Jason Licht On Baker Mayfield And Kyle Trask Splitting Snaps: No Big Deal

August 10th, 2023

Bucs GM Jason Licht

There is an old football cliché that Joe wholeheartedly believes in. And the last guy to win a Super Bowl for the Bucs has been quoted as saying the very same thing.

If you have two quarterbacks, you have none.

It seems Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio subscribes to this football axiom as well.

The former Bucs scout and Jets linebackers coach and later front office suit broadcasted his show with co-host Jim Miller, “Movin’ the Chains,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, live from One Buc Palace yesterday as part of their annual training camp tour.

Kirwan harped on the virtually equal number of practice snaps yesterday for Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask. Kirwan’s theory is, by keeping this competition between Mayfield and Trask open, and snaps spread out evenly, that takes valuable snaps away from the quarterback who will eventually start Week 1.

(In the “team period,” Kirwan said he charted Mayfield going 9-for-10 on his throws and Trask 7-for-11.)

In short, Kirwan just doesn’t like it and thinks the Bucs ought to anoint a winner, the sooner the better for the entire team.

Kirwan pressed Licht on this issue and Licht gently pushed back, thinking it is a non-issue.

Pat Kirwan: Well, that’s the question I have: How long can you keep dividing the reps? I counted the reps today. It’s great. There’s a nice battle going on. It’s a legitimate battle, but sooner or later, one of them has got to get more reps than the other. Or maybe not?

Jason Licht: Well, it’s not so much a concern for [Bucs coach] Todd [Bowles] or for [offensive coordinator] Dave [Canales]. Just the way they are rotating Mike [Evans] and Chris [Godwin] in there with both groups. The way that Dave was talking about it the other day, and Todd, you have to have them all ready to go. It doesn’t hurt to have extra reps for these guys, too.

Let’s backtrack, shall we? Remember when Tom Brady took more than a week off last August and went to a private enclave in the Caribbean? People went mental, in part, because they said it disrupted team unity and kept him away from building rapport with his offense.

Well, couldn’t the same be said for splitting reps between two quarterbacks when the starter should be working exclusively with the first-team offense?

A cynic would say if a team cannot make up its mind between Mayfield and Trask, then it better be drafting a quarterback in the first round next spring.

34 Responses to “Jason Licht On Baker Mayfield And Kyle Trask Splitting Snaps: No Big Deal”

  1. Mike C Says:

    We Wouldn’t want to be a cynic now would we joe……

  2. DS Says:

    Just not a great situation Bowles just seems stuck in his ways

  3. Hodad Says:

    Give it a rest. There’s plenty of time to get whoever the starter is ready for the season. When you have two QBs, one getting his last chance, the other his first there’s no need to rush it. Get it right. If you need to draft someone next year make sure both guys get a fair shot this year. This is a media driven narrative about not getting enough snaps. There’s plenty of reps for both. Canales just did this last year, and got it right. I trust him more then you, and Kirwin Joe.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘A cynic would say if a team cannot make up its mind between Mayfield and Trask, then it better be drafting a quarterback in the first round next spring.’

    And there-in lies your bottom line Joe, literally. Only instead of saying ‘a cynic’ you should’ve just plugged in your name … ‘This Joe’.

    We both know that Bowles & Canales are hedging their bets Joe. Mayfield has a track record (good reason to hedge their bet right there) and Trask has no record (another good reason to get them BOTH ready for the big show). And to be honest, I’m kinda excited that Wolford seems to be doing a commendable job as #3 (we could get down to that point by season’s end IF our OLine can’t pass protect better than they did last year).

  5. 3 Says:

    Given that there’s a fair chance that both of these QB’s will need to play this season the coaches should get both of prepared to play as much as possible.

    Trask has dramatically improved in the past couple months in part because of this policy.

    I fail to understand why a team would draft a QB in the second round but then fail to develop him as was done with Trask for two years.

  6. Lt. Dan Says:

    Yes Joe, “lets backtrack shall we?” Wasn’t the gripe just a few weeks ago about a “sham” of a quarterback competition? You remember – the Bucs will just hand the starting quarterback job to Baker Mayfield because of all of his NFL starts and of course the ever present “moxie” and “swagger”. Looks like we have a legitimate QB competition and I’m all for it.

  7. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Competition brings out the best in everyone. Everyone except quarterbacks apparently.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    DS … ‘Just not a great situation Bowles just seems stuck in his ways’.

    To think that a HC with mega-years as a player & coach wouldn’t listen to us JBFers to decide which QB to go with. Oh the horror of it all. It’s not about being ‘stuck in his ways’ DS; it’s about being provided with 2 QBs … one with questionable NFL experience & the other with no NFL experience … and trying to make the best decision that’ll result in winning.

