Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kyle Trask's Goal: A 'Clean' Bucs Offense

Third-year man Kyle Trask, who is battling veteran Baker Mayfield for Tampa Bay's starting quarterback job, has largely avoided turnovers in practice and knows that is a top priority for whoever is under center


Kyle Trask acknowledged that it sounded like a cliché when he said on Monday that his approach to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback competition was to "stay focused on what I can do." If it's not a full-blown cliché it is at the least a common refrain among people who are locked in this sort of fight for a job, and it's a pretty sensible approach, too.

One of the aspects of a quarterback's job that perhaps isn't that easy to control but is nonetheless a guiding principle is avoiding turnovers. It may, in fact, the number-one goal on a quarterback's list, but it's made difficult to achieve by 11 very good defensive football players on the other side of the line and a gang of coaches who are good at designing pre-snap disguises. Given that a quarterback can't just hit the 'no-turnover' metric by refusing to throw the football, at some point that ball is going to have to be put in harm's way.

So, while protecting the football at all costs isn't necessarily an easy thing to do, it's also not impossible. Case in point: Trask has notably avoided throwing any interceptions at the majority of the Buccaneers' 10 camp practices so far. That's a product of the work he's quietly put in over the past two years as a third-string reserve, and particularly this offseason, when he's used lessons from that time to help him emphasize his strengths.

"I've definitely been seeing what I can and can't do for the past two years," said Trask. "I think I have a much better idea now. I know what situations you have to take more risks in and I think if we can just play clean as an offense, that's going to give us the best chance to win in the end. I'm just trying to do the best that I can do, which includes protecting the football."

Trask did get picked off once during Monday's practice, but since that has been a rarity overall and he still had plenty of positive moments, he felt like it was another good field session.

"I was just trying to take care of the ball, keep getting through my progressions, taking the first open read and just trying to play clean overall," he said.

Every good practice helps when you are locked in a one-on-one battle that has, by all accounts, been very tight through the first two weeks of training camp. Trask and veteran Baker Mayfield have been alternating practice days as the quarterback with the first-team offense, and every bit of tape from practice and the upcoming preseason games is going to be factored into the final decision. That decision is likely still several weeks away from being made, at least until after both competitors have gotten to start one preseason contest.

"I've been in a lot of quarterback competitions in my football career and I think the main thing you can focus on is just playing the best that you can," said Trask. "There's a lot of things that are out of your hands, in terms of the competition. It's the same for me: stay focused on what I can do. I know it's obviously cliché but it's the truth – I'm just focused on getting our offense in the best play, the best checks that I possibly can."

It's fair to say that performance in the games will carry the most weight in the evaluation of Trask and Mayfield, because the action will be fully live, the opposing defense will be more motivated to stop them and the pass rush won't be pulling off at the last second. Still, the approach for Trask will be the same as what he has followed throughout camp.

"It's another brick in this competition, if you will," he said. "There's nothing I can focus on other than just going out there and trying to run the play the best that I possibly can and play clean football and just go out there and have fun."

View pictures from Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp practice on 8/5/23.

Latest Headlines