Time To Believe

April 16th, 2023

Third-year Bucs quarterback Kyle Trask.

So how long might it take for Kyle Trask or Baker Mayfield to win over the Bucs’ locker room?

Interestingly, there’s fresh insight from a receiver with ties to the Bucs.

Joe loves this time of year because it affords Joe more time to learn about the rest of the NFL. That’s what had Joe watching last week’s Colin Cowherd interview of Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf on FS1.

Metcalf transitioned last season in Seattle from a legendary quarterback, Russell Wilson, to a nobody starting quarterback, Geno Smith.

Smith, whose position coach in Seattle was current Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales, had been with the Seahawks since the 2020 season, but it seems he hadn’t commanded teamwide confidence or respect, per Metcalf.

“I saw the transition from, ‘Ok. I’m a backup’ to ‘ok, this is my team; I’m a starter,'” Metcalf said. “Like Week 8 he won the locker room over and he was giving pregame speeches and people were listening to him and buying into Geno Smith. … Just to see the transition from people, ‘Oh, yeah, he’s immature. Writng him off to ‘ok, that’s my leader. That’s my quarterback. It was just amazing to see.”

Joe was intriuged by the Week 8 timeline shared by Metcalf. The Seahawks had a 4-3 record and Smith was competing well over 70 percent of his passes at the time.

Keep in mind Seattle had a veteran, defense-first head coach and was transitioning from a historic quarterback to a journeyman QB among experienced assistant coaches. Hmmm, sounds familiar.

Might it take Mayfield or Trask half a season to win over teammates and have them fully buy-in? It could.

Leadership often is overblown, but not as much from the quarterback position. It’s critical there.

Per Metcalf, when Smith was fighting for the starting job in the offseason after Wilson was traded, he was barking orders and critique to practice-squad-level players and taking every moment of his opportunity seriously from Day 1.

Joe wonders whether Trask has that kind of moxie in him.

Joe isn’t a big fan of the word “moxie,” but Todd Bowles uses it often and Joe is sure that’s one thing he’ll be looking for from Trask next week when players return from their winter vacation.

As for Mayfield, Joe is confident everyone can expect him to be buzzing around One Buc Palace from Day like he’s the top dog.

58 Responses to “Time To Believe”

  1. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Players will judge who is the team leader by what they SEE on the field in terms of toughness , attitude , execution, and willingness to do whatever it takes to help the TEAM win games. Trask will win them over quickly.

  2. KarlBuc Says:

    Since1976 is right.

    Even though Metcalf observed Smith was barking orders in training camp, it was only in Week 8 – seven games of performance – when he won the locker room.

    Whoever performs on the field – not in the locker room – has the chance to win over the team as their leader QB

  3. SOEbuc Says:

    Trask has had at least plenty of time to see what a leader looks like with Brady, and still does not have the ability and support to move forward. Brought in Baker and five QB visits. I would not mind the possibility of Hooker or Levis in the second round to compete for the 1QB or 2QB.

  4. D-Rok Says:

    Moxie is defined as a “force of character, determination, or nerve.”
    We’ll see who displays it this season. As of this moment, I’d say Mayfield has it whereas Trask hasn’t shown that predilection just yet.

    Go Traskfield! And may the best QB win – until we know who will help round out the QB room, it’s down to one or the other.

  5. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    • Little Confidence

  6. ModHairKen Says:

    Who is the leader on Defense? JPP and Suh were. Gone. It’s not Lavonte. Never has been.

    So who is it? The tantrum throwing Devin? The Invisible Man Tryon? The always injured dynamic duo of completions at the wrong time, Dean and Davis? Part-Time Vea?

    Coach, you better get somebody.

  7. MadMax Says:

    We’ll soon see…but Ive given up since the ones calling the shots look like they’ve given up….who knows though, maybe he’ll get it and turn this thing around

  8. Joe in Michigan Says:

    MHK: Why isn’t it Lavonte? Because you say so?

  9. MadMax Says:

    ^ @Mod, Trenton Simpson soon…..but right now it will be LD54

  10. Browsing from DC Says:

    We’ll see how camp and pre-season shake out. Mayfield starts with an edge with his experience but Trask has a head start with familiarity with the the returning players, so it will be interesting to watch it play out.

