There was recently a kerfuffle in the Bucs community about the possibility of benching Baker Mayfield and starting Kyle Trask, one of the most divisive figures in this community. We all remember 620 WDAE’s Zac Blobner having the audacity to suggest the Bucs start Trask if they’re eliminated from playoff contention. Now, stupid people have taken what I thought was a reasonable observation and run with the narrative that Baker Mayfield should be benched.
As many “experts” have been saying, Mayfield is far from the issue. He has not been perfect, but he’s not the issue. He is playing exactly like the guy the Bucs paid $4 million for. That is perfectly ok. It’s more or less what we all signed up for, and the Bucs coaching staff should be aware of that. That may be too generous for this coaching staff though.
Now, I have been on record saying I wanted Kyle Trask to win the job outright during the offseason. The reason I said that is because I already knew who Mayfield was as a QB. The potential for Trask to be better than that seemed really high to me. That being said, he didn’t win. He was given every opportunity to, and he did not succeed. As much as I may rag on this coaching staff, I really don’t think they fumbled the bag there. If they don’t think he is a starter, then I believe them.
However, there is an exception. If the Bucs are going nowhere fast and the season is over (which Blobner saying it will be over at 3-7 is not the most unreasonable take), I would not hate benching Mayfield. Though practice is a good indicator of how a player will be, it is not the only thing. In-game experience is really the only way to get a gauge on if a player is good or bad. Mayfield is not the problem, but I am not sold he is the long-term future. However, if Trask is starting and plays well, then maybe he can be.
At the end of the day, if Trask is starting, there is a 90% chance you can kiss this season goodbye. Mayfield has not played bad enough to warrant being benched, so far at least. If Trask is on the field, it is likely for one of two reasons: Mayfield is hurt (which is bad) or the Bucs keep losing (which is worse). This story would have a happy ending if Trask is on the field and plays well, but I am not giving up on this season. Trask will not save the Bucs’ season, it would essentially mark the coda.
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