Berea—In the wake of the Browns loss to the Redskins, Kellen Winslow spoke out after the game saying that his ‘undisclosed illness' was a staph infection. He said that he was upset that the Browns told him to cover it up and that GM Phil Savage did not call him or visit him when he was in the hospital.
"Kellen is a very competitive player," Romeo Crennel said. "He probably wants to play more than he did. Sometimes, in the emotions of a game, a personal situation overflows.
"He probably said some things he didn't need to say to the media."
Crennel didn't say if he would fine Winslow for his comments, but did say he had already spoken with him.
"We'll investigate it and see if anything needs to be done," Crennel said. "Our policy is to keep it in house."
Crennel confirmed that Winslow did have a staph infection, but said it was his policy to not talk about it.
"All I know is it was a private issue and I'm not talking about it,"
Crennel said. "He knew how I felt and that I felt it was a private issue, but I can't control what he says."
Crennel said it's Winslow's right to talk about whatever he wants to, but he should talk to the Browns first—not the media.
"If (Winslow) has an issue, he should address it to the organization and not the media," he said. "He should talk to the organization and if he doesn't feel it's taken care of, then he can go to the media, if he wants to."
The Browns have had a number of players with staph infections in the past several years. Those include being Winslow, Joe Jurevicius, and former Browns Brian Russell, Ben Taylor and LeCharles Bentley.
Crennel defended the organization regarding staph infections.
"I don't think it's a recurrence," he said. "We've tried to do a lot of things to make sure that doesn't happen. We've had a company come in and the experts have done everything we can to keep our players safe."
Player rep Darnell Dinkins said he's concerned, but feels the Browns are doing everything they possibly can.
"I believe the Cleveland Browns are doing everything to protect us as players," Dinkins said. "I understand that the staph is coming from all different strains.
"Anybody could get staph and the Browns want to make sure we're protected."
Andra Davis said he was confident in the Browns' staff.
"The equipment guys and training staff are doing everything to keep us safe."
Crennel said there have been different circumstances in virtually every case.
"We don't know where they're picking it up," Crennel said. "There are several different types of staph and infections. Some have been pre-operation, some have been post-operation.
"All I know is that as an organization we've tried to protect the players."
One of the points that Winslow brought up was that he felt Savage didn't reach out to him.
"They are my guys and I try to call them," Crennel said. "All I know is the organization checked on him. The organization checks on all of our players and is concerned about all of them."
Does Crennel think Winslow and the Browns can work through this?
"In the emotion of the moment things are said and it has to be taken with a grain of salt," he said. "I treat them all like they are my kids.
"I think Kellen has a good relationship with the organization and the team," he said. "I feel that he will play for the Cleveland Browns."
Crennel said Winslow has matured since coming to the Browns.
"I think he's made progress since he's been here," he said. "I don't think we all know the pressure on a young man when they've been injured. Sometimes, emotions come out."
Crennel said one of the main concerns was to not let the situation become a distraction that takes away from focusing on playing the Jaguars next Sunday.
"The main thing it's a distraction for Kellen and the other players," Crennel said. "All of those are taking away from concentrating on the next game."
Crennel is confident the leadership in the locker room will help the players to not be distracted.
"I think I have a good leadership group in the locker room and I think they're going to deal with this."
Josh Cribbs doesn't think the situation will become a distraction.
"Anytime, (Winslow's) with us, he gives 100 percent," Cribbs said.
"It's not a distraction because we are here to play football."
Davis said the Browns are frustrated anytime they don't play well.
"We're not playing up to par and that's frustrating," Davis said. "We have to focus on winning or it could get ugly."
Browns Lose Focus: Crennel said he felt the Browns weren't focused in their loss to the Redskins, particularly on offense.
"I thought we'd be focused and ready to go as well," he said. "It turned out that everybody wasn't ready to go. I thought the defense did a heckuva job even though we gave up too much yardage. Overall, I thought the guys played hard and got something done."
He wasn't as kind to the offense.
"Offensively, we weren't as efficient as we need to be," he said. "It's disappointing that we weren't able to perform after the way we did the previous Monday Night. We're somewhere between the Giants game and the Dallas game. We have to develop consistency all across the board and if we can develop some consistency, we can be in the midst of things, if we can get that done."
Injury Update: Crennel said it doesn't appear there were any significant injuries to come out of Sunday's game, DL Corey Williams injured his shoulder but was able to return, as was the case with KR/WR Josh Cribbs. LB Shante Orr suffered a foot injury and he will have an MRI to see what the damage is.
"Tucker's knee swelled up on him after playing the whole game (against the Giants) and we'll have to wait and see."
On Braylon's Drops: Crennel was asked what he and the coaches can do to correct WR Braylon Edwards' problem of dropping passes.
"We just have to keep working with him and coaching him," he said. "We need to get him to relax and catch the ball on a consistent basis. He's done it in the past and will do it again."
QB Status: With QB Derek Anderson having another subpar game, Crennel was asked if the quarterback situation has reverted to what it was prior to the win over the Giants.
"(Brady) Quinn's on high alert, still."
Crennel was asked if Quinn might play against the Jaguars.
"I can't answer that right now."
Crennel did admit that Anderson didn't play very well.
"The supporting cast made some mistakes and the offensive line wasn't as good," he said. "And (Anderson) wasn't as good."
Mic Problems: Crennel said that the apparent bicker between Anderson and FB Lawrence Vickers was due to a malfunction of the helmet communication.
"We had communication problems where (Anderson) couldn't hear the play call and Vickers didn't know what the play was," he said. "It was more of a malfunction of the communication system."
Hickerson Passes: Hall of Fame OL Gene Hickerson passed away according to the Browns.