Dave Canales: No Need To Name A Starting Quarterback Now

May 11th, 2023

No rush to name starting QB.

Deep in Joe’s heart, Joe is convinced Baker Mayfield will be your Bucs starting quarterback this fall, barring a total meltdown.

Of course, don’t mention this within earshot of anyone with the Bucs. You’ll quickly hear someone holler “Kyle Trask is competing.” OK.

Still, Joe doesn’t like this dalliance with quarterbacks. If you have two, you have none. And rarely do teams that don’t know their starting quarterback in May make any sort of postseason run.

Oh, sure. There are exceptions. There are always exceptions. Joe’s not an exception kind of guy. If someone wants to live on the outliers of life, knock yourself out.

Outliers are outliers for a reason.

Speaking yesterday to the local pen and mic club, Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales says he has no desire to name a starting quarterback until the very last moment. He was vague on when that moment would be.

“If you name a starter today, the backup quarterback starts thinking like a backup,” Canales said.

Joe doesn’t doubt that. But conversely, Joe could argue naming a starter means that guy begins practicing and thinking like a full-time starter with the first-team offense.

And since Mayfield is new to the Bucs, and to Mike Evans and to Chris Godwin, wouldn’t those extra snaps be valuable for Mayfield to build rapport and timing with his stud wideouts?

Joe gets what Canales is saying. Perhaps he doesn’t want to get Trask all bummed out.

So Joe will ask what is more important, Trask’s confidence or Mayfield being on the same page as his new teammates? Remember, the greatest quarterback of all time wasn’t fully in sync with Evans and Godwin (and others) until about November of his first Bucs season. And Mayfield ain’t no Tom Brady.

Yes, those guys didn’t have an underwear football season in 2020 or any worthless preseason games.

(My, isn’t it a refreshing change to listen to an offensive coordinator spell out what he’s doing and detail his thought processes clearly?)

33 Responses to “Dave Canales: No Need To Name A Starting Quarterback Now”

  1. steele Says:

    Why should a starting QB be named now? That would be foolish. Of course they all need to hit the field and show what they’ve got. Of course Canales will wait.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Gee, maybe Canales is running this as a REAL COMPETITION after all. Whodathunkit? Obviously not you Joe. Good for Canales.

  3. Rand Says:


    They named the starter as soon as they signed him for 4 million + incentives

  4. Zoocomics Says:

    I don’t get any of this. First off, to your comment of “Perhaps he doesn’t want to get Trask all bummed out”…what? Why would any of these coaches care about hurt feelings with Trask? Trask is owed nothing. I’m going to go on the assumption, much like Steele and Defense Rules pointed out that this is genuine QB competition. Both QBs have something to prove and the ONLY QB you’d consider handing the rains over to from day 1 would be Mayfield of course, but given the last 2 seasons, we have to be able to trust him. Trask has the measurables, the college tape, and 2 years under Brady. They’re going to see if any of this has rubbed off on him.

    I doubt this competition goes into the preseason, as by that time the coaches will have a feel of who the guy is going to be, and yeah, Trask might actually be the type of guy who needs to step in for an injured Mayfield, with no pressure on him and finally get his shot. He strikes me as a sleeper, someone who comes in under the radar, where we will be pleasantly surprised once he gets his shot.

    If in fact he does beat out Mayfield in training camp, it won’t be a Org financial decision, it will be that he is the guy, and wow… that will be saying a lot, because you’d be overcoming a guy that not only played for a cursed franchise, was the face of it, took them to the playoffs, one a playoff game, and got into a dog fight with the eventual AFC champion Chiefs. Mayfield knows pressure, he’s still young, still has the tools, and he’s a fighter. He loses this, Trask could be something special. We will see. Fun Summer a head.

  5. Brandon Says:

    Rand… $4 m plus incentives? That’s low end backup money if he doesn’t meet the incentives. Even if he starts and meets all of his incentives, he’d be making high end backup money. All you did was prove he’s not the guaranteed starter.

  6. Pewter Power Says:

    It makes complete sense why Bucs won’t name a starter anyone who disagrees with gods reasoning that’sa your problem. If you have two quarterbacks you have none well you could argue we have none even if a starter is named but only reason people possibly think baker will start is they don’t believe Trask can win. Not sure those people can’t admit it

  7. Rand Says:


    Still more than Trask …of course you got my point but just wanted to be a smart@ss

  8. Dooley Says:

    Dave Canales’ pressers so far have really been refreshing in comparison to listening to Leftwich explain what felt like the inexplainable last season. Agreed with his sentiment and that’s because I’ve been calling for a QB competition before we even signed Mayfield, so he’s just up there saying things my ears want to hear. It’s May, you want Traskfield competing throughout the offseason program to get the best out of both. This is the time of year to make mistakes, gauge their grasp of the system, and just rep it ’til either or both get it right.

