Bucs’ Mini-Camp Hosts Questions Heading into July Practices

Ken Cross

June 19, 2023 at 12:22 pm.

TAMPA, Fla. – The transition of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be a major story after the retirement of legendary quarterback Tom Brady, as well as the changes on the offensive and defensive sides of the football.

The quarterback battle between veteran Baker Mayfield and second-year Kyle Trask will be high atop the ledgers across the NFL.

Mayfield was let go by the Cleveland Browns and landed with the Carolina Panthers to start last season. When he had problems in Charlotte, he was dismissed and landed with the struggling Los Angeles Rams, who were fresh off of a Super Bowl championship.

Mayfield could be at the crux of his career as he threw 10 touchdown passes against eight interceptions for the Panthers and Rams combined. In addition, he started 10 of a potential 12 games as he as 1-5 as the Panthers’ starter before giving way to PJ Walker, and then he was jettisoned to LA.

At SoFi Stadium, Mayfield took over for Matthew Stafford who was sidelined with a spinal contusion after an injured elbow was a problem from the year before.

Mayfield was never able to establish himself with either team which allowed the Buccaneers to sign him.

Meanwhile, Trask has come into Tampa Bay and already has had a system change, aimed at bringing more balance to the Buccaneers’ offense. He threw 69 touchdown passes with only 15 interceptions in three seasons in Gainesville plus he learned the dynamics of offensive football under then-Gators head coach and offensive guru Dan Mullen.

With Trask’s size and the ability that he showed in three years as the signal caller for the Florida Gators, he could be the favorite to step in and take control of the Bucs’ offense.

Coach Todd Bowles and new offensive coordinator David Canales are going to allow the quarterback competition to take place in training camp even if there is a time discrepancy between when either Trask or Mayfield takes over the lead for the job.

“In any competition, there is waiting involved,” said Bowles. “You have to see who wins out and wins the competition, so we’re good.”


Balanced Offensive Structure – As the Buccaneers were last in the NFL in rushing in 2022, it caused issues for Brady, who put up solid numbers with a 67 percent completion percentage plus 25 TD tosses against nine interceptions. 

With that, a solid rushing attack would have potentially landed Tampa Bay in a more solid playoff position. The Bucs were last in the NFL with 72.6 yards rushing per contest and in addition, they scored only five rushing touchdowns.

Starting running back Leonard Fournette was jettisoned as Rachaad White now takes over as the featured back for Canales.

“The feel I get for me right now is just balanced,” said White. “They (Coach Todd Bowles, OC Dave Canales) harp on it all the time. You’ve got to be able to run. You’ve got to be able to do both.’”

White rushed for 481 yards on 129 carries and had a career-high of 105 yards on 22 carries in a win over the Seahawks.


Electricity on Defense – Bowles has always been known as one of the best defensive minds in the NFL.

“Being in the league, it’s my sixth year coming in, I have been on defenses where we have been just kind of one thing, but he is so multiple,” safety Ryan Jones said. “It’s a challenge for the players too because you have got to learn it, but it gives you such an advantage because the offenses in this league are super smart.”

Jones discussed how Bowles is known for changes on defense and how it gives his teams an advantage. He will line up in the secondary beside Antoine Winfield in the other safety position.

“He’s a multiple defensive position player and so am I,” said Jones. “We just kind of know how to rotate off of each other. I lean on him right now because he knows the defense better than I do.”