Vinny The Fly: No Holds Barred

There are a lot of rumors going around no one in the media will talk about. Vinny the Fly has heard it all, and he's here to talk about those Winslow rumors, the question about RAC's coaching abilities, and whether or not a "play Quinn or leave" edict is going to come down...

Being a fly on the wall, you know, you hear things... lots of things. Sometimes, these things are even true.

My pals at the OBR (thanks for the sugar cubes), well, they're choosy sometimes. When you're a fly, though, you can't be picky. You eat what you have to eat, and you hear what you have to hear.

Lately, I've been hearing a lot, and it's making my ears burn, knowatimean? Whoa, there's a lot of different stories out there. I ain't been this confused since I was a little... well, you don't want to know what I was, it'll put you off your lunch.

I got trapped in a sub-basement in Berea for a bit, and it's been a long time since I've seen ya, but I had to escape and visit you again because people are so worried about this thing with Kellen Winslow. It's a complicated story, and there are rumors freakin' everywhere. If you want to know what's going on, I'll tell ya what I've heard.

Do you believe Kellen Winslow contracted a staph infection from the team facility or the Cleveland Clinic?

daFly: What do I look like, a doctor?!? I can't tell you with any certainty where K2 came down with what. But, somehow, he required medical attention. Everyone has said that he had a staph infection, we know that part to be true, unless both sides are conspiring to lie to the press and fans. And these two don't seem like they're conspiring together too much. Conspiring to kill each other, maybe.

Staph is a big deal here in Cleveland, as if we're the only place on the whole Earth that's dealing with mutated bacteria. Staph is a worldwide issue these days and it's magnified in professional sports because of the attention and the surgeries these guys have to deal with. Staph is getting worse everywhere, and you don't want to invite it to parties.

Have you heard the rumor that Kellen Winslow was "too close" to the wife of another player on the roster and an altercation ensued? Also, is it true that Winslow had an issue with a member of the Browns staff in the locker room?

daFly: I hear that sort of stuff, and I know it's all over message boards, emails, and everywhere else. I remember hearing this same thing about another player on the team a few years ago. Those rumors turn up when you've got a bunch of young, rich guys with hot wives.

Look, this isn't the first incident with K2. I can tell you this: I've heard directly from some people with full access to the Browns locker room, that there were a couple issues with the tight end. One of was team-related, while a couple of others had to do with Winslow displaying a lack of respect to members of the staff that were doing their assigned jobs.

There are reports Kellen Winslow contacted something because of some, um, extracurricular activities and it is the basis for his time in the Cleveland Clinic. Do you believe this is possible and likely?

daFly: I have heard the same speculation. Everyone has. Now, something probably happened that created the opportunity for the player to get staph and spend a significant amount of time at the Clinic. But where does that information take you?

It doesn't take you anywhere, Kojak.

Sure, there's likely more to the story than a player waking up one day not feeling well with staph being the root cause for his highly-publicized illness. How often does that happen? Most people aren't randomly exposed to staph without being in a medical setting of some sort. If you're not part of the medical staff, who knows why K2 had problems in the reportedly, er, afflicted area.

That's all just speculation, though, when you do it, and when I do it. Not facts. Vinny the Fly isn't a doctor, and the doctors treating a patient aren't allowed to talk. Everything comes second-hand from someone who knows someone who works at the Clinic, or the player, or the team, or a neighbor.

All I can say, is that if you want to print something like those rumors, and say that they're fact, you better have scans of medical charts, you know what I'm saying? I don't have those charts. Do you?

If you were Phil Savage, how would you have handled the issue with Kellen Winslow, knowing what we do today as true?

daFly: I would've given the player one opportunity to clarify the issue and come clean. Obviously, the player did something to tick off the organization, and they seem to feel that they're being blamed in public for something they didn't do. For all the player did in tearing down the team's reputation, in my opinion, he could have been released.

Have you heard or do you believe Kellen Winslow had a staph infection?

daFly: I believe the player had a root illness that gave staph an opportunity. I can't really tell you more than that.

Is there a cover-up in the works within the Cleveland organization? It seems funny the team hasn't said much outside of a press release concerning Kellen Winslow, and the staph concerns appear too constant?

daFly: What I see here is the organization behaving in a way consistent with the medical rights of their employee in not discussing his medical issue or illness. Believe me, the statement Phil Savage made on the radio should not be overlooked about the player's medical issue. To many following the situation, it spoke volumes as to the perception of the player and his acknowledgment of contracting a staph infection.

Savage was not leading and he certainly left his response of ''given the nature of this situation, it seemed that the people involved wouldn't want it out there'' as being more sensitive than simply a staph infection. Sounds to me like the team was hoping to save the player from some embarrassment.

What are your thoughts of the job head coach Romeo Crennel has done thus far in 2008?

daFly: Unless we see a dramatic turnaround, the 2008 season is going to be a wasted opportunity for this organization. The head coach is precariously close to jeopardizing the season on his hunch the QB will snap out of it and play at a high level.

Also, since Scott Linehan was fired in St. Louis, there may not be a worse game-day coach in the game this season. There have been far too many questionable decisions on game day, which has helped this team to a 2-4 start.

What is the perception as you know it regarding the stance of the head coach and organization regarding backup QB Brady Quinn?

daFly: Some within the organization are at the point where they would like to see the young man play due to the poor play of the offense and starter Derek Anderson, Crennel has not been given an ultimatum to play Quinn from the front office, but if this trend continues something will change.

And that's the buzz, from your gracious host, me, Vinny da Fly. I'm gonna fly off, and I'll circle your head again soon.

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