    You’re apparently not a Bowles’ fan, and not alone for sure. But he is the HC & he does have the ultimate responsibility to make these decisions. Our end-season record will reflect whether he made the best decision or not. But along the way to that final game, I believe that our defense will be the driving force (at least while our offense is getting it together). Personally, with his record as a DC, I’m glad that Todd Bowles is the guy leading that defense, and I’m hopeful that Dave Canales can get our offense performing reasonably-well before the season gets away from us.

  9. Since76 Says:

    Let them show us in the first two preseason games. Let’s see who plays better when the heats on.

  10. Marine Buc Says:

    “If you have two quarterbacks, you have none.”

    The 49ers used 4 QBs last season and made it pretty deep into the playoffs…

    The Packers had Brett Favre and A. Rodgers – ya that was a horrible situation for Green Bay.

    The 49ers had Joe Montana backed up by Steve Young.

    I could go on but that saying is utterly ridiculous… Especially in today’s NFL.

    I could go on.

  11. Jp09 Says:

    The starter will be named after the Jets game. That will give QB1 two weeks worth of reps with the ones before the first game. Plenty of time

  12. Steven007 Says:

    Marine, I said basically the same thing last night in the last quarterback themed thread. It’s a tired cliche that really says nothing. In fact, I also used the Joe Montana. Steve Young situation as an example. And of course you brought up last year is much more recent example. Oh geez, what a problem, two quarterbacks that both have the ability to start?! Cry me a river.

  13. Obvious Says:

    Well, I’m with DR’s points of view today.

    Except the going after Joe. I have noticed that DR has been sniping the Joe’s of late.

    You know, Joe made a comment a couple days back where someone asked him (one of the guys) to pick “the likely future qb”. Joe had a Very Telling comment.
    He stated that he believes that the future qb is playing college ball at the moment. VERY TELLING….

    I’m simplistic in my wants and desires there. I ONLY want a DYNASTY LEVEL, FRANCHISE QB! See, simplistic. So far, as Joe has stated again and again, Nobody is standing out as “The Clear Winner”. BUT I GOTTA SAY, I don’t think it’s going to matter much because as far as I can tell, ALL THREE ARE GOING TO GET KILLED! The O Line is a DISASTER! No Jensen, No Continuity, No Chance in He!! that Any qb can survive! I’d be CONCERNED if I were ANY qb…

    And if either one of them can survive it, then that one deserves the Ensuing Beating that is surely to come! Without an even decent O line, we have No Chance of success.

    Joe may well be right but not for the reasons he stated. I’d say it has to do with the O line and a low chance of success because Of It. Our future qb could well be playing in college this season and will be announced “Early” in next year’s draft with new O line players RIGHT BEHIND HIM!

  14. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Steven


    You build a solid football team and put all your eggs in one QBs basket?

    Sounds like a great plan…

    If you are lucky enough to have a stud (top 5) QB on your roster you better be either grooming a young QB who will be waiting in the wings or a solid vet QB who is somewhat capable.

    Our GM used a 2nd round pick on Kyle Trask while we had Tom Brady and Gabbert…

    I guess our GM also knows that old saying is BS.

  15. Steelers fan Says:

    Baker is just being used to push Trask to the greatness they know is within Trask.

  16. Craig Says:

    They are going to keep talking until they convince themselves that it looks like a competition.

    It will probably just be a sign of a weak and wishy-washy HC. He is even more desperate than the lower polling presidential contenders; he has to win and win now, and wishy-washy won’t cut the mustard.

    Still have this bad feeling about a guy who had at least one interception for every practice.

  17. 941Boltsfan Says:

    One of my problems with having no clear No1 QB is it can divide a lockeroom specifically the offensive side where one person is connecting better chemistry wise or gets more looks and likes on over another where someone else feels the way about the other QB. Remember it’s a business and they all want what’s best for their buisness.

  18. sammy Says:

    “If you have two quarterbacks, you have none.”

    The 49ers had Montana and Young. The Packers had Favre and Rodgers. The Patriots had Brady and nobody else … oops, maybe that’s why they sucked when Brady left? Maybe that’s why the 49ers and Packers won Super Bowls with both quarterbacks?

  19. Tony Says:

    I wish Baker could get it over the line. With him throwing low teams box him in and block his passes. Hence most batted balls and Int’s since he has been in the league without even playing all the games. Trask is throwing about a foot taller than Baker. If it is about turn overs, it should be Trasks job. If they start Baker this year it looks like a play to dump this year for a draft pic. Baker would probably make an excuse he was injured for 4 years of the five or it was his lines fault at Cleveland, Nick Chubb never had a problem with them. Odel Beckham had compelling videos of him being wide open and Baker would look him off.

