Canales recently touted newly named backup quarterback Kyle Trask as the final preseason game and 53-man roster cutdowns loom. It’s not uncommon for NFL teams to trade players who performed well in the preseason as the rosters take final shape before the regular season.
“If you watch Kyle’s film and you throw on any of the games across the league, you’ll see this is a real talent — this is a real starting level talent at quarterback,” Canales told reporters on Thursday, August 24. “He just has [calmness] in the pocket, he’s accurate and he just stays cool throughout the whole thing — good or bad series, he’s right back on it.”
Trask looked like a threat to challenge Baker Mayfield for the starting job throughout training camp, and the Bucs persisted in calling it an open competition. Mayfield, officially named the starter on Tuesday, August 22, has 69 games of starting experience while Trask has 10 regular season snaps.
“Lots of positives from both guys, looking at it,” Canales said. “Thinking about what Baker has been able to do…[for] a little bit there in the middle of camp, Kyle showed he’s the real deal.”
Trask shined in the second preseason game on August 19 with 20-28 passing for 218 yards and a touchdown. He started that game after going 6-10 for 99 yards in the preseason opener.
QB-Needy Teams Could Go for Kyle Trask
Multiple teams face needs at quarterback with the season around the corner. YardBarker ranked the NFL teams’ quarterback situations from worst to first, and some of the bottom-feeders could use an improved, young player such as Trask.
The Bucs invested a second-round pick for Trask in 2021, but he sat behind Tom Brady and Blaine Gabbert for two seasons. Questions remained about how Trask could do in the NFL amid limited experience, but he answered many of those questions in challenging a former No. 1 pick for a starting job.
Dave Canales Explains When QB Battle Turned
Trask’s case for the starting job simmered as he took better care of the ball than Mayfield early on in training camp. Canales credited Mayfield for stepping up when things didn’t look great in practice.
“Baker felt the heat and had a couple of days where it wasn’t quite sharp. He turned it around, had a fantastic first preseason game with a couple drives — took us down, had a touchdown, the communication was smooth,” Canales said.
“Then he just kind of settled right in for that following week leading up to the Jets, showing up in that practice and [it was] just really like a good feeling like, ‘We’re settled here with this guy.’ Everything felt like it was running smoothly,” Canales added. “Kyle played fantastic in the game, so it really made it challenging.”
“We’re fortunate, going into this thing, that we didn’t just name a starter going into it without giving Kyle a chance to show what he can do, because I think he earned a lot of respect in the locker room, on the coaching staff, in the fanbase for Bucs fans out there to see Kyle is real — he is the real deal. I couldn’t feel any better about our quarterback situation going into Week 1,” Canales concluded.