Toes on the line!


By Steven Levy

So now we finally know why Kellen Winslow skipped out on OTA’s and is now a member of the Seattle Seahawks. He apparently finds it very difficult to saunter up to a straight line and stand there, arms at his side. Perhaps it’s his bad knee that makes this difficult, but that would be surprising for a “soldier” such as him. Maybe it was the perception of being yelled at by an authority figure. Maybe his feelings were hurt.

Kidding aside it should come as no surprise that Winslow is now coming clean and essentially saying that coach Greg Schiano’s methods, you know, discipline and all that? – are a bit too harsh for his sensibilities. He much preferred the Raheem Morris school of discipline, which almost certainly had nothing to do with toes on a line or anything else discipline related. Coach Morris did not seem like a coach inclined to make consequences a part of his disciplinary arsenal. Coach Schiano is all about consequences. Winslow seemingly doesn’t know what the word consequence means. He never had to practice. Yeah, I know, “his knee”. This is also known as an excuse. You can’t attend practice and jog around and catch a few passes and be with your teammates? Give me a break. He was coddled by Morris. He used to coddling.

Both coddling and lack of consequence is also what led to Winslow’s recent issue with a rental home in California where he was hit with a $130,000 lawsuit for trashing a rental. Now this is a grown man we’re talking about and ‘trash’ wasn’t used in the context of destroying a hotel room in a drunken rage like some celebrities have done, this was described as actual trashing of a beautiful, expensive rental complete with dog feces littered around the inside of the rental. I have a hard time conceiving of a player that buys into Schiano’s system would be as undisciplined as to mistreat a property the way Winslow did. Maybe the two aren’t related but as I see it, when you smell shit, guess what? Close by there’s some shit. Or in this case multiple piles of it.

So we still don’t know yet if Coach Schiano’s hardnosed method of instilling discipline into previously undeniably undisciplined players will result in wins on the field, but I’ve been around long enough to remember the whispers and player complaints surrounding Tom Coughlin in both his tenure with the Jaguars and his early tenure with the Giants. In fact as irony would have it, one of the players most critical of Coughlin was Tiki Barber, brother of Ronde. It would be nice if the implied closing of that loop coincides with a coaching stay that mimics some of the success Coughlin has had. What seems a certainty though is that Kellen Winslow will not be trashing any rentals in Tampa in the foreseeable future.

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