Winslow a Bright Spot in Dismal Year

Straight from Berea, here's Fred Greetham's report for Thursday, December 21. Today, Kellen talks more to the press, Gary Baxter is sighted, and an NFL head coach says that John Clayton has heard more than he has...

BEREA - Yes, he's brash. Yes, he's outspoken.

And sometimes Browns fans wish he would just shut up and do his job.

"I do what I do to prepare myself to play," Kellen Winslow said. "Whatever the talk is, it's a way to help me get ready.

"I hope nobody takes it personally," he said. "It's just a game and I just enjoy playing and competing."

However, Winslow is only 14 receptions away from having the best year receiving in Browns history and that spans a lot of good ones including Hall of Famers Ozzie Newsome and Paul Warfield.

The Browns two remaining games are against Tampa Bay and Houston, ranked as the 23rd and 24th pass defenses in the NFL.

Despite the Browns having another dismal season, Winslow has 76 receptions for 755 yards with three touchdowns. Winslow's season is the fourth-best in Browns' history passing the 69 reception seasons of Ozzie Newsome and Antonio Bryant in 1981 and 2005, respectively.

Newsome caught 89 passes in 1983 and 1984. Kevin Johnson caught 84 passes on 2001.

Winslow is essentially playing in his rookie season, considering he was lost for the season in just the second game of his rookie season and then missing the entire 2005 season after suffering a knee injury in a motorcycle accident. He caught just five passes in the two games he played in 2004.

Winslow is the leading tight end in receiving in the NFL. He is also the seventh leading receiver in the AFC in receptions and 14th leading receiver, overall, in the NFL.

In 2006, Winslow has played despite needing to have surgery on his knee after the season. He usually misses some practices during the week to rest his knee. He has been listed on the injury report as ‘questionable' throughout the season.

He was asked if he can block as effectively as he needs to.

"There are things I can't do," Winslow said. "I can't squat. It's been tough to get strength in my legs. The coaches have saved my legs for the games and that's helped me."

Crennel thinks the off-season will help Winslow.

"In football or any sport, you have to practice to get good," he said. "He hasn't been able to practice all the time. You have to wonder how good he would be if he was able to practice all the time. It makes you wonder if he would be off the charts."

Winslow is excited to have the off-season to have the surgery and rest up for next season.

"I'm very confident that I will be better next season," he said. "I want to take care of the knee as soon as possible after the season. It's not that big of a deal."


Baxter Sighting: CB Gary Baxter was seen in the locker room Thursday walking with the use of a walker. Baxter tore both of his patellar tendons in a game earlier this season and has been recuperating at the Cleveland Clinic until recently.

Versatile Williams: Crennel was asked if the coaching staff has thought about using LB Leon Williams as a pass rusher on the outside in the future.

"He looked pretty good in his first start," he said. "He handled the position pretty well.We've talked about the possibility of working him at both spots (inside and outside). He's a rookie and we needed depth on the inside this year."

Frye Update: There was a report on ESPN saying that QB Charlie Frye had a broken bone in his hand, but Crennel said he wasn't aware of that.

"No doctor has told me he has a broken bone," Crennel said. "He did get a second opinion, but that's all I know."

Frye was seen in the locker room area with a wrap over his wrist. He was unavailable for comment.

Crennel said QB Derek Anderson will start for the third-straight week.

RB Situation: Crennel said RB Reuben Droughns was back at practice and expected to start Sunday against Tampa Bay. Rookie RB Jerome Harrison is expected to be the backup to Droughns with RB Jason Wright being placed on injured reserve.

"Harrison brings that extra quickness and burst," Crennel said. "I think it has shown up at times, but there's a consistency level he needs."

Harrison has carried the ball 19 times for 62 yards. He's also caught nine passes for 47 yards.

Crennel indicated one of the key areas for Harrison is pass protection blocking.

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