Browns' head coach Romeo Crennel and tight end Kellen Winslow spoke to Houston media Wednesday morning during their weekly conference calls.
Head coach Romeo Crennel
(on his team's maturity at this point) "We are not exactly where we want to be at. We're still learning and maturing because we do have young guys and there's a learning curve that they have to go through and we're working with them to try to improve them and get them better. I think they will be better as we go down the road. But it's just like your kids at home; sometimes you have to tell them twice. We're making some progress. We've been competitive in some games. I think that even though it doesn't show up in the win-loss column, we're going in the right direction."
(on seeing more potential at defense) "With (LB Kamerion) Wimbley and D'Qwell Jackson were both young kids that came in and started this year. I think that is a good nuclear source to build with on in the defensive side of the ball. On the offensive side of the ball we have some talented guys there also, just different types of personalities. Both Wimbley and Jackson are kind of quiet low-key guys whereas (WR) Braylon (Edwards) and (Kellen Winslow) are more outgoing. The perception is that those outgoing guys are more boisterous and cause more of a problem than the quiet guys. But I think all the guys want to win and they just express their desires in a different way."
(on dealing with quarterback situation) "I've been in the NFL for a long time and I've seen quite a bit. I know they don't cancel any games because you had to go with your third quarterback or because you get guys hurt. What we try to do is we try to get the guys behind the starters to know their assignments and to be ready to do their job as they're called off. We've had that happen, the guys have been able to step in and perform because we've lost three starters in the defensive back field in the corner spot. But the guys that have stepped in they've kind of held their own and been representative. I think that we expect that, the team expects that and whoever we put out there I think that they'll give us a good effort."
(on what he expects from RT Nat Dorsey) "I'm hoping to get some leadership because he has played four years in the NFL and he has played NFL games and so he does have that kind of experience. He's a smart kid and I hope that he will be able to read his progressions and give what the defense gives him."
(on WR Braylon Edwards compared to his father Oilers' Stan Edwards) "I know Stan, but I don't know him well enough to talk about his personality and how he was as a player. That's at least, probably 20- or 30- year difference in there, at least. Times change, society has change and so I think that young kids today are different than kids were back then, or back when I was growing up. Braylon is a confident, well-spoken, young player who has ideas about the things should be done and he likes to see them on. Sometimes, early on, I know he voiced his opinion on that. In talking with him, that's part of that maturing process that young kids have to go through. Braylon is a good guy at heart. I think he wants the right things and can do the right things. That learning curve that I talk about, I think he's on that curve."
(on outspoken players Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards being a distraction)"Sure, it can be a distraction. But I think in both cases these guys have shown improvement. You take a guy like Kellen Winslow, who early in the year was getting taunting penalties and I don't think he's gotten a taunting penalty since the one that he got early in the year. Braylon, he spoke out and I didn't start him last game, but I think he understands that this is a team and he's part of a team. If he wants to remain part of a team he's got to operate in a certain structure."
(on what Winslow's overcome and what he means to him) "He's overcome quite a bit really. He had two season-ending injuries. The one injury his rookie year and then in the off season when he had basically come back from that he had the motorcycle injury that put him on the shelf for another year. He was two years without football, so really he's a rookie. He has tremendous talent, he's got really good hands, he's a competitive, fiery kind of player. I think that he's going to be a good player for the Browns for a long time."
(on fans reactions to losses) "They don't like it. I don't think anybody likes losing. These are passionate fans and they love the team and they want the team to do well because we all know that fans live vicariously through the team and when the team doesn't do well, they don't do well. We haven't given them enough to cheer about this year."
(on former Texans coach Chris Palmer)"I'm really happy for him. The fact that he had the opportunity to bounce back and show what kind of coach he is, I knew that all along. Sometimes it's unfortunate in this business, I hunk we're beginning to see it more and more as this year has shown teams are changing offensive coordinators in the middle of the year just like you guys did last year. So it's beginning to happen more and more because of the pressure to win and those type of things."
