Why Baker Mayfield And The Bucs Could Surprise The NFL

March 23rd, 2023

Driving Baker Mayfield bus.

Joe understands those who continue to live out their 1960s high school legacies when they played in a wishbone offense — and their Marines veteran coach who served on Tarawa preached no player is above the team — will gag when they read the following.

The NFL is a quarterback league. At best, without a good quarterback, a team is vulnerable.

So Joe thought it was interesting when Nick Wright, during a recent episode of “First Things First,” seen weekday mornings on FS1, doubled down on his recent take that the Bucs with Baker Mayfield will have a better offense than with Tom Brady, and maybe a winning record.

Wright is an avowed Brady hater. So on face value, Joe gets that folks may roll their eyes at this. But Wright explained recently that the Bucs could have a better record with Mayfield; just look at the quarterbacks they’ll face.

“How many quarterbacks on [the schedule] are really good?” Wright asked. “Do I think the Bucs in that division with those wide receivers and that defense and Baker could win that division? Absolutely.

“My preliminary pick in March to win that division is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”

The Bucs really only face three top-shelf quarterbacks (five if you include Derek Carr of the slimy Saints and Kirk Cousins of the Vikings). Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia), Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville) and Josh Allen (Buffalo).

Wright makes a tremendous point. A team without a top-shelf quarterback likely has a poor offense. So the solid Bucs defense should be able to keep a lot of games close.

Wright then professed that slimy Saints head man Dennis Allen is an awful head coach and he has no faith in Allen.

One key point Wright didn’t mention. The Bucs ran off perhaps the most inept offensive coordinator in the NFL. Even though new playcaller Dave Canales is a blank whiteboard, the Bucs’ offense can only get better, even without Brady.

47 Responses to “Why Baker Mayfield And The Bucs Could Surprise The NFL”

  1. adam from ny Says:

    if everything goes right we could win the division at 10-7…and if it’s a dream season we go 11-6…

    worst case scenario is probably like 5 wins…

    so we’re looking at 5 to 10 wins depending how the ball bounces…

    and that ball bounces funny sometimes

  2. Stanglassman Says:

    Anything more exciting than what they put on the field last year. It was up there with the Leman Bennett year.

    I heard that Marshals called BL for an interview. Not the football team the discount clothing store.
    The Jags offered him the head coaching job but he demanded that the GM get replaced. They refused him so he stayed in Tampa. I hear a lot of people crediting the jags for not hiring which isn’t exactly true.

  3. Warrenfb12 Says:

    Unless the bucs defense gets torched by bad/average QBs. That has never happened though…

  4. HC Grover Says:

    Soon it will be Mayfield and Bowles going for perfect season…17-0. Then reality will hit when the season starts. Happens at every team every year. This Buc team has a better chance to beat the McKay record at 0-17. I still think they will be below average and loser Bowles will win less than last year. Look at his record.

  5. Joe in Michigan Says:

    HC Grover Says:
    March 23rd, 2023 at 4:46 am
    Soon it will be Mayfield and Bowles going for perfect season…17-0. Then reality will hit when the season starts. Happens at every team every year. This Buc team has a better chance to beat the McKay record at 0-17. I still think they will be below average and loser Bowles will win less than last year. Look at his record.
    Thank you, Habitual Complainer, for brightening our day!

  6. VATom Says:

    I didn’t see that level of “greatness” from last yrs Defense. And with subtractions so far in free agency and not too many additions I sorta doubt the D will be much to brag about? Maybe mid pack at best? But I hope I am wrong.

    We give opposing QBs, even poor ones, too much time in the pocket. Combined with the emphasis on pass interference I feel thats why even the scrubs give is a hard time.

  7. Letsbucinggo Says:

    So I guess you idiots think Mayfield is an upgrade over Tom Brady I have two words for you cern collider.

  8. Allbuccedup Says:

    Nick Right is Wrong a total moron can’t stand his show.

  9. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Mayfield has talent…so did/does Jameis – it’s those interceptions.

  10. PanthersSuck! Says:

    Hard to imagine us losing a game at this rate.

  11. Duane Says:

    Who cares what the talking heads say?

