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Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Kellen Winslow might not see field in preseason

TAMPA — It's appearing more likely Bucs TE Kellen Winslow won't play this preseason.

Winslow didn't make the trip to Miami two weeks ago and didn't play Saturday against the Chiefs, though he was in uniform and warmed up.

Coach Raheem Morris shows no desire to play Winslow, last season's leading receiver, and allowed Tuesday that he might not play until the regular-season opener Sept. 12 against Cleveland.

"I had no interest in playing Kellen Winslow last week," Morris said. "We're getting Kellen ready for the season. We're getting Kellen ready for Cleveland. We're getting Kellen ready to make it through the 16-game season. That's what we're going to need Kellen for."

So he may not play this preseason?

"He may not," Morris said. "But we wanted to get him out there to test the waters a little bit. Last year in the preseason, he played a little bit for us. I'm sure this year in the preseason, we'll want to play him a little bit and we'll get him out of there when we want to."

"I'm not into evaluating Kellen. Kellen put a nice 16 games on display for us last year and right now, we've just got to get him ready to go out there and win games for us."

MOVING ON UP: Morris said S Sean Jones and LG Keydrick Vincent won starting jobs in training camp and the preseason because they were the more physical players.

Jones, a free agent who started nine games for the Eagles last season, won the job over Sabby Piscitelli, who struggled in 2009. Vincent, 32, is a 10-year vet who started 40 games the past two seasons for Carolina. He beat out Jeremy Zuttah, who will provide depth at guard and center.

"It's what we talked about at the beginning, the more physical player we wanted to have on this football team," Morris said. "The more physical guys we wanted to be out there as starters. Right now, they're both proved to me more physical presences on offense and defense and that's the guys we chose to go with as starters."

Morris said there's no guarantee that Piscitelli would be part of a rotation at safety.

"What it does for us is provide us with great depth," Morris said. "You've got two guys who have been in the fire a little bit with Sabby and Zuttah. Both those guys have been starters. Both of those guys have thrived in that role of coming off the bench.

"It's tough at first. Nobody wants to be demoted."

Morris said despite the depth chart that lists Maurice Stovall as the starting Z receiver (flanker, off the line of scrimmage), that position still is up for grabs between Sammie Stroughter, Arrelious Benn and Reggie Brown.

STEP UP: Morris said RB Derrick Ward, who left Saturday's game with a head injury, was cleared to play this week and is expected to against the Jaguars. Morris admitted Ward has "got to step up," especially considering how well his competition for the No. 2 running back spot, Kareem Huggins, has done.

"He's got to keep fighting," Morris said of Ward. "He's got to go out there and continue to play. We'll let those two go out there and battle again. … Kareem is really going out there and putting his best foot forward."

Morris also said CB E.J. Biggers is ahead of Elbert Mack for the nickel corner spot, "He's made more standout plays right now," Morris said.

MISCELLANY: The Bucs have signed QB Jevan Snead and DE George Johnson, with DE Brandon Gilbeaux getting waived/injured. Snead was originally signed by the Bucs on April 26 as an undrafted free agent before being released on July 31.

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Kellen Winslow might not see field in preseason 08/24/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 9:05pm]
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