In June of 2018, the Cleveland Browns, almost miraculously, had one of the best wide receiving corps in all of football....on paper.
Jarvis Landry- The Browns signed the NFL leader in receptions in 2017 from the Miami Dolphins. He was a second round draft pick in 2014 and is a 3-time Pro-Bowler.
Antonio Callaway- "Antonio Callaway, on talent, is a first-round draft choice. He entered the year as one of the elite 15 best players at any position"- Mel Kiper
Josh Gordon- "Josh Gordon is a special, special player. In his rookie year, he started 13 games and recorded 805 yards and five touchdowns, all while playing with Cleveland’s carousel of misery at the quarterback position throwing him the ball." A first round talent chosen in the second round of 2012's Supplemental Draft.
Corey Coleman- "He's a dynamic playmaker. Think Percy Harvin, that's the kind of playmaker that he is." Coleman was the 15th player selected in the 1st Round of the 2016 Draft.
.....and then real life happened. Back in July, Josh Gordon said that he was going back to Rehab. Usually that's a noble pursuit, but in Gordon's case, it was sadly predictable. Timetable for his return?
Corey Coleman continued to show indifference towards actually catching the football in training camp and was traded for a 7th Round draft pick earlier this past week....
.....and then the very next day, Antonio Callaway was cited at 3 a.m. on a multitude of charges at a traffic stop. Even if the marijuana charge is dropped, and the weapons issue is cleared up, the fact still remains that the wide receiver was driving on a suspended license at 3 a.m. And we haven't even mentioned that Callaway was a first round talent, that dropped to the fourth round because he was a world class Knucklehead.
You know who the Browns' receivers remind me of? The 2005 Detroit Lions. The Lions inexplicably drafted a wide receiver in the first round 3 straight years, '03, '04, & '05, when they had needs everywhere. My dearly departed Grandfather couldn't talk about his hometown Lions without steam coming out of his ears. With Joey Harrington leading the way at quarterback, the all-star receiving corps led the Lions to a 5-11 record. 2 years later, the Detroit Lions would implode with the league's first winless 0-16 record.
The Year the Lions were winless, they had drafted yet ANOTHER wide receiver in the first round, Calvin Johnson. Megatron went on to have a Hall-of-Fame career. The rest of the Lions' receivers? Right into oblivion. Thankfully the Lions fired Matt Millen after that winless campaign. I could write 5 articles on how bad Matt Millen was in the Lions' front office, but Millen is in poor health today and it's just not right to pile on.
Who did the Lions draft in the second round the year they picked Johnson? A quarterback named Drew Stanton. The same Drew Stanton who's slated to be the Browns' backup quarterback on opening day.
If Tyrod Taylor gets hurt, who will Stanton be throwing the ball to?
Maybe Josh Gordon? Maybe Antonio Callaway?
Or maybe Jeff Janis from Saginaw Valley State with 17 career receptions in his 5 year career.
As I completed the article, Antonio Callaway finished his first exhibition game with decent statistics, catching 3 balls for 87 yards and a TD. Just because the Browns keep trotting him out to the field, doesn't mean the NFL isn't going to suspend him.
The Browns actually looked good in their 20-10 win. So good in fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and I'm predicting a breakout year for the Browns.....
Editor's Note: Added 8-11-18. The next time I discipline my son, I have to remember that I've been doing it the wrong way. I'm going to make sure he eats all of his dessert..
Hue Jackson: Callaway played whole game as PUNISHMENT.