Christensen, Leftwich Share First Impressions of Buccaneers QB Kyle Trask

Buccaneers assistants Clyde Christensen and Byron Leftwich have been impressed with Kyle Trask thus far and enjoy the challenge of grooming a rookie quarterback.
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The last time Clyde Christensen developed a rookie quarterback was during his time with the Indianapolis Colts, serving as the mentor for 2012 first overall pick Andrew Luck

For Byron Leftwich, it was the 2018 season, paired up with Arizona Cardinals' tenth overall selection Josh Rosen. Rosen served as Leftwich's first rookie project as a young offensive coach, although the experiment ended after one year due to a change in coaching staff and the selection of Kyler Murray first overall in 2019.

Christensen found immediate success with Luck, while Leftwich still has something to prove when it comes to developing talent. He has that opportunity now, alongside Christensen, working with Tampa Bay Buccaneers' second-round pick Kyle Trask.

For Leftwich, Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator, and Christensen, the Buccaneers' quarterbacks coach, grooming Trask presents a new challenge after putting together an offense for free agent signee Tom Brady one year ago. 

"It's fun to have a rookie guy," Christensen remarked on Thursday. "Those other guys are well down the road, they understand what we're doing. They're kind of more maintenance as far as coaching them.

"Just having a young rookie guy is really, to me, one of the fun things about coaching. You just start from the beginning and you start from scratch there."

Brady, Blaine Gabbert, and Ryan Griffin, as Christensen suggested, don't need to learn the fundamentals of NFL quarterback play as Trask does, making the rookie a unique member of Tampa Bay's room of signal-callers. Now is the time to rework Trask's mechanics and engrain habits that he'll carry throughout his pro career.

"We assume all quarterbacks coming into this league knows nothing about nothing. So it's great to start from the beginning, right?" Leftwich asked.

Trask has had a couple of weeks of mini-camp and voluntary practices to show Christensen and Leftwich what they have to work with. So far, he's left a good impression on both coaches, and put together a very impressive practice in front of media this past Monday.

"He's been doing great. He's been getting better every day," said Leftwich. "I like where he's at. He does a lot of good stuff right now to be this early. He sees the field well, and he's able to command the huddle. So he's had a good start since he's been here, hopefully we can keep it up."

"My first impression was that he picked it up pretty darn quickly, that he's a very accurate guy with the football, and probably the thing that has jumped out is that he's still a rookie and that we've thrown a lot at him and he's swimming right now," Christensen added. "So, you know, there's no shortcut on this thing but he's gotten a lot of great reps."

Trask has plenty of reps ahead of him in order to improve, Leftwich suggested, and it is unlikely that he would take the field in the event that Brady suffers an injury in 2021. With polished veterans ahead of him, the Buccaneers are aiming to bring Trask along slowly under the tutelage of Leftwich, Christensen, and head coach Bruce Arians.

Still, even if his training doesn't immediately turn into production, Trask's presence and the new responsibilities laid upon Tampa Bay's quarterback developers are welcomed. For Christensen, it even reminds him of the last time he was in a similar situation, with Luck.

"That energizes me, being able to see a guy like Trask who wants to be good and now feel like we're starting again," said Christensen. "I think probably the last time I really had a guy like him was Luck, you know, his rookie year, and that was one of the most fun years there was just because you come in with kind of a clean slate and you start rolling."