J.C. Cornell of the Draft Network, also a Bucs insider, reported that Mayfield remains the frontrunner despite Trask’s progress. Mayfield threw seven interceptions in the first nine practices of training camp while Trask surprised many with solid play in camp.
“I’ve chatted with numerous well plugged in people with the Bucs. Seems that the consensus is that it’s Baker Mayfield’s job to lose,” Cornell tweeted. “If Baker has a solid game on Friday night it will be an extremely uphill battle for Trask to win this job.”
“That being said, there’s a decent chance we see both QBs this season,” Cornell added.
Mayfield will lead the Bucs first team offense, or at least most of it, against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that contained a struggling Bucs offense last season. Tampa Bay didn’t score a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter of that game with Tom Brady under center.
“We haven’t discussed whether the starting line [are] all playing. All the other positions are up in the air. There will be some I hold out and some that play at every position,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Wednesday, August 9.
Todd Bowles: ‘We’ll Kind of Go From There’
Bowles didn’t confirm if Trask would play with starters later on against the Steelers. After confirming Trask’s preseason game start for August 19, Bowles said “we’ll kind of go from there” at quarterback.
“We’re just going and we’ll switch them out. It just happened to be that turn,” Bowles added.
Tampa Bay drafted Trask in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft as a potential replacement for Brady. Trask never played in a regular season game until a short stint in Week 18 of the 2022 season.
Mayfield, a former No. 1 pick in 2018, signed with the Bucs in March after Brady’s retirement in February. Despite one playoff run with the Cleveland Browns, Mayfield’s last couple of seasons proved tumultuous amid injuries and transitions between four different teams.
Kyle Trask: ‘Just Play Clean’
Trask has won the turnover battle against Mayfield thus far, but the former Florida Gators star has made big downfield plays in the process.
“I’ve definitely been seeing what I can and can’t do for the past two years,” Trask told reporters on Monday, August 7. “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 sees his first preseason action on Friday as just “another brick in this competition” with Mayfield.
“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,” Trask said.