Winslow: Similarities to Hernandez
September, 20, 2012
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tight end Kellen Winslow answered questions from reporters Thursday at Gillette Stadium and one part of the Q&A that stood out was when he talked about having a similar playing style to Aaron Hernandez.
What’s it been like, even though it hasn’t been very long, to be a Patriot?
Mike Reiss/ESPNBoston.comKellen Winslow said Thursday pain won't keep him off the field.
“There is a lot of work to be done, just a lot of work. Just trying to get the offense down, trying to find my way in the offense.”
Think enough time to be a participant in Sunday night’s game?
“We’ll see. It’s just my job to make plays when it comes to me and I have to get the offense down, so I have a lot of work to do.”
Why the Patriots?
“It was a good fit. I’ve never been in this kind of situation. But a situation arose where Aaron got hurt, and we’re kind of similar, so I’m going to come in here and help out.”
When you saw how they used tight ends here last year, what did you think?
“It’s how tight ends should be used. They do a good job, a real good job.”
Have you had a chance to meet with Tom Brady yet?
“Oh yeah, I’ve been in the playbook non-stop. A little bit, but he’s Tom Brady. I have a lot of work to catch up and get on the same page as these guys.”
What did you think of the Patriots from an outside perspective?
“With Coach [Belichick], he’s one of the best of all-time. I’m not surprised by anything that’s going on here. They do things and they practice and obviously play the games like you’re supposed to. Teams model themselves after the Patriots.”
You mentioned similarities to Aaron Hernandez in your game, what would be some examples?
“You just have to watch tape, but yeah, there’s some similarities there. He’s probably one of the most versatile tight ends in the game, if not the most. He goes all around the field. He can play any position. He’s very versatile in what he does and he’s smart. He’s a very good player.”
How much do you pride yourself on being a versatile tight end?
“I do. But it’s going to take me a while to catch up to where he’s at.”
At this point in your career, is there anything you need to prove to yourself or others?
“I think every day, you have to prove yourself. With what happened in Seattle, I can’t say much about what happened. It is what it is and I have to move on.”
There were reports about the health of your right knee. Do you feel good about where you are?
“There is a question every year. The thing I concentrate on is not missing games, because then there is nothing held against me.”
How does that work – people say the knee is a major mess but you never miss any games. How do those two things tie together?
“I would say will, man. Overcome. This is my dream to play. Like is said, if I was missing games every year or something like that, it would be true.”
Do you play in a lot of pain?
“Yeah, but it doesn’t matter.”
Do you feel like you have something to prove to all the doubters that say you can’t stay healthy?
You came here and worked out before but they didn’t sign you. Then Coach Belichick called you a few days ago, what did he say this time?
“I didn’t work out. I just came in here and met with them. Just a meeting.”
What did he say when he called you to say he wanted you on board?
“Get your butt on a plane [media laughs].”
What did they tell you in Seattle when letting you go? That was a surprise.
“I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. I’m moving on. It doesn’t really matter.”
Since that time, I know you met with the Patriots. Did you meet with anyone else?
“There were a couple teams. When I got released, it was probably the worst time to get released. Just basically waiting, and a situation arose, and I’m here.”
How did you feel the practice went yesterday as you try to get integrated into the mix?
“I did OK. I have a long way to go, though. I have a bunch of work to do.”
Do you feel like there is a benefit coming in the same week as Deion Branch, someone who knows the offense very well?
“Obviously, he’s a great player, but I have so much to do, I can’t even focus on other people.”
What are your expectations? This team has like 3,000 tight ends. How do you separate yourself?
“Just make plays. Just make plays and they’ll find a way.”
From what you’ve seen of the playbook, does it have any similarities to what you’ve done in the past, in Cleveland, Tampa or even Seattle?
“At the end of the day, football is football. What they’re doing here, the volume of the playbook is a lot. It’s going to take some time to get used to. It’s verbiage and getting used to the calls and getting used to Tom’s cadence, and knowing not just what I have, but what everybody has, because people switch positions here.”
When new players come into this team, mid-season, they often say they notice a big difference – expectations, leadership – what do you notice?
“I’m not shocked by anything. That’s why they win Super Bowls around here. I expected it, the way these guys prepare, I already knew.”
Any background with Coach Belichick?
“Just going against him. Not really, though, just knowing he’s a great coach.”
How much do you rely on your dad for advice football-wise?
“He’s my dad. He’s not the overbearing type of football dad guy. He’s just my dad.”