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Winslow quells Porter's anger with kindness

BEREA, Ohio -- Joey Porter may have changed jersey colors.
His tone remains the same.

Miami's outspoken linebacker, who has waged a personal and
sometimes profane battle against Browns tight end Kellen Winslow
the past two years, renewed their feud earlier this week with more
biting words.

"He's a receiver, really," Porter said. "He's not a tight
end, because he's not going to block anybody. If you ask me who's
going to win the Joey Porter-Kellen Winslow battle: Me."

On Thursday, Winslow shot back -- kindly.

"I think Joey Porter needs a hug," Winslow said, smiling.
"He's so angry, man."

Last year while with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Porter exchanged
insults, shoves and hard hits with Winslow. And Porter, who signed
a five-year, $32 million free agent deal with the Dolphins in
March, feels he got the better of his Cleveland counterpart.

"It really hasn't been a war," Porter said Wednesday. "It's
been one-sided. I've never lost to him. It's like me picking on my
little brother."

Aware of Porter's remarks, Winslow, who will see Porter on
Sunday when the Browns host the Dolphins, counterpunched with some
well-placed verbal jabs.

"I'm not into the individual-battle thing," he said. "It's a
team thing. We're 2-3 and they're 0-5 and we're looking for a win.
He doesn't have to worry about me. He should be worried about the
team concept. They're 0-5 right now."

Winslow's comments were relayed Thursday to Porter.

"He is saying all the right things," Porter said. "Unlike me.
I'm going to say how I feel.

"We are looking for our first win. The personal battle, he
turned that down. We're going to cross paths sometime during the
game. We will see each other."

Porter and Winslow first made acquaintances before last year's
game in Cleveland when they jawed at each other during pregame
warmups, a heated exchange that forced officials to step between
them. It was a familiar tactic from Porter, who in 2004 had gotten
into a pregame fight with Browns running back William Green, and
was ejected before kickoff.

Although the Steelers rallied for 21 fourth-quarter points to
win a year ago, Winslow flattened Porter with a vicious stiff-arm
after catching a pass.

Three weeks later in Pittsburgh, Winslow attempted to shake
Porter's hand before the game, a gesture Porter rejected. In the
fourth quarter, Winslow drew the Steelers' ire with a late hit on
linebacker James Farrior.

Following that game, Porter called Winslow a derogatory slur and
was later fined $10,000 by the NFL.

Winslow expects Porter to fill his helmet with trash talk before
this Sunday's game.

"I'm sure he will," he said. "The only reason I did that
[offer the handshake] last year was to give our team some
confidence and get them going a little bit. But again, I'm not
worried about Joey.

"He's not even their best player."

Uh, oh.

A fiery player since college, Winslow, who has been playing with
an injured shoulder, has done a better job of containing his
emotions on the field this season. Browns coach Romeo Crennel said
he isn't worried about the sight of Porter setting off Winslow.

"I don't think Kellen will get unhinged," Crennel said.
"Kellen knows he has a job to do and he'll do his job to try and
help this team."

Winslow still has moments when he appears on the verge of
erupting. However, the 24-year-old, who missed nearly two full
seasons with injuries, feels he's got himself better under control.

"You just learn from your mistakes," he said. "It's just
maturing and knowing the game, knowing the business, how things
work. I'm not really biting down on my tongue. I'm just learning
from my mistakes and just growing up."

When Porter hit the free-agent market, there was a brief buzz
about him signing with the Browns. It didn't happen, but Winslow
briefly pondered the idea of playing alongside his nemesis.

"You know what?" Winslow said. "He would probably be a great
teammate. But he's not on our team, so it doesn't really matter."