Yahoo!: Lack Of QB Decision Hurting The Bucs

August 18th, 2023

Quarterback drama.

Mike Evans has already said it. Former Bucs scout Pat Kirwan has already said it. And now, add Yahoo! to the list.

Jori Epstein of Yahoo! is not mincing words. She flatly believes Bucs coach Todd Bowles is hurting his team by waiting so long to pull the trigger on naming a quarterback. She added that nothing good can come to the offense by having the starting quarterback split snaps with his backup.

Seeking to answer [the starting quarterback dilemma] made sense when the Bucs reported to camp July 25. But 22 days later, with 31 of 32 quarterback battles essentially settled, the Buccaneers have dragged out the competition to a point that’s more detrimental than beneficial.

Tampa Bay players and coaches are intentional in supporting both QBs’ progress. But in a more candid moment after practice at the Jets facility, four-time Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans admitted that perhaps this contest has run its course.

Joe typed up Evans’ quotes on Wednesday.

Epstein was at the Bucs-Jets scrimmage this week. While she typed that Trask at times flashed, she said Baker Mayfield was the most consistent, though she gave Trask props for “successfully” handing off snaps to backs.

This week, the Bucs’ joint practice reflected what their first preseason game told them: Mayfield is readier.

Joe knows that when general manager Jason Licht appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio, when Jim Miller and Kirwan showed up on their annual training camp pit stop, Kirwan flat out asked Licht about whether the eventual winner is being hurt by having less snaps.

Licht responded — Joe is paraphrasing — that offensive coordinator Dave Canales and Bowles don’t subscribe to that philosophy.

36 Responses to “Yahoo!: Lack Of QB Decision Hurting The Bucs”

  1. Tye Says:

    Baker’s team until it isn’t!
    A credible HC would have it settled by now….

  2. Fred McNeil Says:

    I think they’re going to give Trask an opportunity Saturday night. Then decide.

  3. Greg Says:

    I think the media is just looking for a story. Nothing like stirring the pot cause you’re bored in the summer with nothing to write about.

  4. WyomingJoe Says:

    This whole drama is making us all sick! If Bowles and Canales don’t know who their starting QB is by now they should be coaching high school ball.

  5. Iamabuc Says:

    Well, that’s true. They should already have decided for the good of team. Mike is right.

  6. BillyA Says:

    @Greg, amen these reporters are trying to make a story for their own livelihood. Not a one of them understands what it takes to compete because they were never close to this level.

  7. Jimmy Says:

    If a coach can’t figure out who to start between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask, either the coach can’t eval QBs or the team is drafting a QB next year.

  8. AtlBuc Says:

    One thing the national talking heads don’t seem to understand is that the team has to deem the competition as having been fair. After it is over, neither QB should be able to say they didn’t get a fair shot.

  9. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Atlbuc is right, but Bowels and the coaching staff determined the winner weeks ago it’s just a s—t show now.

  10. Cleanhouse Says:

    This coach doesn’t view any QB as a leader, that’s why he treats the position as an afterthought, game manager, “just don’t make mistakes”. That’s why he resented the greatest QB of all time and his well deserved media attention. That’s why I believed he handcuffed Leftwhich then made him the fall guy. No way Leftwhich was that involved in our high powered lethal offense for three years then just sucked suddenly. I don’t buy it was cause BA was gone- hence the Leftwhich finally got to be Leftwhich comment by BA- I believe this miserable coach Bowles- loathes all things except three handoffs and a cloud of dust. He put his miserable low energy breaks on something great- he is beyond terrible, and should be fired yesterday.

    He destroyed A Brady fairytale come back and a trip to the Super Bowl with that call and his punting past midfield with Tom Brady when behind was football malpractice. He’s harder to stomach than Lovie and Schiano put together. He is nails on a chalkboard and vinegar in your eyeball.

    Terrible terrible choice of leadership by this organization. He’s a position coach and a coordinator, and he’s no genius as everyone says.

    Props for a good game plan in the Super Bowl- love him for the defense most of the time.

