TAMPA — TE Kellen Winslow is used to being held. But in the preseason, the guy who locks onto his jersey the tightest is Bucs coach Raheem Morris.
That's because Morris believes Winslow is going to post elite numbers as long as they get him and his chronically sore knee to the starting line of the regular season.
But even as hard as Winslow practices, he still needs playing time in a preseason game, and he will finally get them Saturday against the Dolphins.
"I'm a rep guy. I need game reps," Winslow said. "My situation is what it is, but I still have been practicing doing the things I need to get ready for the game. But nothing is like the game speed. You have to be hit, so I just need game speed and I'm ready."
By all accounts, Winslow has had one of the best training camps of his career, perhaps aided by the fact that for the first time since 2008 he didn't have at least an arthroscopic procedure done on his right knee in the offseason. But to play, he needs a lot of treatment, including a daily regimen of electro-stimulation therapy.
Winslow's routine includes wearing full pads to the final practice of the week, even while his teammates are in only helmets, T-shirts and shorts.
"The first I guess he shocked everybody when he came out in full gear," Morris said. "But he likes to run around in his pads. … We accept him for it, and it is fun to watch him do that.
"He's a tempo setter and he certainly will set tempo this week."
STICKER SHOCK: Morris expected rookie LB Mason Foster to be fined by the NFL for his hit on Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco during a 31-14 preseason loss last Friday. He just didn't think Foster would be docked $20,000.
"I guess I can honestly say I was surprised by the amount," Morris said. "A first offense, if it was an offense, I'm sure they've got to go through the appeal process and all that stuff through the league. I'm sure he'll do that with his agent, and I'm sure they'll get it right at the end of the day. It's the NFL, they always get it right."
Foster's agent, Steve Caric, said they will appeal the fine. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, a player may assert, among other defenses, that a fine is excessive if it exceeds 25 percent of his weekly salary for a first offense. Twenty-five percent of Foster's weekly salary would be about $5,500. (Players are paid over the 17 weeks of the regular season.)
DOOM FOR TALIB? According to Michael Silver of Yahoo.com, commissioner Roger Goodell agreed not to discipline approximately two dozen players for conduct during the lockout in exchange for punishing eight players he regards as repeat offenders. If true, it's further evidence that Goodell intends to suspend Bucs CB Aqib Talib, who met with him in New York on Tuesday.
During part of the labor negotiations, there was some opposition by the players union to any punishments for incidents that occurred during the lockout, arguing the players were not technically employed by the league during that time.
INJURY UPDATE: TE Luke Stocker (hip), DT Brian Price (pelvis/hamstrings), and CB Myron Lewis (hamstring) will get their first preseason playing time Saturday. Talib (hamstring) still is a game-time decision.