Skip to main content

QB Kyle Trask believes he'll be given chance to compete with Baker Mayfield for starting job in Tampa

Baker Mayfield's arrival in Tampa essentially penciled him in as the Buccaneer's projected starter in 2023.

Kyle Trask hopes to be the eraser.

Trask spoke with reporters Monday and said he was told the starting quarterback job will be decided by an open competition held during training camp. Trask's claim was a bit of a surprise, but for a team seeking its replacement for Tom Brady, it's not entirely unbelievable.

"I've just been told it's an open competition. But at the end of the day, I know the team's gonna do what they have to do to put whoever on the field that's gonna allow our team to be the most successful," Trask said. "For me, I feel at this time, I just really need to hone in and be as consistent as I can. At the end of the day, I'm just trying to do whatever I can to make this team succeed. Fortunately enough, I've had two years of prior experience with a very veteran quarterback room, and there's a lot to take away from that. I'm going to try to implement those styles and routines that they had into my routine and hopefully that'll make us more successful at the end of the day."

Trask entered the 2023 league year as Tampa Bay's projected starter, solely because there wasn't a more realistic option on the Buccaneers' roster at that time. The Buccaneers addressed this by signing Mayfield to a one-year deal, and by all accounts, it is expected Mayfield will start 2023 as QB1.

That still should be expected, but it is interesting that Trask is entering the season with a legitimate belief he can earn the job. As any coach or general manager will state, competition is always good for a football team and should be created at every position. Mayfield certainly isn't an entrenched starter in the league at this point, not after landing on four different rosters within a calendar year, but he still brings more experience and demonstrated capability as an NFL starter than Trask.

Tampa Bay did enter 2023 by touting its belief in Trask's potential -- well, at least one member of the team's front office did. It wouldn't have been wise to say anything to the contrary, though, not with free agency looming at that time.

"I think we're in good hands with Kyle Trask," Buccaneers senior football consultant Bruce Arians said in late February. "I love Kyle, he's been there two years now. ... Blaine Gabbert was a great mentor for him. But just like three years ago, you've got to search what's behind door number two. Three years ago, we never would've guessed Tom Brady was behind door number two. So you do your research, you do all your homework, and then you decide what's best for you. But right now, I'm very comfortable if Kyle's our guy."

Door No. 2 ended up producing Mayfield, creating a hurdle for Trask to reach the starting lineup, if at all. Trask spoke Monday of being excited to "compete with someone like Baker" and "get to know him" during the team's offseason activities and training camp. He'll certainly have to play his best football to beat out a quarterback who has a playoff victory on his resume.

"Be as consistent as I can," Trask said when asked how he'll increase his chances of winning the job. "I guarantee you the job won't be won if I'm thinking about outside things or different types of narratives, like that's not gonna translate to success on the football field. I need to narrow my focus and do my best to put the team in the most successful position possible. But at the end of the day, just have fun and lift the ones around you because I think when you do that, it ties the whole together and everyone plays better."

If one had to choose a favorite at this point between Mayfield and Trask, it's the former. It will be up to Trask to make that decision much more difficult for Todd Bowles and new offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

Related Content