    On the plus side, our schedule is so much better than last year. We don’t start the season by having to run the gauntlet of top-tier teams for the first 4 games like last year. In fact, we have it fairly easy until the last few games with Buffalo, San Fran and Philly. We had some “winnable games” last year that we choked on (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc) but with even a modestly improved offense I still stand by my 10 win prediction.

    Whoever our QB1 is, they have a great opportunity to win over the team from the jump and have it locked down by week 5. I don’t know where our “strength of schedule” ranks but I bet Brady is out there somewhere thinking, “Yeah. Gimme some of that!”. But….it’s the NFL and “that’s why they play the games”. GO BUCS! (fingers tightly crossed).

  11. Allbuccedup Says:

    One thing fot sure Bowles doesn’t have a moxie bone in his body.

  12. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Joe wonders whether Trask has that kind of moxie in him.
    – Can Trask pass the Waffle House menu test? Can he process reads and options on a play fast enough to overcome the speed of NFL defenses?

  13. Goatfarmer Says:

    I start to get excited, and then I remember……..the energy sucking, horrible decision making singularity. Not even Licht can escape.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Totally different players and a different situation….you can’t really make a comparison….it will have to play out….but I suspect that Mayfield (if he’s going to win) will win the locker room quite quickly.
    The Bucs will be starving for some leadership with the absence of Brady.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    ModHairKen … ‘Who is the leader on Defense?’

    That’s the question I kept asking last season & never did figure out the answer. Folks were expecting Vea to step up to a leadership role when Suh wasn’t re-signed, but I don’t think he ever did. I don’t view White or LVD or Shaq as the real leaders this defense needs, nor Davis or Dean. But maybe Winfield will step up this year & grab the bull by the horns.

    Saw kinda the same thing on the OLine last year. Without Jensen they seemed rudderless, and lacked ‘attitude’. Glad to have him back in there.

  16. Pewter Power Says:

    Different than different locker room different state. Served at fort Lewis in Tacoma Washington and coming from florida it’s a night and day experience and how you have to adjust to lifestyle there. we have a much more relaxed trusting environment just that’s just my take

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Leadership often is overblown, but not as much from the quarterback position. It’s critical there.’

    Agree with that 100% Joe. In my past profession though, I flew with a lot of guys as an instructor pilot who talked a great game, but who lost more engagements training in air combat than they won. Results count more than anything else.

    Trask & Mayfield are obviously very different personalities, but the coaches & players will soon enough figure out which one produces the best results for this team. It has to be a fair competition though to truly judge which QB is better for the Bucs going forward.

  18. Ran-D Says:

    Wow, I really hope Trask does pick it up this year, however, he had three years to bump Gabbert for the number two guy, never happened that kinda says it all without saying, I don’t care who thinks or says he’s great.

  19. ModHairKen Says:

    Joe in Michigan, nope. Not because I say so. Because of the team’s apathetic play in, for example, Carolina, Pittsburgh and Cleveland last season and against Dallas, when David did not have Suh or JPP to rely on. It’s not personal, just factual.

  20. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  21. Goatfarmer Says:


    Blah blah blah blah pontificate bloviate…….


  22. Infomeplease Says:

    Imo., Trask is more like Geno Smith, in that he will be the backup guy waiting for his chance to be the guy. This may happen this year or never, it depends on how fast he develops and impresses the coaching staff.

    BM will act like the guy from day 1 and will be the guy until he’s not. He demands the respect from day 1 and the players will treat him like he’s the guy early on, hopefully way before week 8! Imo.

  23. ocala Says:

    Only teams with a top 10 QB have a real shot at winning the Super Bowl with the exception of a team like the 49ers that have an incredible roster on both sides of the ball and a QB that is very good decision maker.

    Bucs just like every other NFL franchise should look at drafting a QB every year until they get a top ten QB on their roster.

  24. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  25. Mark Says:

    Trask has 2 years under Brady knows the system we’ve seen what Mayfield can do and that’s not much

  26. TonySoprano Says:

    It’s interesting that Licht has repeatedly said he prefers to draft team captains. Yet our team does seem deficient of leaders. The majority of our players seem soft-spoken, humble, type b personalities. It doesn’t help that our HC has the energy of a jellyfish, and I think this speaks to why we seem to come out so lifeless and flat so often. I hope we draft some dogs.

  27. SB~LV Says:

    Seeing is believing

  28. D-Rok Says:

    Tommy, STOP bro – now I have a headache!! LOLz.

    Is your caps lock broken or sumthin?