  20. WyomingJoe Says:

    I keep telling you guys, don’t underestimate Baker. It wasn’t his fault that the Browns front office made him a sacrificial lamb during the 2021 season. The shoulder issue wasn’t his only injury that year. Am I using those injuries as an excuse for his eventual downfall? Damn right I am…! Would love to poll the Bucs wide receivers and ask them who they’d like throwing to them. Nothing against Trask, but if Baker doesn’t start the Bucs are definitely tanking the season.

  21. Duane Says:

    And how many Super Bowls has Pat Kirwan won in order to achieve his fantastic wisdom that 1 = 1 = 0? At least BA won a SB championship and earned the right to say stuff, even if it’s dumb stuff.

    Having two quarterbacks most definitely does not mean a team has none. That’s an obviously stupid and inherently dumb statement. Somebody better quick tell the 49ers last year … or the Eagles … or Nick Saban.

  22. Capt2fish Says:

    Baker had to split reps with Sam darnold in Carolina before being named the starter. Not good for the QBs-WRs building chemistry…..not good for head coaches job security.

  23. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Bakers going to start in Minnesota it is happening

  24. Mike C Says:

    So….. Joe Montana and Steve Young, not QBs according to this saying.

  25. Give it a Rest, Trask Bridge Says:

    Tampa Bay’s starter will have HALF the 1st team reps with a new OC/Offense, a new Oline.

    That’s half the reps of other teams #1.

    Trask is unproven and would have benefitted from either all the snaps or learning the offense with the second team.

    Mayfield, who has had 6+ prior offensive systems would have benefitted from all the first team snaps to learn it (and have it click as it did midseason 2020).

    Either QB would be better off with all the snaps or none of the snaps.

    The only QB who understands this offense fully is Wolford, and it shows.

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    Don’t worry, the Bucs have no quarterbacks regardless of who they choose.

  27. sasquatch Says:

    Joe Says:

    Well, couldn’t the same be said for splitting reps between two quarterbacks when the starter should be working exclusively with the first-team offense?

    No, that is not at all a reasonable comparison to your team leader going AWOL in the middle of camp last year. That comparison is a major reach.

  28. SlyPirate Says:

    Did the 49ers split reps 3 ways? Worked for them.

  29. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    IKR, the Steelers had two Terry’s, Hanratty and Bradshaw. Split a lot of snaps initially the Bradshaw won the job. And a few Super Bowls along the way. So basically thats just a stupid cliche people like to throw out to look like theyre smart

  30. unbelievable Says:

    Seems to me that missing 11 practices is quite a few more reps, compared to simply splitting them while you’re there everyday.

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    Obvious … ‘Except the going after Joe. I have noticed that DR has been sniping the Joe’s of late.’

    I sincerely hope Obvious that ‘the Joes’ haven’t taken it as ‘sniping’, but I guess it’s inevitable that some would. That seems to be the nature of today’s media in its various forms (ie, if you disagree with a public person’s positions on a various topics in today’s social media especially you’re ‘sniping’?).

    JoeBucsFan is a BLOG, meaning that the site owners (and many others obviously) are free to state their own opinions, and not have to worry about all the PC BS that comes with being nationally-syndicated especially. And since they’re ‘the owners’, their opinions can often drive responses (go back through some of the articles & I think you’ll see what I mean).

    I would hope that they both have no issues with JBFers doing a Point-Counterpoint on their positions. Matter of fact, in most BLOGS that’s ENCOURAGED. That’s about the only thing that makes some of them valuable far as I’m concerned.

    The reality IMO is that Todd Bowles is gonna do what Todd Bowles wants to do. I’d almost bet that what any of us say on JBF or elsewhere has zero influence on him (if it does, he deserves to be fired). And as far as the 2 Joes go, without any counterpoint OPINIONS, JoeBucsFan would be nothing more than a commentary with a bunch of yes-men in tow. Of course, at that point they could file to become a political party of their own since that’s what we’ve largely devolved to nowadays.

  32. Destinjohnny Says:

    We have the worst line in football
    Our qbs are going to have tire marks all over their bodies by week 3

  33. Leopold Stotch Says:

    I think this only applies to an in season situation. Now if Bowles gets wishy washy during the season, barring an injury, then it’s a problem.

  34. garro Says:

    Jason is not gonna get in the middle of that. No way.
    Kerwan should know that. He is not a dummy and was a GM in the league.
    Licht has given Bowles/Canales plenty of rope to hang themselves and will not give either an excuse.

    Go Bucs!