Kellen Winslow Jr. chats with The Scores Report

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Kellen Winslow (82) runs for a 41-yard touchdown reception against the Washington Redskins during the fourth quarter at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on December 12, 2010. The Buccaneers defeated the Redskins 17-16. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Quick, name the leading receiver on the Bucs last year. Nope, it wasn’t impressive rookie Mike Williams and for those who said Joey Galloway, you’ve just embarrassed yourself.

It was none other than tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., who was one of the many players that helped transform the Bucs from a 3-13 team in 2009 to a 10-6 playoff contender in 2010. Due to the tough of the Super Bowl champion Packers the final two weeks, Tampa Bay missed the postseason but there’s no doubt the Bucs are a team to be reckoned with in the NFC.

Even though he’s concentrating on becoming a father any day now, Kellen took the time to chat with us recently about the Bucs’ resurgence, what he thought the key was to Josh Freeman’s development this past year and what his take is on the lack of progress in the CBA discussions. He also talked about his role in the Bucs’ offense and what he thinks the team needs to get over the hump. As we expected, he didn’t disappoint with his answers.

For more on Kellen, check out his official website, which has a bio, photos and more.

The Scores Report: Hey Kellen, how are you?

Kellen Winslow: Hey, how’s it going, man?

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Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Are the Bucs moving in the right direction?

Two years ago, the Buccaneers appeared destined for another playoff run after amassing a 9-3 record behind veteran players like Derrick Brooks, Jeff Garcia, Stylez G. White, Barrett Ruud, Kevin Carter and Antonio Bryant.

But the team faded down the stretch, losing all four of its remaining games (including an embarrassing defeat to the hapless Raiders in the final week of the year) to miss the playoffs entirely. Following the season, both head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen were fired and replaced by the experienced Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik, respectively.

Last year was a disaster for Morris and the Bucs, who finished 3-13 and statistically had one of the worst offenses in the league. Until Morris took over the play calling duties midway through the season, the once proud Tampa Bay defense also took a significant step back from what it was earlier in the decade under former coordinator Monte Kiffin (who left the team following the ’08 season to coach with his son at the University of Tennessee).

But one of the main reasons the Glazers fired Gruden and Allen was because of the pair’s desire to rely mostly on veteran players. There was a lot of turnover from year to year under Gruden and Allen and the Glazers felt as though the two weren’t building a young core that could compete for many years, not just one.

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Former Brown Jurevicius suing team over staph infection

Former NFL receiver Joe Jurevicius is suing the Browns, ex-team Dr. Anthony Miniaci and current team Dr. Richard Figler for negligence and fraud stemming from a staph infection he got while being treated for knee injuries.

There had been speculation for months — and perhaps longer — that someone would eventually take the Cleveland Browns to court over their staph infection problem.

It turns out former Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius was the first to take the plunge.

Jurevicius, an 11-year NFL veteran, is reportedly suing his former team for negligence over a staph infection he received in his right knee last year. He has since been released by the Browns.

Several current and former Browns have had similar health problems with staph, including Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow Jr., LeCharles Bentley and Brian Russell. There are approximately seven known cases of staph infections linked to the Browns in recent years.

Jurevicius is a Cleveland native and very well-respected within the Browns’ family and his community. Most likely, he wouldn’t have gone as far as suing a team he grew up rooting for unless Jurevicius legitimately feels his playing days were cut short by staph.

If a total of seven known cases of staph infections can be linked to the Browns, there’s a problem here. Considering this doesn’t seem like a widespread issue in the NFL, it’s staggering that one team is having this many problems with this type of infection.

Maybe Jurevicius’ case will shine some light on this issue so no other Browns will have the same problem.

Bucs give Winslow new six-year deal

The Bucs have agreed to terms with newly acquired tight end Kellen Winslow on a new six-year contract.

Kellen WinslowThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed Winslow to a new six-year contract.

Winslow had two years remaining on his contract, which was scheduled to pay him base salaries of $4.5 million and $4.75 million in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

According to, Winslow’s deal is worth $36.1 million and could be worth as much as $42.1 million if incentive clauses are reached. Winslow is due base salaries of $5.17 million and $6.725 million in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In 2011, Winslow will reportedly earn $8.29 million in base salary.

ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas is reporting that $20.1 million of Winslow’s new contract is guaranteed.

The Bucs landed Winslow in a trade that sent their 2009 second-round pick and 2010 fifth-round selection to Cleveland on Feb. 27.

Winslow wanted a new deal from Cleveland the past two years and now gets one from Tampa. Considering all of his injury concerns, the contract is a bit of a risk but the Bucs can likely get out of it in a couple years if Winslow’s bad knee starts acting up again. It’ll be interesting whether or not he can cash in on all of his potential or if he’ll continue to have injury problems the rest of his career.

Quinn solid in debut, but Browns choke again

Brady QuinnAll of the talk surrounding the Cleveland Browns from the start of the season until now has been around the quarterback. But the fact that they sit 3-6 right now after losing 34-30 to the Denver Broncos on Thursday night has little to do with the play of their quarterback.

It has to do with Kellen Winslow fumbling. And Braylon Edwards not making plays. And the defense’s ability to choke away leads by giving up big plays. And defensive coordinator Mel Tucker putting his corners on islands in the most inopportune situations.

In his first career start, Brady Quinn was outstanding. The Browns were able to get the running game going and Quinn was able to pick apart Denver’s decimated secondary by getting the ball out of his hands quickly and taking what the defense gave him. His final numbers (23 of 35 for 239 yards and two touchdowns) should have been good enough to earn him a victory. But the Browns continue to lose because they can’t do the simplest of tasks. Don’t turn the ball over. Don’t give up the big play. Don’t squander double-digit leads. Catch the freaking football when it’s throw right at you.

Conversely, this is a huge win for the Broncos. The AFC West is so horrible that 9-7 will probably win the division. Cleveland couldn’t get any pressure on Jay Cutler all night he shredded them for 447 yards and three touchdowns. At several points during the first half, Cutler looked frustrated and almost downtrodden but the Browns could never break his back (figuratively, not literally obviously).

Impressive comeback by Denver, but Cleveland choked on applesauce for the second straight week.

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