    Other than that I think I’ve made my opinion clear

  11. Cleanhouse Says:

    *referring to the punt in the Cleveland game- the 2nd moment where he fully took the wind out of the sails of the pirate ship (1st moment was his Zero blitz vs The Rams- this guy sucks

  12. Jp09 Says:

    Is Pete Carrol a credible head coach? Just last year Carrol and Canales waited until Aug 27th (after their LAST pre-season game) to name Smith the starter. Maybe we should let the people who know what they’re doing do their job

  13. Leopold Stotch Says:

    After hearing Ronde’s comments during the Steelers game, I think the only reason why Bowles hasn’t outright named Baker the starter is because of Licht. Licht wants Trask to have a chance. From the evidence we have this is essentially Kyle’s rookie year. He looks like he was actually coached up as opposed to soaking up info from Brady and Gabbert. Arians had no intention of developing him, I think Trask just stood pat gaining info, which is nice, but not ideal. I think next year will be better for him, depending on how things go. I firmly believe he can be a starter. He’s finally getting a shot, a fair shot after Saturday, but may not be quite ready… Yet.

  14. Leopold Stotch Says:

    The comments Ronde said were that, Bowles wanted to draft Baker back in ’18. I heard that and was instantly disappointed.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Greg nailed it … the media is just ‘looking for a story’ and ‘stirring the pot’. Bowles & Canales told us long ago how this competition was gonna go. Good for both of them to sticking to the plan. Obviously Mayfield started with an advantage in terms of experience, but as the season wears on, chances are good that the Bucs will benefit from this approach.

  16. D Cone Says:

    If Baker was a top tier QB it would have been settled already. If he made a deal for more in incentives than he is being paid with even a chance that he would not start then he is not very smart. If your QB is one dumb head butt away from concussion protocol you better have a back up that’s had reps with the one’s.
    As far as receivers number 4 just became number 3 in a matter of a minute this week. Number 1 could go down for weeks and everyone moves up.
    Press has to write something. Write about how the first round picks looked meh to pretty piss poor.
    Just come out and say you’re going to run an offense similar to the Saints last season and really give them something to talk about.

    Bakers here to resurrect his career. Great. Wish him Luck. That’s means his career is dead by definition.

    How can management just hand him the starting job on a prayer?

    Is Baker better. I’ll concede that but based on last year production Management cannot be sure of either one right now. One because he has not played and one because he has.

    Perhaps Evans is nervous about starting 1 and 4 or looking mortal against J Jefferson in game 1.

    Relax Mike and trust your new OC

  17. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    It didn’t seem to hurt the Seahags last year. Geno was comeback player of the year too.

  18. Hodad Says:

    After waiting in the wings for the last two years Trask deserves his first start with a chance to compete, and win the job. Everyone’s freaking out about waiting two more days to name the starter. Bucs are just being fair. There’s plenty of time for the starter to prepare for the season. Look at all the vet days off that are given, and preseason games that players don’t even play in anymore. Why isn’t anyone screaming they’re missing practice time together? I’m not worried about the starters not getting enough time together because they sure aren’t. Look there’s 8 quarters of preseason ball to be played. They have the time, they’re just not using it.

  19. Beej Says:

    They can’t make the announcement before Trask gets his start Saturday

  20. Voice of Truth Says:

    What that says to me- the players know who the starter should be and the coaches should too

  21. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Trask’s greater accuracy in the early practices may have helped Mayfield. Baker hopefully figured out ball security is more important than he thought. If my supposition is correct, then the competition has been worthwhile and reinforced that idea.

  22. Since76 Says:

    I rewatched the game. Baker had maybe 3 decent throws one was the touchdown. Trask had more and that’s with some drops and the lineman seemed to be getting beat by fresh d lineman that was put in. Trask was being sacked before he set his back leg to throw a couple times. Im not sold on Baker from what watched. At all. Hope one of them steps up this week and makes a statement.

  23. BuccaneroJim Says:

    Of course BM is “readier”, as he has experience. Thanks for stating the obvious. That does not correlate to whom the coaches want to put effort behind. Trask might be the guy or not. Maybe they have decided on KT and are just using BM as a sparring partner. Maybe the other way around. Agree it is likely Saturday will be the turning point.

  24. Bojim Says:

    When Mayfield goes in at the 2nd half, Bowles will tell him that he’s the man.

