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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kyle Trask Playing "Taller, Smoother, Faster"

As he continues his quest to claim the Buccaneers' starting quarterback job, third-year passer Kyle Trask is learning how to take better advantage of his height, his legs and his leaner frame


Among the 'strengths' usually noted on Kyle Trask's scouting report when he was coming out of Florida in 2021 was that he had a strong arm and, at 6-5 and 240 pounds, prototypical size for an NFL quarterback. And just like a QB with a cannon isn't going to be shy about whipping deep outs to the sideline or uncorking moonshots downfield, a tall passer is going to use that height to see the field and deliver passes well over defenders' hands.

Except, as he began preparing for his third NFL season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his first shot at winning a starting job, Trask realized he actually wasn't taking full advantage of his height. In 2023, he is endeavoring to play taller. And smoother. Oh, and faster.

"Just staying calmer in the pocket," said Trask of the improvements he feels he's made this offseason and early in training camp. "I think, in the past, I was a little agitated or maybe tried to force my feet around. I wasn't as smooth as I am now. Just trying to be clean and smooth in the pocket and play taller. I think, in the past, maybe I was a little squatty and wasn't playing like I was 6-5 – I need to take advantage of it. Playing a little taller, smoother – smooth is fast. I would say that's been my main focus, too."

Even as he learns to make greater use of a natural height advantage, Trask has also adjusted his frame somewhat since arriving in Tampa, shedding five to 10 pounds by his estimate and generally working to get leaner so he could be lighter on his feet and increase his durability. That idea came from training alongside one of the most durable players in NFL history, Tom Brady, over the past two seasons. But while Brady was famously self-depricating about his own speed and didn't often take off on the run, Trask has found that his leaner frame can add another dimension to his game. That was evident in Thursday's practice when he broke out of the pocket and was able to avoid being run down by speedy pass-rusher Shaq Barrett.

"In the past, probably in college, somebody trailing me probably catches me there," said Trask with a smile. "But if I can get to the sideline before they catch me, that's a plus for me, even if it's two yards. If I'm getting positive yards then that's good for the offense at the end of the day."

As the Buccaneers continue to absorb the new offense being installed by first-year coordinator Dave Canales, a former Seahawks assistant, Trask is also learning that being faster is an asset beyond just improved footspeed.

"Back in Seattle, they major in tempo offense, so I think that's great for us," he said. "We've got a lot of good energy in the building, like I've said in the past. It's good to see us getting on the ball quick and getting the ball snapped. If we can do that, there's no chance for the defense to switch up calls if we just snap one ball after another.

"With this offense, you've got to have your legs ready to scramble, get out of the pocket and go make a play, whereas in the past we were more dropback focused. So, just getting your legs ready to go and get out on the edge and make a play."

Trask spent his first two seasons behind both Brady, who never missed a start, and Blaine Gabbert, who took over on the rare occasions Brady came out of a game because the coaching staff valued his extensive NFL experience. Now both Brady and Gabbert are gone and Trask is not only getting a chance to split first-team reps with mayfield but also by default getting more attention from the coaches. They have helped him define the ways in which he can get the most out of his talents.

"I think [it's] just working with coaches over the offseason and them seeing the potential I have to just play taller as a passer and be more efficient," he said. "Obviously, like I said before, it's a really long season, so if I can stay smooth and efficient and tall and see over the line the best that I can, that will be the best for everybody."

View pictures from Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp practice on 7/27/23

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