Bucs’ Calijah Kancey poised for standout season

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Calijah Kancey is looking to make things difficult for offenses this season.

In his rookie year, he had 26 tackles but suffered an injury that set him back. He says it taught him to always appreciate playing the game of football.

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“I really just learned you can’t take it for granted and I definitely regret it when I got hurt,” Kancey said. “I know there’s one million people that want to be out here on the field and I’m blessed to be out here every day.”

The Bucs’ first-round pick in the 2023 draft strained his right calf during training camp last year then aggravated the injury in the first game at Minnesota.

“I used to wake up and play football for free and now I can get paid like why not take advantage of that?” said Kancey.

Kancey finished his rookie season with 17 solo tackles and four sacks.

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“I loved it when I was free, now I get paid to play, so it’s really just doing what I love,” Kancey added.

His 10 tackles for loss tied for second among league rookies.

Now with a year of experience under his belt, Kancey knows what he has to do to better his game

“Last year, I was confident, but I wasn’t as playing as fast as I should be, and by me, knowing the whole defense and actually playing in the league and seeing different players and stuff like that level for me is way higher and I just know the room for improvement is way much more.”

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