  29. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    Tony, you have insulted millions of jellyfish!

  30. Redeemer Says:

    Moxie is a soda, prevalent in the state of Maine. If you perform, you’re the guy. I can see it now, once Mayfield struggles (and he will mightily) the call for Trask will be echoing. What’s the old saying ? If you have two QBs you have none. I don’t expect this to be much of a competition. They may say it is. But bowles has been given the reigns. Baker is here because they want him to start.

  31. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Im inclined to wonder about how a new offensive coordinator will effect this team leadership role. If they are using verbage and offensive plays from Leftwich’s time there with Canales sprinkling in new plays. Trask will have the upper hand simply because he can help new team mates acclimate faster. But if Canales throws out the entire playbook and introduces his own. Mayfiled certainly has more experience learning nfl playbooks quickly. Immediately I think it comes down to who learns the playbook and can assist his team mates with any questions. After everyone learns the majority of thier assignments it’s down to who plays better.

  32. Fred McNeil Says:

    I think the general expectation is that Mayfield will start unless Trask blows his doors off. Truth be told, I’d love to see Kyle blow doors and prove himself worthy of a second round investment. Sans that wishful outcome, i’d hope Baker plays like a #1 overall pick and rubs the Browns nose in it.

  33. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Joe in Michigan Says
    “MHK: Why isn’t it Lavonte? Because you say so?”

    Because David is not an off the field leader. He leads by his play. He’s never been one to coach up the other players.

    Whereas JPP took control of the defense from day one. He would not have had to if David was leading.

  34. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Ran-D Says
    “Wow, I really hope Trask does pick it up this year, however, he had three years to bump Gabbert for the number two guy, never happened that kinda says it all…”

    So long as Tom Brady was the starter, the coaches would not put an inexperienced guy there at #2…because they would assume a veteran would stand a better chance of not losing games while Brady was out (if injured).

    So no…Trask never had a chance to get that #2 spot. And it was thru no fault of his own.

    That said…you may be right. He may not be good enough. I think he’s competing for the #2 spot now, and I think Baker will be handed the starting role whether he earns it or not. But Baker will blow it…just like he always does.

    And assuming we don’t sign another veteran, that’s when Trask will get his shot.

    Of course…there is always a chance Baker will get injured sooner though.

  35. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Mark Says:
    April 16th, 2023 at 12:42 pm
    Trask has 2 years under Brady knows the system we’ve seen what Mayfield can do and that’s not much

    Knows the system?
    New OC remember?

  36. AnonymousBuc76 Says:

    Ditto Poster #1

    Lfg KT
    As a Nole fan I was genuinely impressed with Kyle’s play at Florida. It wasn’t flashy by any means but, I saw the size, the “moxie”..and a better arm than he gets credit for…Imo he helped Kyle Pitts and Kadarious Toney become 1st Rd picks because of his ability to throw nice catchable passes that resulted a bunch of yac.

    Assuming no other QB get thrown into the equation, KT should be our Week 1 starter…

  37. Redeemer Says:

    Bonzai, so now it’s a coaching conspiracy? Sure, NFL coaches are in the business of suppressing talent. What’s next, ownership wanted gabbert to be backup. Trask dressed for what, two games in two years? He sucks, or they wouldn’t have signed a guy like baker. You can’t have it both ways. The kid has had plenty of opportunities and hasn’t shown. Thats not me talking, its what logic dictates. Please don’t join the Trask conspiracy bandwagon.

  38. Goatfarmer Says:

    Redeemer – the Trask Suppression Conspiracy is strong. Using logic and actual, you know, stuff that happened (or didn’t happen) is not credible. It’s a lot more fun to believe the guy who the fans haven’t seen as a Buc deserves to start. (But coaches, management and players who have seen him as a Buc disagree, and they get to decide.)

    Let’s have a drink.

  39. steele Says:

    It really doesn’t matter if Trask had time under Brady/Arians. Rah Rah Canales is a whole new thing, or allegedly so. It’s a new start, and no one has any choice, whether it sucks or it’s great. Whoever steps up and does all the things that a QB should do, that’s it.

    Also keep in mind that the “third QB” has not been chosen yet. So that adds to uncertainty. The position is a complete question mark until this is set.

  40. Rand Says:

    That’s just a part of the game, and not really the most important part. It really comes down to who can manage his game best. Who is accurate and can deliver the football into tight windows without costly turnovers and boneheaded plays. Those are the real attributes that win teammates over. So between Mayfield and Trask, I don’t think popularity will be as important than who truly has the on the field intangibles that count the most.

