New Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales currently leads a quarterback room with one member: Kyle Trask.
Tom Brady’s retirement and Blaine Gabbert being a free agent leaves the former second-round pick out of Florida as the only signal-caller under contract in Tampa.
It’s too early in the offseason process to know if Trask will be the leader for the starting role, but Canales spent part of his introductory press conference Wednesday talking up the young quarterback.
“I really liked him coming out (of college),” Canales said Wednesday, via team transcript. “If you look at some of the skill position players he had there, Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney, who had the big return in the Super Bowl, Dameon Pierce. He was able to distribute, and the thing we’re going to help Kyle continue to build on here is to just be a point guard. Point guards don’t have to be the one that scores all the points. You just distribute. Play on time, get the ball out of your hands. Life’s better that way when you do that. You’ve got these bears chasing you. If you don’t like bears chasing you, then get rid of the ham.”
(Counterpoint: What if you are the ham?)
Trask appeared in just one regular season game in two years behind Brady — Week 18, when the Bucs rested their starters against Atlanta. That game tape was abysmal from the young QB, who completed 3-of-9 passes for 23 yards, including some shots that weren’t close to their target. But given the minimal amount of reps he’s had in two seasons, we won’t write him off based on nine pass attempts.
The Bucs’ offseason moves will tell us plenty about how they view Trask. Does general manager Jason Licht chase a veteran QB to take over the role? A lower-level free agent to compete with the third-year QB, like Drew Lock, who worked under Canales in Seattle last year? A high draft pick to come in and take the job?
Canales spent the past 13 seasons in Seattle under Pete Carroll, including last season as the QB coach for Geno Smith, who shined replacing Russell Wilson. He benefited from a veteran QB who could distribute the ball to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The Bucs have a similarly talented wide receiver duo in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin but must figure out the QB situation before we can make any further comparisons.
Tampa represents Canales’ first chance to call plays. The 41-year-old knows there will be ups and downs in the new gig.
“I know that I’m going to take some lumps and have to learn my lessons along the way, but I’ll learn quick,” he said. “I am a quick study. I have guys with play-calling experience on this staff and I’m going to lean on them, bounce ideas off of them and packaging things. I really do respect that part of it. It’s something that I am really excited about. I really have been chomping at the bit just trying to get an opportunity.”