No change in Winslow#039;s pro attitude

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2004

BEREA - Hot-tempered and outspoken, Kellen Winslow Jr. isn't toning it down just because he's a rookie.

Winslow is already making his presence felt - for better or worse - after a week with the Browns.

He made no apologies Tuesday for knocking a teammate to the ground the day before during a non-contact drill. In fact, Winslow said the whole team should develop more attitude and play with greater intensity.

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"I wasn't here last year, but they only won five games," Winslow said. "I'm not trying to talk them down or anything, but something has to happen."

Rookies in the NFL typically don't call out on their teammates to get more aggressive. But Winslow isn't an ordinary rookie.

He signed a $40 million contract - a record for a tight end - last week after holding out for 12 days.

He arrived at camp last Wednesday, modestly saying that he had a lot of catching up to do. But a week later, he's got the cocky swagger back that earned him a reputation at Miami.

Browns defensive back Roosevelt Williams called Winslow "unprofessional" after he lowered his left shoulder into him during Monday's practice, slamming him down.

Winslow said he has not talked to Williams about the hit.

"That's just the way I play. They should all do the same I think," he said. "Everybody should go 100 percent every play - wrap up, tackle. That's how you get better."

The 21-year-old said the Browns need to play with more fire after a 5-11 season. He said he's not the only member of the team saying that.

"We want a name for ourselves and we just need change around here, just going 100 percent every play and making an identity for ourselves," he said.

Browns coach Butch Davis said Winslow brings passion to the team and that's one reason the Browns drafted him.

"I think he just said what was on his mind," Davis said. "I think if you would have asked any number of 35 to 40 guys on this team, they would say a lot of the same things. They're eager to bounce back and have a good year."

Davis said Winslow isn't the only competitor on the team, mentioning wide receiver Andre' Davis and right tackle Ryan Tucker by name.

"There's a whole host of guys that maybe aren't quite as demonstrative, but they want to win just as much," he said.

In practice, Winslow has shown the skills that made him the No. 6 overall pick, using his soft hands to catch nearly everything thrown his way. He dropped his first pass Tuesday.

Winslow appeared in his first preseason game Saturday after only three practices. He had a catch and a personal foul for shoving Titans safety Lamont Thompson.

"I was just out there trying to hit people and going 100 miles per hour," Winslow said.

He had a problem at Miami with attracting personal fouls. He understands that teams will try to bait him to get him to lash out and cost his team yards.

"They will and they have in the past. … I just have to make better decisions," he said.

Winslow wants to avoid mental errors in his first home game Saturday against Detroit and play more calmly, which he said is when he's at his best.

Although he said the NFL game seems fast to him right now and that he has much to learn, he's not satisfied with just lining up as a tight end. He's already asked defensive coordinator Dave Campo if he can play defense - he was a defensive end in high school.

"He said, 'We'll look at it,'" Winslow said.

Davis said Winslow will play on special teams, rushing the punter, but laughed when asked if he would play any defense.

"I don't know that that's going anywhere," he said.