The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft on an insurance policy for the eventual end of Tom Brady’s run as their quarterback.
Heading into his second season, Kyle Trask may not be any closer to seeing the field in a meaningful game for the Bucs, but there’s still steady growth happening beneath the surface.
“On the complexities of the offense,” Trask said Tuesday, when asked about the areas in which he improved since his rookie campaign. “In college, you grasp the playbook in a few camps and you’re good to go. I think the NFL game is way more complex. You see a lot more new defenses and coverages – definitely a lot of new fronts and blitzes. Every team has their own scheme, and they all have their own packages of fronts and blitzes and coverages and things like that. So, it’s just way more complex, but luckily I’m in a really good room of quarterbacks and I get to learn from them every single day. I think as long as I keep stacking these days then I’m on the right track. “
Bucs head coach Todd Bowles is seeing the gains in those same areas from the second-year passer.
“Well, his accuracy has been good,” Bowles said Tuesday. “Again, we’re in shorts and t-shirts. So, they know they aren’t going to get hit – the accuracy is going to be good from every quarterback. But, he’s picking up the scheme well – he’s making all the right reads right now. We’re getting to see him in some competitive periods that are making him make some quick decisions, and we like what we see. “
Trask is used to waiting his turn and making the most of his opportunities once they arrive, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking a competitive approach to his preparation.
“Probably by default it does help me,” Trask said. ‘That’s never been my mindset of,’ I’m going to get there and just kind of sit and learn and take my opportunity when it arises. ‘ I’ve always been the one that, ‘I want to compete every single day.’ But along my journey that’s been, I guess, the road I’ve taken. By default, I’ve had to sit, and just work, and keep grinding. Ultimately, I think that’s helped me in the end because that forces me to keep stacking these days and get better. That’s kind of all I’m doing right now – waiting for the number to get called and hopefully I’ll be ready. “
Even though Brady’s presence, and that of veteran backup Blaine Gabbert, has kept Trask from getting any regular-season game reps, he’s still enjoying the benefits of learning behind the GOAT.
“Just the preparation,” Trask said of what he learned from Brady. “He prepares like no other. He prepares more than I’m sure a lot of other quarterbacks in this league are willing to do. That’s what kind of separates him. Ultimately, it comes down to his love of the game and wanting to be the best. That’s really a special opportunity for me to be able to see that firsthand. I’m just going to keep stacking the days and see how much more I can learn from him this year. “
When asked for a self-assessment, Trask acknowledges that he’s still got a long way to go, but he likes the current trajectory of his development.
“I think I’ve been doing pretty good,” Trask said. “I think I made a lot of good improvements from last year. [I] got a lot more confidence in the playbook – still working on cleaning up the small things. Just finding as many completions as you can – that’s really what this game is all about. I’m really proud of myself for the strides that I’ve taken this far, but I still [have] a ways to go for sure. But, I’m on the right track. “