  9. Steven007 Says:

    Sometimes these old aphorisms are just silly. The whole “if you have two you have none” thing is one of them. Just because some old coach said it one time doesn’t mean it’s the law. Much less the fact that every team has two QB’s. More than two actually. Obviously we all understand the underlying meaning. But if the coaches and GM say there is an a competition, why not just leave it at that? Listen, I think it’s Baker’s job to lose as well. But let’s let it play out.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Rand … Forget Mayfield’s incentives for a minute. If Trask becomes the starter, Baker becomes a $4 mil insurance policy. That’s chump change for a experienced QB in today’s NFL (hey, we’re paying Tom Brady $35 mil right now for NOT playing).

    Trask has 1 more year on his rookie contract after this season (and it’s shaping up that next year’s salary CAP situation will be even more tenuous than this year’s has been). So we wouldn’t have to worry about paying a QB. If Mayfield becomes the starter this season AND does well, do you think he’ll settle for a measly $4 mil plus incentives again? Not hardly; he’ll want big bucks. And I wouldn’t blame him.

    If Bowles & Canales are looking ‘longer term’ then a QB competition makes good sense. And if I were either of them, I’d be rooting for Kyle Trask to win it, although I’m confident that they’ll choose the one who ultimately gives us the best chance to win. That’s obviously in their best interest if they expect to be here in 2024.

  11. Hodad Says:

    The season is months away, and Joe wants Johnny Manziel, I mean Baker Mayfield , what’s the difference?, to be named the starter already. Chill out Joe. Bucs brass are itching for a real QB battle. So are some of us fans. Let’s sit back, and watch them fight it out. Let them earn the job in the dirt, as Tiger would say.

  12. All_da_way Says:

    Mayfield has the edge but he isn’t the slam dunk front runner. Mayfield is a faster learner than Trask and can improvise with some sand lot football. But Mayfield has a bad habit of not identifying the mike or high safety pre snap. That is football basic 101 so if Trask can do that pre snap the competition is going to be closer than most think.

  13. gp Says:

    I’m kinda with DR on this one. Financially, Trask has greater upside for the team. But, best man for the job, because wins are important to the career paths of our coaches.
    Here’s where I probably differ wit DR.
    IMO, If our HC doesn’t get his head out of his azz and learn how to game plan for EACH INDIVIDUAL opponent, as opposed to one plan for the whole season, it won’t matter which QB we choose. We will be so predictable that .500 will be hard to achieve.
    Were I the Glazers, I would have already made it abundantly clear to him that if we don’t crack .500 at the very least, he will be looking for a DC position elsewhere. Of course, with our luck, he would end up with a division rival.
    And he IS a good DC.

  14. CrackWise Says:

    Joe, the same argument you make for Baker could be made for Kyle.

    So, the question becomes, which QB has a history of mental issues when things don’t go his way?

  15. Dooley Says:

    ‘If our HC doesn’t get his head out of his azz and learn how to game plan for EACH INDIVIDUAL opponent, as opposed to one plan for the whole season, it won’t matter which QB we choose.’

    Whoa. Every coach in the NFL game plans for the specific opponent, there is plenty of overlap, but this is the same coach we’re talking about that installed a game plan for SBLV that was absolutely foreign to his players with only 2 weeks to rep it and his players went out between the white lines executed the game plan almost to perfection.

    I get it, as an observer you think you know what coaches are doing wrong, BUT on this site guys really don’t acknowledge the line or hand off of responsibility between coaches and players so it makes statements like this sounds credible when it’s probably further from reality than it is close.

  16. Netwalker Says:

    The Bucs cannot name a starting quarterback now. They simply cannot because they have no way of knowing who that is. Unless Trask is truly stinking it up in practice, and there is no indication that he is, they do not have enough information to make that decision.

    They may think it’s Mayfield, but that has yet to be proven. There are coaching jobs on the line this year. They cannot get this wrong by making a decision on a hope and a prayer or it’s the coaches that will be looking for job next year.

    I’m looking forward to an intense competition. Mayfield looks like he could be legit based on his startling Rams appearance and he was the number one pick for a reason. But Trask has spent two years studying under Brady. And He was darn good at UF.

  17. Craig Says:

    As long as he can come up with a complete game plan for whoever wins it, I am okay with it.

    Give us a half baked offense that doesn’t fit the QB and I be on the bandwagon that takes you out of town.

    We saw that crap last season and we had Tom Brady as QB. Make sure you give yourself enough time to make it work.

  18. gp Says:

    I stated my opinion.
    My opinion is based on my observations.
    My observation told me that we rarely took advantage of our oppositions weaknesses or addressed our oppositions strengths.
    We were the most predicable team in the league because we used the same game plan for every game we played, regardless of who we played.

  19. Dooley Says:

    More power to you @gp

  20. Goatfarmer Says:

    Canales is so far the only coach that evokes a sense of development. Maybe he can go into so-and-sozo’s office and tell him the truth.

  21. gp Says:

    Furthermore, your lone example of an adjustment to game planning, occurred under a different head coach.
    Not an opinion.
    Can you come up with any examples of adjustments made under our current regime?

  22. Dooley Says:

    At Gp

    Can you give us your insight on the details of any game plan from any game at any point last season to have your opinion of any of our coaches ability to game plan for a specific opponent to be validated? My example is a matter of history, your opinion is a matter of your observation based on a lot of detail the general public(you and I) aren’t privy to.

