Bruce Arians Points Blame in Bucs Rookie QB Incompletions

Kyle Trask

Getty Kyle Trask made his NFL debut on Saturday with the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay rookie quarterback Kyle Trask didn’t light things up in his NFL debut, but Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians didn’t see that falling on him, either.

Arians went after the receivers instead after a 19-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the preseason opener on Saturday.

“Those guys need to make plays for him,” Arians said in the postgame press conference. “I thought Kyle went in there and made some throws.”

It started with Trask’s first career pass — a deep ball to first-year Bucs wide receiver Travis Jonsen that ended in an incompletion.

“That wasn’t the plan, but I have no problem launching it if they give it to us,” Trask said about his first throw. “They did a good job of covering us up in the first few guys of our progression, and I saw Travis, he got back there past their safety, and I just tried to air one out and give him a shot.”

Trask went 4-15 for 35 yards and a long pass of 13 yards. He averaged 2.3 yards per completion and finished with a completion percentage of 26.7 and a 39.5 quarterback rating.

Despite the disappointments, he had his teammates’ backs when talking with the media.

“Those are plays that I’ve seen those guys make in practice,” Trask said. “Little things just didn’t go our way, but we’ll get it coached up, and hopefully hit it next time.”

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Trask’s Best Moments

A second-round draft pick from Florida with the weight of being a potential heir apparent to future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, Trask got a roaring ovation from the crowd upon entering the game.

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“It’s awesome to have the support from the fans,” Trask said. “It’s amazing because you know they have your back, so hopefully, I can just keep improving and give them what they want to see.”

Arguably, his best moment in action came on a two-point conversion pass to tight end Codey McElroy in the back corner of the end zone. It came after Bucs linebacker Joseph Jones scored on a pick six in the fourth quarter.

“That was awesome,” Trask said. “Codey works really, really hard. And I saw that linebacker’s back turned, and I knew I could give him a chance. He went up and made a great catch.”

No Worries, Just Wisdom

Trask felt confident facing NFL competition for the first time, and he knew had three other experience quarterbacks to troubleshoot with, too.

“Really, all the quarterbacks have been in my corner and just helping me with everything that I have a question for because they have a ton of NFL experience in every single one of them,” Trask said. “They’re very helpful with anything I have a question about.”

Trask said it hit him that “it’s just football” once he started playing. Going against NFL speed for the first time against a team he saw little to no film on didn’t faze him either, he said.

“It was a little tough. We found some old clips of their scheme, and we kind of had a little bit of knowledge about their defense going in,” Trask said. “But really we’re just trying to go out there and  everybody’s just trying to make their reps count because we’ve got a lot of guys playing.”