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Top Wirfs, Trask and White Quotes from Phase 1 | Brianna's Blitz 

Quarterback Kyle Trask, running back Rachaad White and offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs spoke with local media earlier in the week and there are several takeaways

Bri's Blitz Top Quotes Wirfs, Trask, White

During Phase One of the Buccaneers 2023 offseason workout program which consists of meetings, strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only, several players spoke to local media including Kyle Trask, Rachaad White and Tristan Wirfs. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, the trio discussed several pressing questions from the podium. Here is a look back at several takeaways from the afternoon discussion on Monday:

Kyle Trask: Competing for the Starting Role

For the first time since 2014, the Buccaneers will have a true quarterback coemption in training camp. Third-year player Kyle Trask will battle veteran acquisition Baker Mayfield for the signal-caller duties. While Mayfield has exceeded the 16,000-yard career passing mark and 100 touchdowns during his five-year tenure in the NFL, Trask has thrown nine passes during the regular season – all in the fourth quarter of last season's finale against Atlanta. Although Mayfield holds the advantage of experience at the pro level, Trask spent the previous two seasons learning anything and everything from the greatest to have ever played the position, Tom Brady. In addition, he has more familiarity with the Bucs' culture, however, both Mayfield and Trask will begin a fresh slate with a new offensive playbook in Tampa Bay under Dave Canales. Canales will be implementing a scheme similar to the one he installed in Seattle, which led to the ascension of Geno Smith. Trask provided his thoughts on the quarterback competition and the one quality that is paramount: consistency.

"This is a good opportunity for me, and a great opportunity for me to compete with someone like Baker [Mayfield], who's definitely proven himself in this league. So, it will be very fun to get to know him and compete with him every day. For me, I always try to be as consistent as I can. I'm always trying to build my routine, square it away as tight as I can. So, it's just very important for me to really lock that in at a time like now and try to make myself as productive as possible to help this team in the end and hopefully help the overall success of this team… I guarantee you the job won't be won if I'm thinking about outside things and different types of narratives. That's not going to 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. And 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 thing together and everybody plays better."

Rachaad White: Mental Growth in Year One

In 2022, the Bucs finished last in the league in rushing offense, averaging 76.9 yards per game on the ground (franchise worst). Rachaad White emphasized that will "definitely" not be the case for the club in 2023. During his rookie campaign, White accumulated 469 snaps (38.57%). White concluded his first year with 481 yards on 129 rushes and a touchdown for an average of 3.7 yards per attempt. In the passing game, White contributed 290 yards on 50 receptions and two touchdowns. He served as the slash-back with burst getting north and balance through jump-cuts. White improved in pass protection during the duration of the season, which allowed him to stay on the field for all three downs. He was listed as the starter out of the backfield last season and will compete with Chase Edmonds, Ke'Shawn Vaughn and Pat Laird for the role of RB1 in 2023. Watching the work ethic of other teammates last season built the foundation for White's desired approach. By emulating the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Tom Brady, White will strive to be a team-oriented and high-character player, first and foremost.

"I just kind of learned how you kind of go about this lifestyle and how to carry yourself in a [good] manner. I was very grateful, blessed, fortunate that I have three older brothers an older sister, a younger sister, my mom and my family – I was raised well and raised to always be humble and appreciate the small things, the little things in life. Taking that and then seeing guys – seeing how Mike [Evans] works, how Chris [Godwin] works, how Tom [Brady] worked – seeing how guys worked and how great of human beings they [were]. That was the biggest thing for me – I always pride myself on being who I was before I was here and just keep being a great human being. At the end of the day, I just learned that and [learned] how can I make guys around me, like my teammates, better and have an impact on my teammates more than anything. If my teammates say, 'Yeah, Rachaad is a great teammate,' that's what I want most over anything."

Tristan Wirfs: Leadership Responsibility

Tampa Bay underwent significant changes on the offensive line in 2022. Ali Marpet, the club's Pro Bowl left guard, retired and right guard Alex Cappa signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency. Both were stabilizing forces on the line that had to be replaced. On the second day of Training Camp at the AdventHealth Training Center, starting center Ryan Jensen suffered a significant knee injury, prompting another reshuffling of the line.

Right tackle and the Bucs' lone Pro Bowl selection in 2023, Tristan Wirfs, set the tone in 2022. He anchored the line, continuing his dominance against some of the league's top-tier edge rushers. Wirfs has started in 46 games over the previous three seasons, including 13 in 2022 as an ankle injury sidelined him for several games. The former Iowa product allowed the lowest pressure rate last season with a minimum of 500 pass blocking attempts (0.9%).

In 2023, change will occur again, causing a retooling of the Bucs' protectors in the trenches. The Bucs parted ways with Donovan Smith and Shaq Mason, leaving vacancies that must be filled during the offseason. As a shift ensues, Wirfs will strive to step up as a leader on and off the field as the "voice of the offensive line."

"I don't want to say, 'Take over the room,' that's not the right phrasing but I want to be somebody that the guys can turn to or is going to be the voice of the offensive line. [Somebody] that's going to stand up for us when need be and kind of take the brunt of things if things aren't going so hot. I think I'm more than ready to do that. It kind of started last year and has been snowballing into where we are now. Yeah, I'm all for it. "

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