Bucs to Roll With ‘Best QB’ in NFC South: Report

Tom Brady

Getty Buccaneers senior advisor Bruce Arains is comfortable with Kyle Trask taking over for Tom Brady.

With Tom Brady retired, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will “likely” go with Kyle Trask at quarterback.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported that on Thursday, February 23, after conversations with members of the Bucs organization. The Bucs drafted Trask in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and he remains the only Bucs quarterback under contract since Tom Brady‘s February 1 retirement.

“From my conversations with the organization, they do feel like Kyle Trask is likely to be the guy under center,” Darlington said. “I feel pretty confident that they’re going that direction.”

“I think [general manager Jason Licht] believes Kyle Trask has what it takes to be a winner in this league,” Darlington added. “And he looks around the division, and he says, ‘well, we’ve got the best quarterback in the division at the very least’. So I’m not saying that means much, but I think that he at least thinks they can be competitive with Kyle Trask.”

Independent NFL reporter Dov Kleiman reviewed how the Bucs stack up at quarterback versus other NFC South squads — all of which finished below .500 in 2022. The Carolina Panthers only have Matt Corral and Jacob Eason under contract. Despite his late-season departure, Marcus Mariota remains under contract with the Atlanta Falcons along with Desmond Ridder and Logan Woodside. Former Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, in addition to Taysom Hill and Jacob Luton, remain under contract with the New Orleans Saints.

Mariota, Winston, Ridder, Hill, and Eason all have bigger sample sizes of game action than Trask. However, none of the aforementioned have produced stellar NFL careers. Trask only has 10 regular season snaps.

The Bucs still could go the free agent route next month, as Darlington alluded to, but the organization has confidence in Trask, too, despite the unknowns. Tampa Bay faces $55.5 million over the salary cap and 20-plus pending free agents when March arrives.

Bruce Arians: ‘We’re in Good Hands With Kyle Trask’

Former Bucs head coach and current senior advisor Bruce Arians believes in Trask. Arians coached the team when the Bucs picked Trask out of Florida.

“I think we’re in good hands with Kyle Trask,” Arians said on  “The Rich Eisen Show” on Wednesday, February 22. “I love Kyle, he’s been there two years now, saw Tom work … [and] Blaine Gabbert was a great mentor for him.”

“But just like three years ago, you’ve gotta search what’s behind door No. 2,” Arians added. “Three years ago, we never would’ve guessed Tom Brady was behind door No. 2. So you do your research, you do all your homework, and you decide what’s best for you. But right now, I’m very comfortable if Kyle’s our guy.”

Bucs OC Dave Canales Willing to Build With Trask

New Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales likewise expressed his confidence in Trask as a potential starter. Canales envisions working Trask into a “quarterback-friendly system” that worked before.

Previously the Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach, Canales helped quarterback Geno Smith thrive after the departure of Russell Wilson. Canales wants to emphasize the running game and rely on wide receivers and tight ends to make plays.

“Learning who my skill players are and being able to distribute — he’s already shown he can do that,” Canales told reporters on Wednesday. “On top of that, it’s just a really quarterback friendly system because of the balance of the run and the pass. We’re not going to put him in harm’s way a lot, until of course you get into those situations where you’ve got to throw it a little bit — and then we’ll do that as smart of a way as possible.”

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