(on what he has seen from RB Ron Dayne recently) "He's done a really good job these last couple of weeks. He had that kind of ability early on and for whatever reason he never was able to develop a nitch for himself on these other teams he's been on. Now it seems like he's developed a nitch and he kind of knows what his role is, what's expected of him and sometimes I think that happens with players. They don't know really what's expected of them and as a result of that they kind of do some things or maybe say some things that they shouldn't say and it gets them in hot water with a particular team. But it looks like he's said, 'This is my role,' and he's accepted it and he's going to do the best he can at it. Some times that comes along with maturity and experience also."
(on what it would mean to win this last game) "One that would mean there's another victory in that win column and it would at least leave us with a good taste in our mouth as we go into the off-season. Because if you can win the last game you do feel a little bit better about yourself because a lot of times in football they remember what you did in the last game, so if we can at least win that one we can remember that it was a victory and now we can be optimistic about the future and going forward."
**TE Kellen Winslow
(on spending time in Houston)** "No, I didn't rehab, I just spent a couple of weeks down there really on my holdout when I was coming in so I was down there training in the Rice facility. I was there for a couple of weeks, but that was about it."
(on being the second best tight end in Cleveland history next to Ozzie Newsome)"I'm just trying to help the team win. I've just been playing for one year so I don't compare myself to Ozzie at all. I'm just trying to finish strong and help this team win at 5-11, that's as best as we can do so that's what we're trying to get."
(on difficulties of coming back from an injury) "It's been real tough. A lot of people couldn't go through what I go through. I think it's just about how bad you want it and I'm looking forward to the off-season so I can go and clean my knee up and just get healthy."
(on his teammates response to him being outspoken) "I think I've done a pretty good job about not speaking out, speaking out of anger or frustration as I was in the beginning of the season. I've learned that anything you say can be twisted around so you have to watch what you say and even if you're just joking around or you don't mean it. My teammates know what type of person I am, they know me, they trust me and I get along with everybody on the team. I don't know you'd have to ask them, but I think I've been doing a pretty good job."
(on getting to play with former University of Miami QB Ken Dorsey)"I'm very excited for Winslow. I'm not sure if he's a starter or not yet, but him and I have great camaraderie and we're on the same page since we've been at Miami together."
(on playing with Dorsey being like old times) "If he's out there he will be. He's my old quarterback so we went to the national championship together and we've been on the same page for a while."
(on how well he knows WR Andre Johnson)"I know him pretty well. I spent two years down there with him. He's a great player."
(on being surprised at Johnson's success) "No, not at all."
(on Randy Shannon being named University of Miami's head coach) "It was great to stay in-house and get a well-deserved coach, a great defensive mind, very disciplined coach. He's going to get them turned around. (Larry) Coker did a great job down there, but it's just unfortunate that one losing season can turn the whole thing around."
(on one thing that stands out from what his father has told him about perseverance)"He just told me that everything happens for a reason. I didn't want to hear that at that time. It does happen for a reason it just wasn't my time to shine yet, now I'm starting to play pretty well and just having fun out there with my teammates. Hopefully I can just stay healthy throughout my career and do good."
(on losing getting old for him) "Yeah, but going into the season we had high expectations. Going into the season I thought we were going to go at least 10-6, that was my personal goal for this team. It didn't work out that way. We learned something from every loss (and) from every win. So we've got to go into the next season, but first we've got to go into the next game and finish strong. But we've got to go into the next season with the same mentality."
(on having the chance to look at the Texans defense)"Yeah."
(on LB DeMeco Ryans) "He reminds me of a Jonathan Vilma type. Undersized guy, but he gets to the ball, can run, tackles well and he's a football player."
(on what it would mean to win last game) "It wouldn't mean much in the win-loss column, but to us it would be a confidence booster into the off-season knowing that we could finish strong with all these injuries. Just winning, winning cures everything and that's what we want to do."