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Kellen Winslow: Bring on the heat

Perhaps the most intriguing sight as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers worked out recently was tight end Kellen Winslow. Not only was he practicing, he was jumping to catch passes and at one point dove for a ball, did a full tumble and bounced right to his feet.

Kellen Winslow

Kellen Winslow

#82 TE
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2010 STATS

  • Rec66
  • Yds730
  • TD5
  • Avg11.1
  • Long41
  • YAC241

Other than game days, you seldom saw that last season. The Bucs were cautious with Winslow’s achy knee and frequently held him out of practice. It looks like those days might be over.

“The knee is feeling really good,’’ Winslow said after working out with about 20 players, led by quarterback Josh Freeman. “I just love the game so much. This is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I was born and bred for this. It’s all I want to do. I just want to get back to playing football.’’

Winslow was practicing with a passion and in good spirits. That’s a far cry from the perception that surrounded in the early days of his career in Cleveland when he was commonly viewed as a selfish player. But Freeman has been raving about how hard Winslow has been working and how great he’s looked this offseason.

Winslow spent part of his time in San Diego, but has been attending most of Freeman’s workouts.

“I had to get back to the heat,’’ Winslow said. “I’m going to be here the next couple of weeks. Then, I’m going to go down to the University of Miami, where it’s even hotter, and do some workouts down there.’’

Like all the other players, Winslow has no idea when the lockout will end. But he wants to be ready because he knows he and the Bucs might have to be ready to play in a hurry.

“Josh has done a great job leading these workouts and everybody I’ve seen has done a good job of staying in shape,’’ Winslow said. “We’re in good shape in a lot of ways and the important thing now is just to stay sharp and keep our timing, so that we’re not too rusty when we do get back because there might not be any time to be rusty.’’