TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – In his preseason debut, dawning red and white, Buccaneers’ new quarterback Baker Mayfield gave fans a little taste of what to expect for this upcoming season.
As Mayfield proved to be a hopeful starter for the Tampa Bay team, the offense showcased familiar weaknesses from last season.
Even with veteran quarterback Tom Brady leading the Buccaneers last season, the team was tormented by penalties, and while it is a preseason game and a lot of the starters didn’t see any on-field action, the same errors plagued the offense.
On Friday night, the Buccaneers welcomed the Pittsburgh Steelers to Raymond James Stadium for the preseason opener. However, shortly after kickoff, the penalties began to roll in for both sides and for the Bucs, those yellow flags proved to be fatal.
According to ESPN, the Steelers only recorded six penalties for a loss of 45 yards. Meanwhile, the Bucs put up 12, which cost them 127 yards.
With a lot of changes to the Bucs roster and staff, it’s not surprising that it would take the team a while to figure this out and gel in real-life situations, so there’s still plenty of time to make improvements before the regular season.
On the upside, although Mayfield saw a little over a quarter of action in Friday night’s game, he posted better statistics than Trask, who’s also competing for the starting QB spot.
According to the Associated Press, Mayfield was 8 of 9 for 63 yards and one touchdown over five series against a mix of Pittsburgh starters and reserves. Just as important to Bucs’ head coach Todd Bowles is the 28-year-old, who spent four seasons with Cleveland before making a combined 10 starts for Carolina and the Los Angeles Rams last year, didn’t turn the ball over.
Trask, a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft who appeared in just one regular-season game in two years as the No. 3 quarterback behind Brady and former Buc Blaine Gabbert, was sacked three times while going 6 of 10 for 99 yards with one interception.
During the second quarter of the preseason game, Bucs rookie linebacker YaYa Diaby exited the game with an apparent injury. He was seen kneeling following a play but walked off the field on his own.
Then, during the fourth quarter, Bucs’ cornerback Don Gardner left the game with a hamstring injury.
The Buccaneers will face off against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 19. The preseason game will have a 7:30 p.m. kickoff time. According to Bowles, we can expect to see both Mayfield and Trask at the QB spot.