While coaches generally eschew comparisons, the Bucs are embracing this one. Or at least they seem to be.
These days, one can’t seem to utter Kyle Trask’s name around Bruce Arians or a Bucs offensive staffer without one of them dropping Andrew Luck’s name in the same conversation. On Thursday, it was quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen, who helped Arians (then the Colts’ offensive coordinator/interim coach) mentor Luck upon his arrival in Indianapolis in 2012.
“I think probably the last time I really just had a guy like (Trask) was Luck his rookie year,” Christensen said. “And that was one of the most fun years there was, just because you come in with just kind of a clean slate and you start rolling.”
Which is not to suggest Tampa Bay’s second-round selection is bound for four Pro Bowls — or even four starts in pewter. But a month into Trask’s professional career, it’s evident Arians and Co. believe the draft provided them with a degree of luck.
Or at least a ditto of Luck, from a cerebral standpoint.
“Mentally-wise, (Trask) is not far behind what Andrew did in the same offense, and what Andrew did that year is unbelievable,” Arians said Tuesday. “I’m not saying he’s Andrew Luck, but mentally he’s still really sharp.”
The staff has challenged that mental acumen, in the recent rookie minicamp and at organized team activities, by providing an unabridged version of the playbook and a deluge of situational drills. Trask looked especially sharp at Tuesday’s voluntary workout, tossing only a handful of incompletions during extensive 11-on-11 work.
“The more repetitions he gets, the better he’ll get with more reps, but I like where he’s at,” offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said. “He does a lot of good stuff right now to be this early. He sees the field well, he’s able to command the huddle.”
Christensen, Luck’s quarterbacks coach with the Colts in 2012, acknowledged Trask “hit the wall a little bit” during the final organized team workout Thursday, but nonetheless describes him as a “deliberate learner.” Trask will join the Bucs’ three signed veteran quarterbacks at the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp starting Tuesday.
“He takes it nice and slow, he tries to get the details of things, and then once he gets it he gets it,” Christensen said.
“So he’s not one of those guys who looks at it once and he’s got it. He’s a guy who is going to mull over it, he’s going to call most nights with some questions. He watches a ton of film.”
Unlike the 23,000-yard passer to whom he’s compared, Trask will maintain the luxury of learning at a gradual pace while Tom Brady pursues an eighth Super Bowl ring. By contrast, Luck earned the Colts’ starting job as a rookie, leading Indianapolis to 11 wins (a record for a rookie drafted first overall) following a 2-14 season the previous year.
Which is to say, the Trask-Luck comparisons end for now in practices and positional meetings.
Still, a lofty comparison.
“That rookie minicamp a couple of times, I left here and by the time I left the building, the light was still on in the quarterback room,” Christensen said. “(Trask) was in there just kind of going over his notes, so it means a ton to him.
“I think he’ll be a guy who will get it slow and steady but then get it the right way and have it in order. I think he’ll be really deliberate how he processes all this information.”
Contact Joey Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.
• • •
Sign up for the Bucs RedZone newsletter to get updates and analysis on the latest team and NFL news from Bucs beat writer Joey Knight.