  12. larrd Says:

    Who to blame, Bowles or Leftwich, for last year’s offense?

    It is hard to imagine an old stand-in-the-pocket and throw-it-deep gunslinger (and Bruce Arians offensive protege) would go all boring and conservative on first down, all game, every game.

    We shall see!

  13. Lt. Dan Says:

    “Joe understands those who continue to live out their 1960s high school legacies when they played in a wishbone offense”. Joe knows Lt. Dan soooo well!

  14. Tampa2ATL Says:

    It would be surprising if only because no one expects it. Bottom line is when I saw that picture of Trask in locker room with division winner Bucs t-shirt & glasses, he looked like my neighbor. Nice guy but not a professional athlete much less NFL starting quarterback. I’m no scout, but can see and read [between the lines]. Baker is our guy now. Happy to have him. Would love to see Bucs be able to transition well similar to how Pittsburgh works different players in/out of their program with reasonable success consistently. That should be our goal both short and long term. Just one man’s opinion.

  15. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Yeah, because we never lose to lousy or backup QBs. What a moron.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Fans want to give Brady a pass on last year’s offensive decline……nowhere else would that happen…..when a team goes from 31 points to 17 a game (2 touchdowns) fans would be immediately asking….”Who is the QB?”

    Our OC was horrible….worse than our running game…..but Tom was off…..a miss here, turnover there…..failure for sure in the red zone.

    Yes, I think with a new OC, improved running game…>Baker Mayfield can so better.

  17. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Without a vastly improved Oline , NONE of this MATTERS. Good Football teams are created with competence at the point of attack.

    Likely that the players will decide the QB as much or more than the coaches. Players talk amongst each other and to their position coaches and that all gets back to the HC. Players play harder for a QB that takes shots to deliver a long strike and that sticks his head in there for the 1st down marker. Trask has the arm and the smarts and will demonstrate he is tougher and wants it more than Mayfield during camp and preseason. Just watch the effort level of the Oline and running game when Trask is QB1 and Mayfield is QB1 and that will tell you what you need to know as far as who will be the starter.

    Mayfield has a career passer rating that is LOWER than Jameis.

  18. Henry Says:

    Mckay went 0-26 before winning his last two games in 1977.

  19. gp Says:

    When Nick Wright speaks, I tend to expect the opposite.
    I hope, for a change, he’s Wright about this one but…..
    Our biggest failure last year was game planning. Every team we met had different strengths and weaknesses but we didn’t game plan to take advantage of them. Instead, we came into every game with the same plan, making us quite predictable. This was apparent both offensively AND defensively.
    This is entirely on the coaching staff.
    Until that madness is changed, I have a hard time anticipating wins.

    Just sayin……

  20. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Normally, I detest Nick Wright, but I do agree with him about the Bucs and Baker.

  21. Craig Says:

    That is what Carolina thought, then Baker delivered. He delivered an average QBR of under 25.

    I don’t see him getting incredibly better here.

  22. D-Rok Says:

    Until the Bucs can get pressure on the QB from our EDGE rushers, our secondary will continue to get torched.

    Defense is still the biggest question mark on this team, and we need pass-rushers, whether that come in the form of the draft, or Hall and JTS getting much, much better.

    It’s unlikely that Shaq will return to form after his Achilles, but I’m pulling for him.

  23. Canabuc Says:

    Maybe I am wrong but I agree with him.
    Assuming or draft shoes up holes on defense and adds an offensive line man I think we can be competitive in the NFC.

    Our defense if say we spend a 1st on a safety and draft edge rusher like that Kansas State guy in the 2nd. Re-sign Ryan or Neal, spend a 3rd or trade into 4th for an lineman to replace Gholston (who was a 4th round pick in his own). Suddenly we are as good or better on defense than last year assuming Hall progresses with a year of bulking up and learning the game at that level.

    Offensively, I see a later round pick on another tight end as well as signing a vet in 2nd wave of free agency who can still produce. I also see late pick on a new kicker and cutting Succop. As well as either signing another bigger back at vet minimum or drafting one very late or as USDA.
    MAYBE if the value is there in round 1 or 2 one of safety or Edge isn’t pick of there is a very good tackle sitting there.

