The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are focused on defending their crown as Super Bowl champions this season, but the franchise’s excitement over rookie quarterback Kyle Trask could be a sign of the future.
Tampa Bay drafted Trask with its second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, believing the former Florida Gators star had the tools to become a high-end quarterback. While the 23-year-old won’t see the field anytime soon, projected to be the third on the depth chart this season, he is getting an opportunity to prove himself this summer.
With Tom Brady preparing on his own, the Buccaneers have thrown Trask into the fire at his first minicamp. Tampa Bay’s rookie quarterback is receiving plenty of first-team reps, an opportunity for him to prove he has the tools to step in if disaster strikes.
It seems the Heisman Trophy finalist is generating buzz. While it’s only been a few practices, the Buccaneers’ coaching staff is buzzing about the potential heir to Brady.
“Now Trask, that energizes me. You see a guy like Trask who wants to be good and now I feel like we’re starting again. I think probably the last time I probably had a guy like him was Luck in his rookie year. That was one of the most fun years there was because you come in with just kind of a clean slate and you start rolling. It’s really, really been fun.”Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen on Kyle Trask, via Buccaneers.com
Christensen knows quarterbacks. The 65-year-old assistant started coaching the position in 1980 at East Tennessee State and has worked with passers for nearly three decades. He was with the Indianapolis Colts from 2002-’15, watching Peyton Manning in practice and working directly with Andrew Luck.
This also isn’t just one assistant with the praise. Bruce Arians, who also worked with Luck and Manning, also saw some similarities between the former Colts’ star and Tampa Bay’s rookie quarterback.
“Mentally-wise, he’s not far behind what Andrew did in the same offense, and what Andrew did that (rookie) year (2012) is unbelievable. I’m not saying he’s Andrew Luck, but mentally he’s still really sharp.”Tampa Bay Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians on Kyle Trask, via Tampa Bay Times
It’s not a comparison to take lightly, even if it’s only for a specific trait. Luck was a generational talent, one viewed significantly higher than Trevor Lawrence this year and any other quarterback. If Trask is as sharp as the Buccaneers believe, they’ll have landed one of the biggest steals in the recent history of the NFL Draft.
Kyle Trask is certainly in a great situation to learn from some of the brightest minds, but a brilliant mind doesn’t always translate to on-field success. Fortunately, preseason games are returning this year and that will offer a great first look at how the rookie fares when under pressure.