    You’re basing correction, based of results that you can stand firm on what specifically needs to be done? I watch tape for fun, I like dissecting the game, but that doesn’t mean I know the specific points of emphasis our coaching staff is telling our players for a given opponent as I’ve never been invited to an NFL teams Friday walkthrough? You talk as if you’re in the building.

  23. sasquatch Says:

    It absolutely makes sense to operate this as a competition until one is clearly the better guy. The opportunity to prove that won’t be until preseason games. That’s the only reasonable way with a new offense and the 2 guys we have.

    So yeah, this is how it is. We have two or we have zero. Doesn’t matter what cliché you use. That’s how it is. We will have one QB when the proof is on tape.

    That’s just how it is. Who thought we were going to the Superbowl this year anyway?

    The mistake would be to name one of them the starter before either of them have had an opportunity to learn the new offense.

  24. gp Says:


  25. Rayjay1122 Says:

    I really hope that Canales is very successful as our OC. TBH, I was not excited when we hired him but he is really growing on me. Seems like a great leader and person so far. Hopefully he will adapt well to his expanded responsibilities and be a good play caller and be able to make adjustments in game unlike the former situation.

  26. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    “it’s shaping up that next year’s salary CAP situation will be even more tenuous than this year’s has been”

    Our salary cap situation won’t be great but it will be better than this year was.

    We owed @ $75M of dead cap space in 2023. In 2024 the Bucs will probably owe @ $20M (most of that will go to Mike Evans)…

    – Mike Evans – $12M
    – Baker Mayfield – $2.3M
    – LVD – $2.7M
    – Greg Gains – $1.9M
    – Matt Feiler – $1M

    That’s about $20M in dead cap. Much better than the $75M we had to pay this off season.

    According to Over The Cap – We will have @ $44M of cap to spend with 38 players signed. Plus we have a few more contracts to restructure if needed.

    That puts us around the middle of the pack (salary cap wise)…

    Our biggest expense in 2024 will be signing a QB unless Trask is named the starter and finding a replacement for Mike Evans or re-signing him.

    OTC has 30 signed players for 2024 but that number does not include our 8 draft picks and any UDFA who make the team this season… So it is more like 38-42 players.

  27. sasquatch Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    May 11th, 2023 at 7:29 am

    Trask has 1 more year on his rookie contract after this season (and it’s shaping up that next year’s salary CAP situation will be even more tenuous than this year’s has been).

    Check overthecap.com/salary-cap/tampa-bay-buccaneers.
    We’re in substantially better shape next year. We won’t start out in the hole by 50 million. We probably won’t need to release veterans with larger salaries. We’re headed in the right direction and should have the flexibility to make whatever upgrades are necessary. They haven’t really pushed a ton onto future years with this year’s restructurings and signings. They’ve been responsible.

  28. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    When Dungy was hired in 1996, he had a returning starter in Trent Dilfer, but he still insisted on a QB competition between him and Casey Weldon. He basically said that the competition would be in training camp and preseason, and that the winner would be the winner; there would be no back-and-forth or a starter looking over their shoulder.

    It was more or less rigged. Even with a lesser arm, Weldon was always more accurate, but ownership and the front office had lots of money and a sixth overall pick invested in Dilfer, so Trent “won” the competition. In fairness, neither QB lit it up; Dungy and Mike Shula’s offense was never very QB friendly.

    Anyway, I do believe it’ll be an actual competition, but there’ll definitely be a finger on the scale favoring Baker Mayfield.

  29. Obvious Says:

    Perhaps he doesn’t want to get Mayfield all bummed out. Makes sense.

    He’s going up against superior talent and superior training as Trask was mentored by Tom Brady after all and has a long way to climb just to catch up much less take the lead.

    And if Trask really is that good then we won’t need to draft a franchise qb next season because we’ve already done that

    Go Bucs!

  30. Fred McNeil Says:

    Actually, Joe, I’d say we don’t have any quarterbacks till one proves himself.

  31. covertwo22 Says:

    I don’t think they have high hopes for Baker. At best, you’ll get the Mayfield who won a playoff game with the Browns. He was behind a monster running game and a solid defense. Plus he had a stud receiving core and he was a mediocre at best QB.

    The ceiling for Trask is much higher. He had 2 years to sit behind Brady and soak up knowledge. Plus, if he would’ve came out last year or this year he would’ve been a 1st round pick.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this Baker love is a smoke screen.

  32. garro Says:

    I really don’t think this competion will last all that long. As Joe stated, they will want the new QB to get as many reps in as they can. Especially since we have a new offense being installed.

    I don’t expect the Bucs will name a starter until the middle of the preseason.
    Even if it is apparent who that should be.

    If it is not a legit competition why bother keeping it a secret? Just a thought.
    Go Bucs! May the best man win!

  33. garro Says:

    This whole “If you have two you have none” stuff is kinda foolish.
    Every team I played for had zero before the season started. If you stunk it up in the spring you didn’t start! Then you had one.

    Spurrier is the only guy I’ve seen go in to a season and regularly switch QB’s. He was actually still pretty good doing that.

    Right now we have zero folks!