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Bucs rookie Kyle Trask still progressing in latest ‘redshirt’ year

“We’re treating him just as if he’s Tom (Brady),” offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said.
Bucs rookie quarterback Kyle Trask (2), seen here during the preseason opener against the Bengals, has been inactive for all six regular season games.
Bucs rookie quarterback Kyle Trask (2), seen here during the preseason opener against the Bengals, has been inactive for all six regular season games. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Oct. 21
Updated Oct. 21

TAMPA — So far, he has remained inactive only in a roster sense, not a real one. Kyle Trask is maximizing his latest redshirt season, his boss insists, albeit away from public view.

“This kid’s putting in a lot of work to not be playing a snap,” offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said Thursday. “And that’s how you get better in this league, and you just appreciate that as a coach.”

The Bucs’ second-round draft choice this past spring, Trask has been a healthy scratch all six games and likely will remain one as long as Tom Brady remains upright. His practice reps are limited to a few scout-team snaps and individual work with the other three quarterbacks, including practice-squad veteran Ryan Griffin.

But the former Gators record-setter has navigated the learning curve so efficiently, Leftwich has assigned him unspecified practice and game-day responsibilities.

“We’re treating him just as if he’s Tom (Brady),” Leftwich said. “Obviously, he doesn’t get the reps, but in the meetings, he has responsibilities. He has responsibilities for this team, for the room, so we’re trying to teach him how to play the position, really. And he’s got a guy in front of him that he can learn from.”

Which is precisely how the coaches envisioned things for 2021. In three preseason contests, Trask posted modest numbers (29 of 55, 312 yards), throwing for one touchdown with two interceptions and getting sacked six times. But as expected, the team ultimately opted to use veteran Blaine Gabbert as Brady’s backup for game days.

As a result, the lone glimpses of Trask are during the individual QB drills in which he participates during the brief daily practice window open to reporters. Leftwich has caught a glimpse of far more.

“He’s learning so much,” Leftwich said.

“I mean, he couldn’t be in a better situation. You want to learn how to play the freaking quarterback position, and Thomas is in front of you. I think that’s excellent for anybody; veteran guys learn from him. So I think it’s great for him to learn the things that he’s learning, and at the same time I appreciate the work that he’s putting in.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

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