Bucs taking right approach with Winslow

August, 24, 2010
8/24/10
4:45
PM ET
Raheem Morris has taken a lot of heat since taking over as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year. Some of it, certainly, has been deserved.

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But let’s give credit where credit is due because it looks like Morris might be making one of the smartest moves of his tenure. Morris told the media Tuesday it’s possible tight end Kellen Winslow might not play at all in the preseason.

"I'm not into evaluating Kellen," Morris said. “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."

The best way to do that is to have Winslow as healthy as can be. Winslow’s had chronic knee problems and the Bucs have been cautious with him throughout training camp. They were cautious with him in practices last year and focused almost entirely on just having him ready for games.

That’s the smartest thing the Bucs can do with Winslow right now. With quarterback Josh Freeman already banged up, the Bucs have a reminder about the danger of preseason games. They’ve got a young team that needs lots of work in lots of areas.

But Winslow is an established player and there is no sense putting him out there in harm’s way for a meaningless preseason game.

If Carolina coach John Fox is half as smart as I think he is, he’ll take a similar approach with wide receiver Steve Smith, who is coming back from a broken arm.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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