Reports of Buccaneers’ quarterback Baker Mayfield getting the start this Friday against the Steelers in the team’s first preseason game of 2023 broke Wednesday and was later confirmed by head coach Todd Bowles.
The plan is apparently to alternate starters throughout the preseason in an effort to make a decision on who gets the nod. But what about week one versus Minnesota?
From the Ira Kaufman Podcast via JoeBucsFan.com,
“About this Trask and Mayfield competition, I was told pointedly and without much doubt, Mayfield’s going to be the starter in Minneapolis,” Kaufman stated on his podcast. “That’s what I was told. With all due respect to Trask, who has had a good training camp and Mayfield’s struggled a bit, Mayfield’s getting the ball in Minneapolis.”
“There’s still some people out there that, hey, because Trask might be winning this competition – in quotes – that Bowles has to go with the better man in training camp and preseason. ‘What if Trask looks better than Mayfield? Is he not going to go with Trask?’ Well, my information is it’s probably a lost cause for Kyle Trask. Trask fans are not going to want to hear it. I understand that.”
“When it was told to me [that Mayfield would start Week 1] it was said in a definitive manner. There was no equivocation. It wasn’t even said, ‘Well, depending on it could change in the preseason games; let’s see what happens.’ No, none of that. It was basically, ‘It’s Mayfield’s job. He’s got it. He’s going to be the starter against Kirk Cousins and those Vikings.’”
It’s to be noted that Kaufman and Joe Bucs Fan are definitely plugged into the organization. Kaufman has been covering the Buccaneers since the mid-eighties and is a Hall of Fame voter. So this isn’t coming from some “nobody”
But what would a quarterback competition be without a little controversy? In this case it comes as push-back from another well established outlet. Enter JC Allen from Pewterreport.com
“There is a report out that claims Baker Mayfield has been named the #Bucs starter for Week 1. While that may end up being the case eventually, I’m told no decision has been made yet.”
So there you have it, two outlets, two reports saying two different things. Looks like the quarterback battle has sparked a bit of a media battle. Stay tuned.