  25. Craig Says:

    I agree that the indecision is hurting the Bucs. If one of the QBs would step up and use actions to proclaim the number 1 spot, I would support it.

    Baker might seem readier, but what if he is at the top of his arc and it will be freefall from here. He hasn’t seemed to get better, he just is and that is scary.

    Trask might not be ready today, but his growth has been phenomenal and should keep growing to a much higher level. That would put him light-years above Baker, if he had time.

    He doesn’t have that time, but he should be the Bucs QB, just to give him that time. Long term he might be the answer, but in the short term he will goof a few times.

  26. John Sinclear Says:

    Monday morning – you will know! By noon.

  27. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Key Quarterback Decisions Made Late in the Preseason

    1. Chuck Noll (1989): The Pittsburgh Steelers coach named Bubby Brister the starter after the third preseason game, taking over from Todd Blackledge. The Steelers reached the playoffs that year. Team record: 9-7.

    2. Bobby Ross (1994): The San Diego Chargers coach named Stan Humphries the starter after the third preseason game, beating out John Friesz. Humphries led the Chargers to the Super Bowl. Team record: 11-5.

    3. Bill Parcells (1997): The New York Jets coach named Vinny Testaverde the starter after the third preseason game, taking over from Glenn Foley. Testaverde led the Jets to the AFC Championship game. Team record: 12-4.

    4. Marvin Lewis (2011):The Cincinnati Bengals coach named rookie Andy Dalton the starter after the third preseason game. The Bengals were moving on from Carson Palmer, and Dalton was their new hope. Dalton led the Bengals to the playoffs in his rookie season. Team record: 9-7.

    5. Pete Carroll (2012): The Seattle Seahawks coach named Russell Wilson the starter before the last preseason game. Wilson, a third-round rookie, outperformed the expected starter, Matt Flynn, during the preseason. Wilson led the Seahawks to the playoffs. Team 11-5

    6. Pete Carroll (2022): The Seattle Seahawks coach named Geno Smith the starter after the final preseason game. Smith, a 8 year veteran, outperformed Drew Lock, during the preseason. Smith led the Seahawks to the playoffs. Team 9-8

  28. Pewter Power Says:

    Man they are really down on our quarterbacks. They honestly think you can be a bad QB with guys like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. I just don’t get the fixation

  29. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I hope Trask comes out and scores 4 touchdowns this week. No picks.

    Going to be hard to claim it is a fair competition then, huh?

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Pewter Power Says
    “Man they are really down on our quarterbacks. They honestly think you can be a bad QB with guys like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.”

    You CAN be bad, even with them. You could add someone like Gronk…and a bad QB can still have a bad year.

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I do not feel the lack of an announcement is hurting the team at all…because the decision was made when Mayfield was signed. They just have not told the public yet.

  32. Pewter Power Says:

    The panthers had a horrible quarterback roster and still managed 7 wins. Is Desmond Ridder some kind of Juggernaut because no one seems worried about their quarterback. This narrative they are pushing is beyond ridiculous

  33. Cover deuce Says:

    If what Ira reported is true, then yeah, it’s dumb and it’s hurting the team. If they were that hell bent on starting Baker in the first place then that should have been the call from Day 1 – even if I and others might disagree on how much he really has to offer the team.

  34. Tbbucs3 Says:

    It’s hard to tell if Bowels/Canales are running a pro or a high school team by dragging this competition out….Baker should’ve been named starter immediately after out preforming Trask in pre season week 1.

    And Bonzai, this inability to make a decision is absolutely hurting the Bucs because while Canales is still focused on making sure everything is completely “fair” within this competition, Minnesota, Chicago and Philly all have their QB1 getting all 1st teams reps meanwhile Mayfield (our inevitable week 1 starter) is sitting on he sidelines for 50% of the time….

    And if the Bucs had already made a decision in house then Trask wouldn’t be getting the start this week. I highly doubt the locker room has been told who the starter is.

  35. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Baker was picked up from Waivers by the Rams on a Tuesday and went to LA and Beat the Raiders on Thursday Night. Everybody was Woooweeee Baker is so impressive . Imagine what he can do in 3 weeks. Vikings Beware.

  36. Mike Johnson Says:

    I got an even better one. Lack of a QB is hurting us…Period.