Kellen’s No Chip Off the Block – Not Yet at Least

We're still waiting for K2 to live up to K1

We're still waiting for K2 to live up to K1

“Kellen is not a bad kid.”

I’m inclined to believe Romeo Crennel’s assessment of his young star-in-waiting – even moreso having observed Kellen Winslow Sr. throughout and after his Hall of Fame career. The father was class and heart personified.

The son? Not so sure yet. Is the kid a chip off the old block, or just a chip?

Right now, he’s at the precipice, at 25, balancing precariously between boom and bust.

Right now he’s doing the suspension dance. He was shut down for a game by the Browns, who were none too pleased that Winslow criticized GM Phil Savage for not calling him during the three days he spent in the hospital battling a staph infection, and saying he felt “like a piece of meat.” He also said the Browns tried to prevent him from disclosing his illness; Crennel says not revealing the nature of the illness (Winslow’s second bout with staph) was a “mutual decision.”

Winslow and the NLFPA have appealed the suspension and filed a grievance against the action, which could cost the tight end $235,294 – his one-game paycheck. Yeah, one game.

(Would someone please treat me like that cut of meat?!)

This is Winslow’s fifth pro season; in football years, though, only his fourth, since he missed the entire 2005 season following an offseason motorcycle accident in which he tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. (His first encounter with staph occurred while recovering.)

Four seasons is pro-athlete middle age, generally long enough to know whether someone is a player or pretender.

And yet we still don’t know about the son. We know he has talent. He may be the prototypical tight end, a physical reproduction of dad, at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, and blessed with strength and speed. He averaged a tad more than 85 receptions over the last two seasons, and has averaged 11.3 yards per catch for his career.

Talent is not the problem.

Heart and class? Still waiting to see it.

Winslow has every right to speak his mind. And every right to deal with the consequences.

He seems to have forgotten that the Browns stuck by him when his body let him down as a rookie (he suffered a broken leg in Game 2 and missed the rest of the season), and when his head let him down the following summer. Because riding a motorcycle was specifically prohibited in Winslow’s contract, the Browns could have tried to recoup a portion of $10 million in bonuses the young man had received.

But they didn’t.

And now he’s upset because someone didn’t call him in the hospital?
Sorry. Where I come from, that cow won’t moo.

AP photo

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2 thoughts on “Kellen’s No Chip Off the Block – Not Yet at Least

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