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Premium – There was player who wasn’t playing that much, and people wondered why. He wondered why. Now we know why . . .
After the Jets 23-3 loss to Miami on Kellen Winslow was bombarded with questions from reporters about his role.
He didn’t play much in that game, finishing with three catches, two in garbage time.
This was his third game back from a four-game NFL suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. In the first game back from the ban, he played 11 snaps in Buffalo, and then 19 snaps in Baltimore.
So what did Winslow say after the Miami game when pressed on limited snaps?
“I don’t know,” Winslow said. “When they throw it, I catch it. I don’t know. I don’t know how to feel right now. I’m just trying to do the best I can in the situation I’m in.”
In retrospect, now we know what was going on.
On November 19, two days after his NFL suspension ended, Winslow was arrested at Target on Route 10 in East Hanover for possessing Fubinaca, which is synthetic marijuana.
So for him to act like he didn’t know why his role was limited was a bit circumspect.
Now, we didn’t expect him to tell us that he was arrested for possession of synthetic pot, but don’t create this mystery about his role like there was some kind of hidden agenda.
One long-time beat writer, who became friendly with Winslow, told me he felt misled by the veteran tight end.
The writer talked to him that day about his role, and a few other times after that, and took up his case, saying he should play more.
If the writer had known about the arrest, he never would have taken that position.
But can you blame Marty Mornhinweg for limiting Winslow’s role.
First of all, he let the team down twice, first with the four-game suspension and then the fake pot arrest.
And on top of that, Winslow doesn’t practice much due to his surgical knee.
So often when the game plan was being installed in practice, he was in the sideline or trainer’s room.
Honestly, considering the two indiscretions, and the limited practice availability, was he a victim here?
Far from it.
So perhaps he shouldn’t have kept saying, “I don’t know (why),” when asked about his role, and said, “I’m happy with how I’m being used – this is about the team, not me.”
Or something like that.
And another factor to consider in the limited snaps – Jeff Cumberland is a better blocker than Winslow.
Honestly, Cumberland has really emerged as a blocker – he really gets after at, and had a number of key blocks on big Jets running plays this season.
Remember that 35-yard run by Chris Ivory off left tackle against the Carolina Panthers. Cumberland had a key block on that play.
Cumberland has turned into a very good all-around tight end with good hands and excellent range as a receiver, and a stout blocker at the point of attack.
Winslow is more of a move tight end at this stage.
So honestly, considering all these factors, Winslow was far from a victim when it comes to his playing time over the last month and change.
January 14, 2014
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