BOSTON (CBS) – New Patriots tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. spoke to the media for the first time on Thursday since joining the Pats, and knows he has a long ways to go with his new team.
“I have a lot of work to catch up and get on the same page as these guys,” said Winslow, now with his fourth team since being drafted by the Browns sixth overall in 2004. “At the end of the day, football is football. What they’re doing here, the volume of the playbook is a lot. It’s going to take some time to get used to. It’s just verbiage and getting used to the calls, Tom (Brady’s) cadence, and just knowing not just what I have (to d0) but what everybody has (to d0).”
Winslow had 75 receptions for 763 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011. He was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in May, but was released in August. He met with the Patriots last week but the two sides did come to a deal. But when he finally got the call following Aaron Hernandez’ injury, Winslow jumped at the chance to join the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick.
“He’s one of the best of all-time,” Winslow said of Belichick. “I’m not surprised by anything going on here. They do things and practice and obviously play in the game like you’re supposed to. Teams model themselves after the Patriots.”
Winslow said there are a few similarities between him and Hernandez, but praised the 22-year-0ld’s versatility.
“He’s probably one of the most versatile tight ends in the game, if not the most,” Winslow said of Hernandez. “He goes all around the field. He can play any position. He’s very versatile in what he does and he’s smart. He’s a very good player.”
While his health remains a concern, Winslow boasts he can play through pain. He’s played in all 16 games in five of the last six seasons, and isn’t concerned with all the questions surrounding his right knee.
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“I think that’s a question every year,” said Winslow. “The thing I concentrate on is not missing games because then there’s nothing to hold against me.”
“This is my dream to play,” he said, noting his will to overcome leads him to hit the field even when hurt. “If I was missing games every year it would be true. But it doesn’t matter.”
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