Bucs rookie linebacker Kendell Beckwith is eight months and a week removed from November surgery to repair a torn ACL, so there was a proud sense of accomplishment in getting himself healthy enough to be on the field for the opening practice of training camp Friday.
"It feels good to be back," said Beckwith, a third-round pick from LSU who will compete for the team's strongside linebacker job. "I'm just trying to do a good job of getting everything down and running the defense."
Beckwith will cross-train at strongside and middle linebacker ("I'm everywhere," he said) — he will challenge second-year pro Devante Bond for the SLB job, and be ready to step in should anything happen to starting MLB Kwon Alexander. He said his focus had already shifted from his recovery to learning the defense and being ready to play as a rookie.
"I felt like I was going to be cleared before camp," Beckwith said. "I'm not looking back. My knee's the last thing on my mind. I feel good, so I'm just trying to get comfortable with the defense."
Sign up for Bucs Red Zone
A daily report of whats happening inside the locker room and on the field.
Sign up for our other newsletters