TAMPA — Bucs rookie LB Kendell Beckwith is eight months and a week removed from November surgery to repair a torn ACL, so he had a proud sense of accomplishment in being 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 draft pick from LSU who will compete for the strongside linebacker job. “I’m just trying to do a good job of getting everything down and running the defense.”
Beckwith will train at strongside and middle linebacker (“I’m everywhere,” he said). He will challenge second-year pro Devante Bond for the strongside job and be ready to step in should anything happen to starting MLB Kwon Alexander. He said his focus had shifted from his recovery to learning the defense and being ready to play.
“I felt like I was going to be cleared (to play) 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.”
With the first pick
Veteran CB Robert McClain, a late signing after the draft in May, got a strong start to his training camp, intercepting a pass from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for what would have been an easy return for a touchdown.
“Best thing you can do on defense is attack the ball and get the ball,” McClain said. “Coach preaches all the time that turnovers win games. I still have a long way to go and a lot of things to get better with.”
McClain was with the Falcons in 2014 when they were on HBO’s Hard Knocks. His advice for Bucs teammates new to the filming process as the training-camp documentary’s subjects this year: “Act…
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