him play the entire game on offense.
Some pundits have criticized Cleveland, because by playing someone who made a grave mistake, the organization gave him opportunity.
By punishing Callaway and forcing him to play, the organization punished other receivers behind the Florida product on the depth chart.
With Callaway on the field, someone was on the bench.
Credit to the NFL Films cameras though, because they did a good job of actually making Callaway look like a sympathetic figure as he failed to do anything in the first half.
Callaway, of course, had his hero moment later in the game, taking a seven-yard slant pass from Baker Mayfield 54-yards for a touchdown during the No. 1 pick’s final drive of the contest.
I won’t call the Browns decision to play Callaway a punishment because he was given time on the field other players would die for.
However, their plan worked.
Remember, Callaway sat out all of last year because of legal trouble with the Gators. It’s for the Browns benefit to get him on the field, get him reps and get him accustomed to life as a professional because by all accounts, the team will need this guy.
It’s unlikely Callaway’s ego took a hit having to play with the third and fourth stringers later in the game after that touchdown catch, but the decision worked out for the Browns…for now.