Q: The Kellen Winslow situation continues to be played out by the team and media. After stating his case, we have not heard from the player. Do you see this as the player getting the issue off his chest and moving on?
LA: The player stated his claim, the organization stated their case in response to his actions and the media has been attempting to pick up the pieces and provide some responsible insight to a irresponsible situation - which the player and team collectively created.
I don't blame Winslow for wanting to address the issue and all the speculation regarding his illness, which was an early stage, embedded staph infection. I do believe Winslow crossed a line when questioning the integrity, motive and working relationship of those within the organization.
As I have been told, the Cleveland Clinic was proactive and aggressively treated the infection and origin site, and the player genuinely voiced his staph concerns to enhance awareness of the issue for which he believes due to the Browns' training facility.
Winslow was frustrated and spoke his mind. At this time, due to the suspension and appeal process, the player has absolutely nothing to gain in speaking out any further regarding his claim or regarding the organization.
Hopefully the player and team can co-exist and remedy the immediate issue.
Q: Anyone who has followed this team realizes staph infection issues have been prevalent within the organization. Should it come as a surprise that a player again has gotten a staph infection? Also, it appears to the common fan that the team attempted to mask the issue from its own players to throttle any further perception the organization has been unable to rectify this ongoing uncertainty.
LA: No, another case of staph shouldn't come as a surprise. Let's not forget what the game of football contains - injury, cuts and an opportunity for body fluids to be exchanged due to physical contact, working out and other potential avenues.
The state of staph within the Browns is no different than what we are seeing with other entities. In Cleveland, the acknowledgment of staph cases within the organization have found their way to the public -- with some other organizations within the game, this has not been the consistent case.
From what I know, the organization did attempt to conceal the nature of Winslow's illness -- the staph infection -- from both the team and public. The reasoning behind such a move has been explained as a privacy issue by the team - which to a degree I believe to be true due to such privacy issues.
In any event, the staph issues and perception of this being an ongoing issue is one which is sensitive for the organization and its immediate medical care facility, the Cleveland Clinic.
Q: You were somewhat outspoken in your Random Thoughts article. If I read it correctly, you alluded to the notion there is more to the story of the infection and how Winslow is perceived within the team structure. Can you elaborate any further regarding the ongoing speculation about an affair and any other indiscretion of this player and the team?
LA: The rumors are out there, whether they have merit or not; we'll have to wait and see what transpires. That being said, I have my opinion on such speculation and what it means to the equation of Cleveland Browns football, the game in general and that of the team.
It's not for me to judge the player or organization; my responsibility is to bring light to the issue, discuss the issue and delve into it as responsibly as I possibly can. Believe me, I have heard the stories, talked at length with members of this team and feel compelled to not discuss the rumors as they are far from substantiated or worth talking about purely on a football level.
I don't know all the facts, but one fact I am certain of is the player did contact a strain of staph, was effectively treated, then released from the hospital.
Hopefully the time spent discussing Kellen Winslow's personal life will cease, as there are far more important facets of this team which are relevant at this time. In a season which this team was expected to be a contender, the focus of dealing with the Winslow medical issue suppresses the discussion and focus on the immediate direction of this team.