TAMPA, Fla. – As expected, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles wants to see quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask in game action before he announces a starter.
“Sometime during camp or right after camp, there will be a decision made,” Bowles said. “It’s still a quarterback competition right now. I’m not going to award (anybody) in shorts and t-shirts.”
With Tom Brady retiring the Bucs only had Trask on the roster at qb when they signed Mayfield to a one-year deal worth up to $8.5 million in March.
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“I feel comfortable with where I am right now,” Mayfield said. “Now it’s about making sure that comfortability resonates with everyone else. That is the quarterback’s job to make sure everybody gets on the same page and make sure we breathe confidence throughout the whole team.”
Confidence has never been Mayfield’s problem; it’s been his inconsistency.
The 28-year-old signal caller claims being with teammates and having the ability to learn the offense in a new system is something he hasn’t had since his days with the Cleveland Browns. Trask is in his third year with the Bucs, and yes he does know tendencies with some of his offensive weapons like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, he too is learning a brand new offensive system.
“I’m feeling a lot more comfortable every day,” Trask said. “Every single day we’re just in learning mode because we’re always trying to install something new that is new to all of us.”
Trask has only played in one NFL regular season game in his career, where he went three of nine passes in a loss to the Falcons last season. Mayfield appeared in the L.A. Rams final five games last season, starting in four of them. Mayfield threw for 850 yards, four touchdowns, and two picks.
The Bucs didn’t have the money to be able to acquire free agents Aaron Rodgers or Derek Carr, and by the time the Bucs picked at No.19 in the NFL Draft, the top quarterbacks in Bryce Young, C.J Stroud, and Anthony Richardson were already taken, so Mayfield was the choice. Mayfield says he’s changed as a person since coming into the league and is more aware now of protecting the football.
“We obviously have a lot of potential to be explosive, but it’s going to have to be about taking care of the ball,” Mayfield said. “To me it’s just about staying ahead of the chains and taking care of the ball and good things will happen.”
Trask said he learned a lot watching Brady the past two seasons and how prepared Brady was and worked hard in practice everyday.
A number of Trask’s teammates say he’s a lot more confident now, knowing he has a shot to be the starter.
“It’s been such a huge leap for me, in my opinion, just to get all of the concepts down and play with more confidence,” Trask said. “I just try to attack every single day like it’s your last. I try not to think about the future because I’m trying to get the most out of every single day.”
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“They’re (Mayfield and Trask) getting used to Mike (Evans) and Chris (Godwin), getting used to the running game, getting used to Dave (Canales) calling it”, Bowles said. “They’re making progress.”
The Bucs, like all NFL teams, have time off now until the real camp gets underway in late July. Some feel it might be more beneficial for Bowles to announce a starter at Qb now, but Bowles doesn’t see it that way.
“In any competition, there’s waiting involved,” Bowles said. “You have to see who wins out and wins the competition. So we’re good.”
The Bucs will open their regular season against a Minnesota Vikings team that won 13 games and a division title last season.
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