September 27, 2023

Bucs Life

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No surprises as Mayfield named the starter

4 min read

Baker Mayfield | Tampa Bay Buccaneers


It’s been said, from those who were at camp, that Kyle Trask put in the better practices, establishing rapport with his receivers and throwing fewer interceptions than Mayfield. In the first preseason game against Pittsburgh, Mayfield had the better game. In the second game against a better Jets defense, Trask shined, hitting 20 of 28 passes (considering that three of those incompletions were dropped by receivers) with a great throw to rookie Trey Palmer for a touchdown, also sneaking a nice one in there between a double-covered receiver for a first down. Trask handled the Jets’ furious rush better than expected and even showed some shiftiness when running the ball on a busted play. In my opinion, Trask beat Mayfield out in the competition, and I believe a lot of fans feel that way as well. I think where the whole process was undermined is the fact that the powers that be didn’t think Trask had a prayer in winning the job. I think that they believed that a player going into his 6th season, with 4 of those being the starter (with some success) would have no problem defeating Kyle Trask in a competition. His experience alone would carry him surely.

Then came the unexpected!

I don’t know exactly how it went down, it’s conjecture on my part, but maybe Mayfield, at some point, was told he would get the nod maybe early on. Maybe that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I do know, at some point, the decision that Mayfield would be under center in Minnesota was made before the competition was complete. How do I know this? Rock solid football common sense. Even though Trask is in his third season here and he wasn’t given the first start against Pittsburgh, Mayfield was. Trask was given the much tougher matchup against the Jets defense. When Wolford came into the game starting the second half, it didn’t bode well for Trask. If you are really having a competition between the two quarterbacks, Mayfield would have been the second-half starter. At that point, Mayfield needed to come in and show something to counter what Trask had just done in the first half. Then Wolford went down with a scary neck injury. If the coaching staff did intend to play Mayfield and press the competition in the game, Mayfield would have been the one to go in for Wolford. Bowles said that they went with Kyle instead because he was already warmed up, really? They had both been through halftime and had both been hanging out on the sideline while Wolford played. By that point, the “warmed up” that Bowles spoke of was gone. Bowles tried to act the part, but it is absolutely clear after Mayfield was named the starter today that it was all a ruse. It’s a fact that Trask’s play against the Jets was enough to put him ahead of, or equal to, anything Mayfield had done. So at the very least, it’s a true competition, and they are neck and neck. That leaves the final preseason game to decide the “competition”. So just when the competition is a real thing to watch and not a Mayfield landslide, the “competition” is over; that’s it, no more, the decision has been made. End of story! Take your ball, Kyle Trask, and go home.

Trask will force their hand.

I’ve said from the beginning that I thought Trask had no practical chance of winning the job. There was too much politics and lip service going on for it to have ended any other way. I have also previously said that at some point during the season, Trask would relieve Mayfield due to poor play or injury, take the job and never look back. He’s got to get in there and prove it in the real regular season, play very well, and make the team take notice and change over to camp Trask. When it all comes down, it’s just what this writer believes. Time will tell if I was in tune with this whole thing. Lastly, I surely hope Trask doesn’t leave the team when his contract is up and find stardom elsewhere. It wouldn’t be the first time. Funny that they drafted the kid because they believed in him. Then, at some point, they stopped believing; and put their stock in a retread Baker Mayfield. We know who Baker Mayfield is; that won’t change. With Kyle Trask lies all the upside and potential to grow and become better. Time will tell. Go Bucs!!