Kellen Winslow’s first practice as a Seahawk began with a hearty welcome from offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell as the tight end who was acquired Monday in a trade with the Buccaneers joined his new team for today’s OTA session.
Before it was over, Winslow had even caught a couple of passes in the windblown one-hour, 45-minute practice along the shores of Lake Washington at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
Winslow comes to the Seahawks after leading the Bucs in receiving each of the past three seasons, when he averaged 73 receptions. Before that, Winslow had an 89-catch season (2006) and a 1,106-yard season (2007) with the Browns, who made him the sixth pick overall in the 2004 NFL Draft.
With the Seahawks, Winslow will provide a myriad of options for Bevell and the other offensive coaches as they mix and match his talents with those of Zach Miller, another former Pro Bowl tight end who was signed in free agency last summer.
Winslow will not be available for interviews until Thursday, when the team’s OTA practice is open to the media. But his trade already has the seal of approval from his father, Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow Sr.
“This came out of the blue that the trade was going to be going down,” the elder Winslow told the Chicago Tribune. “I was hoping he would be traded someplace that had the possibility of making the playoffs. He was happy. He knew coach (Pete) Carroll from his days of being recruited to USC. So there is knowledge there.
“So many people take a trade as something negative. And it’s not. He may not fit in one team’s plan, but you fit in another team’s plan. So it is a good thing. In today’s game, a player moving around is nothing new. It is rare to see a guy stay with one team, unless you’re a quarterback or a left tackle.”
Winslow Sr. is now athletic director at Central State (Ohio) University. But he and his son have a connection to the Seahawks – besides their ridiculously productive games against them. Winslow was in the same Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class as Steve Largent, the Seahawks’ all-time leading receiver.
That was in 1995. And Kellen Winslow Jr., eight days shy of his 12th birthday at the time, was in attendance.