|If Winslow had participated in offseason workouts, perhaps he'd still be in Tampa Bay. (US PRESSWIRE)|
To new Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, like so many other NFL administrators and coaches, the word “voluntary workouts” apparently doesn't mean a player can actually volunteer not to attend. It means he should be there, especially a tight end who is in danger of being ostracized when, instead, he should be trying to impress an entirely new staff.
And the conclusion that the National Football Post, via the Tampa Bay Times, reaches after talking to Schiano about the newly traded (and current Seahawks tight end) Kellen Winslow is that the Buccaneers didn't like the fact Winslow wasn't a part of Tampa Bay's OTAs.
Of course, this was the theory espoused by Winslow originally, and although Schiano said at the time that he wasn't trying to send a message with the transaction, he's now saying that Winslow's absence from the non-mandatory workouts might have played a role in his departure.
“Some of it is voluntary,” Schiano told the National Football Post. “I can't make them be here for every part. Would I have liked him here? Sure. We had 87 guys here. But that wasn't the only reason we decided to do what we did. We just didn't think it was the best fit for us. It was a bunch of things, an accumulation of things. Some of it is projecting, how will this project moving forward.”
To be fair to Schiano, the move to get rid of Winslow wasn't only about his workout attendance. It also is about his health and his faulty knees. But Seahawks general manager John Schneider says Winslow fills his team's needs, because he wants a tight end that can stretch the opponent's pass defense (last year, Zach Miller was more of a blocker because of offensive line problems).
"He's a guy that brings that energy and passion that fits our group and our locker room right now,” Schneider told the Seattle Times last month.
"Kellen is so passionate about the game. He really is all ball. And those are the kind of guys you feel like it's worth bringing into your program. He's the type of guy who wants to be great."
Hopefully for the Seattle organization, Winslow also is the type of guy who voluntarily works out when his team isn't sure of the exact definition of “voluntary.”
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