Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Kyle Trask throws a pass during an NFL football training camp practice Wednesday, July 26, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Buccaneers Training Camp Underway

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got their training camp started Wednesday, and all eyes are on the quarterback battle to replace perhaps the greatest player of all time, Tom Brady.

Quarterback Battle

Former Florida Gators standout Kyle Trask, who has been with the franchise since 2021, is competing against new signee Baker Mayfield. Mayfield won the Heisman trophy in 2017, and he helped the Cleveland Browns win their first playoff game since 1994 in 2020. Both players were three-star recruits coming out of high school and had to compete for the starting jobs at their respective schools. Entering this battle, the two players have very different resumes.

Trask has been in the Buccaneers organization his entire career. The 25-year-old is familiar with the offense and the players around him. However, since being there, Trask has only played in one regular season game. Mayfield, 28, has much more experience with 71 starts for three different teams. The former No. 1 overall pick signed a one-year, $4 million contract with Tampa Bay this spring.

Other headlines

Other news coming from camp is the status of wide receiver Russell Gage, who is still nursing a leg injury.

A position battle at placekicker between Rodrigo Blankenship and Chase McLaughlin has started. Also, rookies are trying to make a name for themselves.

 

The Bucs first three picks of the 2023 NFL Draft were all along the line of scrimmage. Defensive tackle Calijah Kancey looks to be the next major name for a franchise with a rich history at that position including Warren Sapp, Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh.

 

Another position group in need of more production this season is the running back room. Tampa Bay had the worst running total last year, averaging 3.4 yards per carry. After the departure of Leonard Fournette, it’s up to Rachaad White and Ke’Shawn Vaughn to carry the load this season.

Expectations

The 2021 Super Bowl Champions have been division champs in back-to-back seasons but have fallen short in the playoffs on both occasions. The team is not expected to make a Super Bowl run this season with +6500 odds to win a championship, but Tampa Bay still has enough talent to rekindle some magic from the Super Bowl run.

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