Bucs LB Josh Keyes eager for last shot ThursdayGreg Auman, Times Staff WriterMonday, August 31, 2015 Josh Keyes, right, grabs onto linebacker Jason Williams during training camp earlier this month at One Buc Place.SCOTTY SCHENCK | TimesAs one of eight undrafted rookies left on roster as the Bucs continue to make cuts, linebacker Josh Keyes is hopeful that a strong showing in Thursday's final preseason game at Miami can help his chances of beating the odds. "I think Thursday's game is very important. It's my last chance to make my mark, to go out and show what I can do," said Keyes, a Boston College graduate whose last name rhymes with "size." "I'm just going to try to make as many plays as I can and we'll see what happens from there. It's really exciting."Keyes, one of four linebackers fighting for one or two spots behind the Bucs' top four at the position, has been active on special teams -- he's playing on all four units, on punt and kickoff coverage and as blockers on both return teams. His two tackles there are tied for second behind only Russell Shepard. Other more experienced linebackers have had more tackles on defense -- Khaseem Greene has nine and Jason Williams six -- but Keyes has gotten three tackles in limited play on defense, including a tackle for loss.With those top four -- Lavonte David, rookie Kwon Alexander, Danny Lansanah and Bruce Carter -- likely getting most of the linebacker reps on defense, backup jobs are often decided based on who can help most on special teams."Teams are so, so important as a linebacker," Keyes said. "Being able to work on teams and make plays here and there and do well there is so important."Keyes has been working as the Bucs' backup weakside linebacker, which allows him to work closely with and learn from David, one of the best in the league at his position."Lavonte is so knowledgeable," Keyes said. "He's a great linebacker, so I'm asking him stuff all the time about stuff I see. He's a great resource to have."
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