    I think the true improvement on this team is going to be a functional offensive game plan. Last years 3 and outs and quick drives did no favors for the defense.

    This year I think we will see a more creative and balanced offense that will take occasional deep shots but will sustain drives.

    Last year if we could have averaged just 22 points a game we would be a 10 win team. If we averaged 24.5 we would be a 12 win team. This with among the toughest schedules in football.

    This year we play an easier schedule. I think while yes over a career the goat is best ever but for 2022, he was distracted and afraid of getting hit with our poor line. I kept seeing him rush throwa to Evans, throw balls in the dirt or away. Never really making plays by extending the play with his legs to find someone open. Arm talent and brains were there but were not enough to overcome poor coaching and line play given he was a fragile statue .

    Baker while not stunning QB often is rolling out moving the launch point buying time with his legs. He has a great deep ball. I think he will actually thrive. If he stays humble like in his presser I think the talent is there to get us to 11 wins this year and be a top 5 or 6 team in the conference…..provided we get bonafide starters with our top 3 picks and stay relatively healthy given our lack of depth at key positions.

  24. Oneilbuc Says:

    It’s crazy how much some of yall have all this faith in Baker Mayfield and this is his 4th team in 5 years 😂😂😂.

  25. Dooley Says:


    May the best man win lol even if it is Kevin Kolb, I mean Baker Mayfield lol

  26. Mean Mr Mustard Says:

    Tampa2ATL Says: “Bottom line is when I saw that picture of Trask in locker room with division winner Bucs t-shirt & glasses, he looked like my neighbor.”

    Bottom line is you fell for Joe’s distorted photo of Trask. Not that Joe himself distorted it, but Joe surely searched the Internet long and hard for the worst photo he could find of Trask to dupe his readers, and, yep, you’re a dupe. That photo is clearly distorted either by the wide angle lens of a smartphone camera, or by Photoshop itself. For the 100th time, Trask posed for the photo. Only a clown would think it makes Trask look like a clown. Joe has 100s of photos of players arriving on game day. Only a handful look like NFL players in their photos. –Joe

    Google is your friend. There are countless photos of Trask online showing his NFL-ideal-6’5″+ physique. Just don’t expect Joe to show any of them.

  27. Goatfarmer Says:

    It’s ok, Bloweszo knows how to prepare his defense so they get shredded by no name back up and rookie quarterbacks. The owner of the consecutive losing season record as head coich is about to add another loser to his resume’. Then he can learn to be a botanist, in his post football career.

  28. Goatfarmer Says:

    Osqueel – y’all again? Who is y’all?

    Got an answer on the defense getting 9 wins for a team that got 8 wins? Ever seen a picture of Brian Flores? Know how to count to 3 if someone gives you the 1 and the 2?

  29. Canabuc Says:

    Look we have seen 2 very good seasons from him. He was injured for much of a3rd. And last year he was traded so that he had no offseason program to a bad team that fired their coach mid season.
    He looked pretty decent for a guy who showed up with Takes less than 48 hours before starting.

    Give him a full offseason with good weapons and being healthy and I think seeing 2020 Baker is much more likely.

  30. Oneilbuc Says:

    Goofarmer. Shut up our defense was good enough to win 10 or 11 games last year your master and lord was trash on offense and you still trying to defend him lol 😂😂😂. I can name you more games that the defense held teams 20 points or less than they gave up more than 20 points in a game.

  31. sasquatch Says:

    Just based on points production, we should improve. We were awful even with Brady. I feel like Canales’ philosophy is a good match for our mostly younger personnel, especially QB… with the emphasis on simplicity of learning and executing the same plays out of multiple looks.

    What did we average last year? 18 ppg? I think getting up to 23 ppg is a reasonable goal.

  32. FlBoy84 Says:

    How quickly we forget about the Bucs performances against subpar/backup QB’s last season under Bowles. He’s earned that .400% win percentage.

