June 14, 2005

Winslow Jr. Speaks

Kellen Winslow Jr. had season ending knee surgery today, but the day before going under the knife, he spent some time with an Akron Beacon Journal writer, and finally told someone in person that he's sorry. I guess Dad must have stepped out for a cup of coffe or something. Here's the money quote, and it's good to hear:

"I'll be fine, man," he said. "I will. No doubt."...

"That's just the way I am," he said. "I rehab and work hard. I work the hardest. I want to be the best ever. That's just what I want to do."

"All I can say is stay with me and help me through this, and I'll be back, and I'm going to be everything they wanted me to be."

One thing still doesn't seem to have sunk into Winslow's head. In his written statement to the fans and Browns family he admitted that he should not have tried to learn how to ride such a dangerous bike without the proper instruction and expert mentoring. In this most recent interview he said "A lot of people have motorcycles, but since I got hurt, I'm sorry."

Earth to Kellen! You didn't violate your contract by learning to ride the motorcycle without proper instruction. You didn't violate your contract by wrecking the bike and tearing up your knee. You violated your contract by getting on the damn thing the very first time! This wasn't bad luck. "A lot of people" who have motorcycles don't have contracts expressly prohibiting them from motorcycling.

So don't be sorry for getting hurt on a motorcycle. Be sorry for breeching your contract by getting on one. Admit that little detail, and we'll be getting somewhere.

All that said, I wish the kid well. As long as he wears the orange hat.

(I'm pasting the full article at the link below, in case you have trouble with the ohio.com registration)

Winslow Jr. Opens Up

Browns TE talks about accident, contract. Knee surgery today

By Patrick McManamon
Beacon Journal sports writer

BEREA - Kellen Winslow Jr. will have surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his right knee, but he vowed that it will not hamper him in the future.

"I want to be the best ever," he said Monday in his first interview since his motorcycle accident May 1.

After initially declining an interview with the Beacon Journal, Winslow pulled a reporter aside just outside the locker room on the first day of the Browns' minicamp and said he would talk but only in private.

Winslow said he was sorry for his accident, admitted that he knew motorcyling was an activity prohibited in his contract and said he understood the fans' frustrations because he had the same frustrations.

"But everything happens for a reason," he said. "I can only gain from this. My back's up against the wall, and I'm going to get stronger."

The main point that he wanted to get across to the fans?

"Just stick with me," he said. "I'm going to be back."

He said he wants to come back with the Browns. He said he had no desire to play elsewhere.

Winslow also detailed his exact injuries for the first time. He said the accident left him with a lacerated liver and kidney, a bruised right shoulder, a torn ACL and a hairline fracture of his femur. He pointed to the spot of the fracture, and it was on the outside of the right knee.

Winslow said all the injuries are healed except for the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

"I was knocked out for like two minutes, and my feeling was I was all right," he said of the accident. "I just fell off. I thought I just bruised my knee because I was kind of stiff. It was kind of painful. I knew I messed my arm up pretty good, but I thought it was just... you know...

"I knew I was going to fall, and I thought I was just going to get right back up."

He said the accident happened when he accelerated too much and hit a curb in a Cuyahoga Community College parking lot near his home in Westlake.

He said he was "aware" that his contract listed motorcyling as a hazardous activity and that could cause him to be in default if he was injured.

"I'm grown. I still have to live my life. I did know the circumstances behind it, but I'm still learning. I'm young," he said. "You think you're invincible. You think nothing's going to happen to you. It was a mistake."

Asked if an apology was in order, Winslow said: "Yeah. I did apologize in my letter (he referred to his statement released through the 1964 Browns Web site). You know, I am sorry for what I've done. A lot of people have motorcycles, but since I got hurt, I'm sorry."

He said he understood his father's feelings about the way that his accident has been reported, feelings that were expressed at a recent gathering of the '64 team.

"He's just a dad trying to protect his son," Winslow said. "If it was your son, you'd do the same thing. You'd try to protect him. That's what he's supposed to do."

Winslow said he did not make a statement at the '64 Browns event because he did not want to take away from the team.

The surgery will involve taking a piece of Winslow's hamstring and grafting it on to the ligament, he said. He said there might be a chance he could play this season, "but I couldn't play how I wanted to play."

"You have to let the ACL heal," he said.

He vowed that he will be the player whom the Browns thought that they had when they drafted him sixth overall a year ago.

"I'll be fine, man," he said. "I will. No doubt."

Because?

"That's just the way I am," he said. "I rehab and work hard. I work the hardest. I want to be the best ever. That's just what I want to do."

Winslow said the "true fans" that he has spoken to -- "not the ones behind the keyboards" -- have been supportive.

"The ones I've talked to have my back," he said.

He also said he understands the anger the other fans have expressed.

"I can imagine," he said. "They want to see me play. I want to see me play. I'm frustrated, too.

"All I can say is stay with me and help me through this, and I'll be back, and I'm going to be everything they wanted me to be."

Messages for Patrick McManamon can be left at pmcmanamon@thebeaconjournal.com

Posted by dan at June 14, 2005 10:08 PM