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Kyle Trask Buccaneers

Can Kyle Trask Be Buccaneers’ QB Answer In 2023 And Beyond?

  • Jack McKessy
  • August 15, 2022
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should definitely be thinking about their future without Tom Brady past the 2022 season. Backup quarterback Kyle Trask is a potential answer under center for 2023 and beyond, but even after a solid showing in the Buccaneers’ first preseason game, he still has a ways to go.

There’s no reason for the Buccaneers to keep holding out hope that they’ll have Brady back for the 2023 season. One of the greatest quarterbacks of all time is entering his 23rd year in the NFL, already retired once this year, and at 45 years old, isn’t getting any younger or any less likely to actually retire. Given that he’ll be a free agent after this season and all of the tampering the Miami Dolphins have been doing for years as well, there’s no guarantee he’ll stick around even if he doesn’t retire.

That’s where Trask, the young quarterback the Buccaneers drafted in the second round in the 2021 NFL Draft, comes in.

Trask is currently the third quarterback on Tampa Bay’s roster behind Brady and Blaine Gabbert. At the same time, he seems to be the only clear answer to the Buccaneers’ future starting quarterback question. Like Brady, Gabbert also will be hitting free agency after this year, and barring a shockingly bad season from the Buccaneers in 2022, the team won’t be in a position to draft one of the 2023 class’s top quarterbacks either.

What makes this situation so interesting is that we hadn’t seen much of Trask even after a full year on an NFL roster. When we did, it wasn’t impressive. Trask’s preseason debut in 2021 was more than a little underwhelming, featuring a final stat line of 4-of-15 passing for 35 yards and a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals. He didn’t fare much better against the Tennessee Titans one week later, showing more problems with accuracy despite that not being an issue at the collegiate level.

This weekend gave Trask another opportunity to step up and prove he’s developed in his year on the bench behind Brady in his 2022 preseason debut. And to his credit, step up he did.

Gabbert took the Buccaneers’ first couple of series, but after that, it was all Trask. The second-year quarterback started off strong, leading the Buccaneers down the field on an 86-yard touchdown drive in 15 plays. Trask went 5-of-6 passing and was responsible for 67 of those yards, all the while looking more composed—and, likely as a result, more accurate—than he did in last year’s preseason showings.

The next two drives were less impressive. Trask made an ill-advised throw as he was pulled down from behind on the third play of the following drive. The short, fluttery pass hung up long enough for Dolphins cornerback Elijah Campbell to come up and snag an impressive interception as the ball went through running back Rachaad White’s hands.

Just two plays later for the Buccaneers’ offense, Trask fumbled as he was sacked, and Dolphins linebacker Sam Eguavoen scooped up the ball and returned it for a touchdown.

All wasn’t lost for Trask in the end though. He bounced back to begin the second half, leading Tampa Bay on another long scoring drive—this one for 75 yards—which he capped off with a beautiful touch pass to rookie receiver Jerreth Sterns for a touchdown.

A couple of extra (potential) scoring drives bracketed a five-and-out and a three-and-out to end Trask’s night, and he managed to keep other mistakes to a minimum.

Besides the touchdown pass, Trask’s performance in a two-minute situation at the end of the game was the most impressive part of his performance. It included a couple of clutch deep passes, especially a nice 20-yard pass to Sterns on 4th-and-12. If it weren’t for kicker Jose Borregales missing a 49-yard field goal as time expired, Trask’s final drive could have been a game-winning one.

After the game, Trask acknowledged his worst stretch of the interception then fumble being caused in part by not getting the ball out fast enough, but in all, his first preseason showing in 2022 was a success. His final stats were 25-of-33—a 75.8 percent completion rate—for 258 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

It was an impressive step forward from Trask’s brutal performances in last year’s preseason, but it still revealed the parts of his game he has to work on to ensure he can be Brady’s successor. Getting out the ball quicker is one of them, protecting the football is another, but his potential to be successful as an NFL quarterback was on full display. He was spreading the ball around by completing passes to 11 different receivers, making nice passes, and showing off his mobility in the pocket.

Going forward this preseason, Trask will get more opportunities in game situations, something he has credited as being the most helpful in his development. If he continues to take similar steps forward, he’ll give the Buccaneers’ coaching staff and front office more confidence that they can move forward and find success without Brady when that time comes. With Brady still out of training camp on a leave for personal reasons, Trask will have even more of an opportunity to shine.

Written By

Jack McKessy