  33. Ghost of Tom Brady Says:

    Totally agree. Win the division (very possible) and you get a home playoff game. Win that and anything can happen. Now with smart picks in the draft and some good UA depth we should, barring injuries, be more than competitive (Dennis Allen IS a crappy coach). I just hope that talk of Lamar going to the Falcons is just that, talk.

  34. Dooley Says:


    Our defense played 9 games where we held the opposing offense to 20 or less points we went 7-2 in those games. The two losses were vs.Green Bay(14-12 L) and @Pittsburgh(20-18 L). Finished the 2022 season allowing an average of 21.1 ppg after allowing an average of 20.8 ppg in 2021. In terms of allowing points we dropped from 7th in 2021 to 15th in 2022 allowing +0.3 more ppg.

    Our offense on the other hand had 7 games they scored 20 or more points and we went 4-3 in those games. Our Tom Brady led offense finished the season with an average of 18.4 ppg in 2022 after averaging 29.9 ppg in 2021. Our offense ranked 25th in scoring in 2022 after 2nd in 2021. In terms of points scored we dropped 23 spots in 2022 scoring -11.5 less ppg.

    ya’ll need to chill, the offense was sh*t last year WITH Tom Brady.

  35. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    Baker Mayfield is an overrated bum and this sales job is an insult to any rational person’s intelligence. The guy had the lowest QBR in the league last season. What a joke.

  36. geno711 Says:

    Oneilbuc Says:
    March 23rd, 2023 at 10:51 am
    It’s crazy how much some of yall have all this faith in Baker Mayfield and this is his 4th team in 5 years 😂😂😂.

    Personally, I have about as much faith in Baker at this point, as I do in Jameis.
    I unfortunately gave Jameis the benefit of the doubt for about 4 years.

    Baker, will not get more than one year of benefit of the doubt for me.

  37. geno711 Says:

    Just Leave Trask Alone Says

    I would suggest you use passer rating over the ESPN QBR.

    QBR has really shown to be trash at evaluating who the better quarterbacks in the league when you compare it to passer ratings.

  38. geno711 Says:

    Example of problems with QBR.
    Jameis Winston 2019.
    33 Tds and 30 ints year with 61 percent completion.
    His QBR was 56. I guess it did not take into effect any of those pick sixes.

    Last year Aaron Rodgers with 26 Tds and 12 ints with 64 percent completion.
    His QBR was 39.

  39. BucsfanFred Says:

    Goatfarmer, bowlzo shouldn’t be a botanist.
    Jetro Tull was a botanist.

  40. BucsfanFred Says:

    Jethro Tull

  41. A Says:

    I’m rooting for any pleasant surprise but let’s be honest last I checked, Our

    Coach is Todd Bowles

    OC is Dave Canales (maybe one day but in 2023?)

    QB is Mayfield or Trask

    Defense is solid but we can’t rush t-e passer consistently – Bowles used to blitz like crazy. We are paying 2 corners lockdown corner money…seems like we play way more zone but we are not good at it.

    Oline will be a work in progress – I do have confidence in that group getting it together but in 2023? Especially, if we are starting over at left tackle

    Unless Mayfield absolutely comes out of nowhere and is the QB everyone thought he would be out of college. You have to play Trask…

    I want to be positive for next year but I really think this is a learn and see what you got year…most likely find another coach for 2024 and QB….but I don’t want to be right…I want to be wrong and surprised!!!

    Go Bucs!

  42. sasquatch Says:

    “4th team in 5 years” sounds worse than it is.

    The reality is that he was in CLE for 4 years. Last year just didn’t work out because CAR was tanking and LAR wasn’t going to offer him the starting job, so it was time to move on. Details matter.

  43. Mike Johnson Says:

    Everything at this point is wishful thinking. Games still gotta be played. And very teams got a plan..until they get hit.

  44. steele Says:

    Nick Wright and the other national blowhards will spew noise on all sides of it. To be ignored.

  45. Oneilbuc Says:

    Sasquatch. No one cared about details when Jamies was here so why details matters now for Baker??

  46. brooks Says:

    Hmmm I’m still at 5-12

  47. Baby Grace Says:

    ” So the solid Bucs defense should be able to keep a lot of games close.”

    Solid defense? LOL