  41. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    I think Trask is the wild card. As fans we have no idea what he’s looked like. I don’t think they’re impressed as they’ve brought in Levi and Hooker for visits. The more I think about Levi’s and Hooker, I think they’re very similar and similar pasts. Levi’s didn’t start at Penn State and Hooker didn’t start at Virginia Tech. Both are big strong and fast. I hate that Hooker would be out for a year, but I think (of Trask isn’t the answer), I’d take Levis if somehow he’s available at 19 or I’d trade down an grab Hooker at the end of the first. See if I could get an extra 2nd. I would love to have a franchise QB.

  42. Steven007 Says:

    Rok, it’s the reason I never read one comment by that weirdo. I pass it over immediately every time I see that dreadful salad of capitals.

  43. Buccos Says:

    I see this is being a real competition between Trask and Mayfield. There’s no reason to gift the job to either one of them. I believe the Buccaneers are excited to have a true competition for QB for the first time in years. it does the organization, the fans and the players a lot of good to see this most important position earned on the field, Trask has a lot of potential as does Mayfield. I am a gator and would prefer Trask to win the job but if Mayfield prevails and can lead this team that is fine too.

  44. Posey99 Says:

    It can be easy to say Mayfield will come out and be the immediate leader based on his personality and experience in the NFL. BUT don’t forget Mayfield is an outsider and Trask is an Insider. He knows the players on the team personally as well as the staff and faculty

  45. Craig Says:

    Trask seems to just hang around and talk to the other players until it is his time to step up.

    So far when he steps up it is big time stepping up.

    I still think the Bowles cleaner is a putz that will make Mayfly the starter, even if Trask wrecks the internet with his play.

    But Mayfly is not built to complete a season. Either injury or interceptions end him. Then maybe Trask can shine.

    Trask will blow Mayfly out in preseason, but it won’t matter because of our HC.

  46. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bowels may be a train wreck of a head coach but he has to know he’s not going to come back for a 6th consecutive losing season if he humps the horse again. He will play the players he believes give the Bucs the best chance to win, based on their performance in practice, preseason, and the intangibles. Now, his judgment is quite obviously flawed but at least he will attempt to oversee a truly FAIR COMPETITION.

    Damn, missed the 12,698 word treatise my multiple thousands. My bad, Ben.

  47. IrishTony Says:

    Trask is perfect for the CFL or maybe an upcoming preparatory league. No evidence this guy has the chops to make it in the NFL. Mayfield had had success even won a playoff game. Jesus people are you that blind?

  48. IrishTony Says:

    This site is antiquated. Can’t even post a comment. Get it together folks

  49. stpetebucfan Says:

    As long as neither of them run around before a game sucking on their fingers and asking their teammates…”Know what that is…that’s a W…I’m going to eat a W let’s all go out and suck on our fingers…er no I mean eat a W.

  50. garro Says:

    Leadership is a funny thing. But one thing is certain. For a QB to be a leader he must have results!

    Eating Ws then going out and throwing a Pick 6 from your own 20! Or in the case of our defensive “leader”, running around like you just won the lottery after making a tackle 10 yards downfield means squat!

  51. 1#bucsfan Says:

    I really don’t think this will be a tru competition. Bowels will hand the job to baker because he thinks he has a better chance with baker. My only question is does he do that even if trask out plays him in TC n preseason. Baker really hasn’t done much in the NFL but he has done more than trask. Trask tho had a great year at FLA n he will have a huge upgrade of weapons compared to that great season. Never bin a big fan of baker but if he’s our starter I’ll root for him. Watching film of trask play his last year at FLA made me a fan. I’ll also root for him if he’s our starter. Let’s go Bucs

  52. Jeff’s grandpa Says:


  53. Jeff’s grandpa Says:


  54. Ran-D Says:

    This is not the Wizard of Oz and Trask is not in Gainesville anymore

  55. SlyPirate Says:



  56. David Says:

    Trask will play most of 2023 season games no matter if he starts or not. Baker will either gets injured or lay eggs as usual as per the past four years with three other teams. He is a young journey man as a back up at best.

  57. Goatfarmer Says:

    Just Leave Norm Snead Alone in his Wheelchair!!!

  58. Peskajumba Says:

    This sight really is just a giant asshole.