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Bucs OC Dave Canales: I couldn’t feel any better about our QB situation

The Buccaneers ended their quarterback competition this week with head coach Todd Bowles naming Baker Mayfield QB1 over Kyle Trask.

Offensive coordinator Dave Canales said on Thursday that there were “lots of positives” from both Mayfield and Trask over the course of the offseason and training camp.

“[A] little bit there in the middle of camp, Kyle showed he’s the real deal,” Canales said in his Thursday press conference. “Baker felt the heat and had a couple of days where it wasn’t quite sharp. He turned it around, had a fantastic first preseason game with a couple drives — took us down, had a touchdown, the communication was smooth. Then he just kind of settled right in for that following week leading up to the Jets, showing up in that practice and [it was] just really like a good feeling like, ‘We’re settled here with this guy.’”

Canales added that Trask’s “fantastic” in-game performance made the decision challenging.

“We’re fortunate, going into this thing, that we didn’t just name a starter going into it without giving Kyle a chance to show what he can do, because I think he earned a lot of respect in the locker room, on the coaching staff, in the fanbase for Bucs fans out there to see Kyle is real — he is the real deal,” Canales said. “I couldn’t feel any better about our quarterback situation going into Week One.”

As for Mayfield, Canales said he can “feel how serious Baker is taking this opportunity.”

“It’s an exciting time for us and I can feel that [Mayfield] knows the weight of it,” Canales said. “That’s good, as long as he can put it in his rightful place, handle that pressure, carry it well, and then just keep everything else really simple with it. Then, that’s OK.

“He doesn’t have to act like the pressure isn’t there or that the situations aren’t real. It’s about looking at it, dealing with it, and continuing to perform at a basic level.”

There are plenty who aren’t as confident in Mayfield as those inside the Bucs’ building, but that doesn’t bother Canales.

“I think the skepticism is warranted, [but] I don’t care about it,” Canales said. “I think, ‘What is this play and where does the ball go first?’ That’s all I care about. ‘What’s this run play? Get us to the best one here,’ and he’s doing all of those things great.

“For me, I feel a level of comfort with [him] handling the offense. Hopefully, he’s not listening and feeling like he has to prove anything to anybody but himself.”