Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brothers In Arms

John Lynch’s brother-in-law, former Bears tight end John Allred, is one of four players in camp this weekend for tryouts


Former Chicago TE John Allred, John Lynch's brother-in-law, will get a look during this weekend's mini-camp

They have met before as opponents on the football field, with concussive results. Now John Lynch and John Allred, brothers-in-law and fellow professional football players, will share the same roster, at least for the weekend.

Allred, who is the younger brother of Lynch's wife, Linda, is one of four players who will participate in this weekend's mini-camp after coming in for three-day tryouts. In addition to Allred, CB Jermaine Francis, RB Vannez Gooch and TE/LS Joe Zalenka will get a quick look.

Allred is the only one of the four with pro experience. Francis hails from Middle Tennessee State, Gooch from Florida and Zalenka from Wake Forest. Gooch actually transferred from Florida State to Florida, where he was then switched form cornerback to running back. He's in camp with Tampa Bay back at his original position.

If the Bucs wish to keep any of these four after the weekend, a contract offer could be extended.

Lynch and Allred have been NFC Central rivals since the Bears made Allred their second-round draft choice in 1997, marking the highest pick Chicago had spent on a tight end since they picked Mike Ditka in 1961.

The two are close off the field, but In their first on-field meeting, in 1997, Lynch delivered a now famous near-knockout blow to Allred after the Bears tight end made a short reception over the middle. Allred shook off the cobwebs, however, and remained in the game, and neither player took the on-field meeting personally.

Since that rookie season, Allred has battled a variety of injuries, including a shoulder ailment early in 2000 and an October knee injury that ended his season. In four years with the Bears, Allred hauled in 30 receptions for 281 yards and two touchdowns. He played in 40 games with 12 starts, including five games and three starts last season.

The Buccaneers mini-camp got underway Friday morning with a team meeting at 7:45 a.m. After position-specific video sessions, close to 90 players took the field at 10:15 a.m. for the first of five weekend practices. The team will work out twice Friday on twice Saturday before finishing with one morning workout on Sunday.

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