Q: Do you believe the Browns are warranted in the decision to suspend Kellen Winslow and why? This appears to be a case of an organization seeking ultimate control of its employees and strip them of a voice.
LA: I believe the organization is warranted In disciplining any member of the organization if and when a member chooses to step outside the rules and regulations of the club.
I tend to believe the overall nature of Winslow's discussion to the media was the factor in this suspension, rather than the subject matter in which he discussed his specific illness. The team would not specifically suspend the player for announcing to the public he suffered from a staph infection from what I have been told by a member of the Cleveland Browns.
As I do not know the specifics of the organization's rules and regulations, I am unable to answer this question properly. I believe the player struck the nerve of some within the organization and the endgame was the suspension.
My real concern regarding the situation is why Winslow felt the need to open up as he did. I know the Browns organization does not appreciate any laundry aired to the media or public, and I question whether we have heard the entire story. Winslow has heard all the rumors, talk, etc. regarding his medical issue and why he had the issue. I see this as a case where the player simply had enough, is not happy with what is transpiring on and off the field, and finally just let it out.
The Browns have been consistent in keeping issues in-house. While the secrecy of this organization can tend to lead to speculation by fans and media, the organization has been consistent and does not wish for players or any other representative to discuss issues with the media without express clearance from management.
And, I believe there is more than meets the eye regarding the entire situation regarding the player, his illness and the team environment and/or organization.
Q: After this latest incident with Kellen Winslow and hearing the Browns had been open to trading the player, do you see them being able to co-exist long-term, or is Winslow going to be dealt?
LA: I anticipate if Winslow is on this roster heading into the camp sessions, there is going to be a prolonged issue. Despite the claims that the player wants to be a member of the Cleveland Browns, you have to question all the aspects of the situation.
Winslow made it obvious that his contract situation is an issue to him; he expressed some distaste with the organization and how it operates on a personal and professional level.
I take how he expressed himself as a player being very frustrated with the overall scope of the organization -- which has festered due to illness and poor play by the team. Winslow is the type of player that bleeds winning and the manner which he has been utilized in the scheme lead to his outburst.
I have not been told anything directly which would lead me in any specific direction, but knowing some of the issues between him and the team, I could see a parting in the off-season.
Q: Is it me, or does Kellen Winslow appear to have lost a step and is far from the explosive presence we have come to know? In the past, he would be open and make numerous big plays in the defensive backfield; this season he has basically been solely an intermediate target.
LA: Winslow has not been as productive during a season in which the Cleveland offense has been inconsistent and unable to execute on anything other than a sporadic basis. While I am unsure if the player has indeed lost anything, you can certainly look to his injury past to see this type of issue could surely come into play.
While talking to a few players and/or people associated with the organization, the belief is the player has not lost his skill-set; rather, he's not been in position to make plays due to the lack of execution by the offensive unit. Another aspect to consider is the mindset of the player as he has not been as productive as he would like to be and is discouraged.
I believe if the QB can get him the ball, he is going to be productive. If anything, the biggest difference I see in this 2008 season is the inabiliy to accurately get the ball in position for Winslow to make a play week-in and week-out.