Bruce Arians Gives Edge To Baker Mayfield, Backhanded Criticism Of Tom Brady

June 7th, 2023

It’s always an adventure when Bucco Bruce Arians gets behind a microphone.

Before Arians retired, he had plenty of misdirection and bend-the-truth answers for media, but significantly less than most head coaches deliver. So Arians was always a fun and candor-fueled ride.

The Super Bowl head coach has continued to speak freely at times in his role as advisor to Bucs general manager Jason Licht.

Arians was interviewed two weeks ago on The National Football Show. There he talked about the Baker Mayfield-Kyle Trask quarterback battle, and Arians’ comments reveal that he’s been watching practice film. (Arians has not been attending spring practices at One Buc Palace.)

Asked what Mayfield has brought to the Tampa Bay offense, this was Arians’ reply.

“A little fire, I think we needed a little bit of fire on offense,” Arians said of Mayfield.

“But you gotta go back and look at Kyle Trask [on May 23]; He had a great end of practice. So it’s a nice battle. So it’s a nice battle. You got two young guys who I think are extremely talented and they’re doing a great job.”

So with Tom Brady at quarterback last season, Arians thought the Bucs were lacking proper fire on offense? That’s quite intriguing.

Arians went on to explain he thinks Mayfield is leading the two-man race.

“Baker has been there and done it, and has I think a little bit of an edge just because of that leadership and having been in the huddle with pro guys a lot,” Arians said. “But the guys really respect Kyle also. I love [Baker]. I think he just brings a charisma and a fire to your offense.”

As Joe has written and said for weeks, it will take a truly eye-opening August for Trask to win the quarterback competition. Todd Bowles desperately needs wins on his résumé, at least two prior to the Bucs’ Week 5 bye week.

Mayfield has proven he can win games and get players to rally behind him. Trask has no record and was a No. 64 overall pick.

When it comes to the reality and perception game — Bowels very likely knows he’s better off with Mayfield starting in Week 1. If it doesn’t work and there’s a move to Trask after the bye week, that’s not a bad look. But if Trask fails early and the Bucs switch to Mayfield with some success, Bowles will be judged as a head coach who couldn’t judge the quarterback position effectively.

Arians also added that Mayfield is smart and works on fundamentals “nonstop,” and that he or Trask can get the job done.

54 Responses to “Bruce Arians Gives Edge To Baker Mayfield, Backhanded Criticism Of Tom Brady”

  1. Salary Cap Hell Says:

    bitter bucco, got booted off the field for mishandling AB , plain and simple

  2. Flowmaster Buc Says:

    Flowmaster Buc, stepping to the mic,
    Gonna drop a rap about a quarterback’s fight.
    Kyle Trask, the breakout star, rising above,
    Showing resilience, a legend we’re proud of.

    Baker Mayfield, the actor, stealing the scene,
    But on the field, he’s nothing but a bad dream.
    Trask’s got the skills, he’s got the fire,
    A true leader, taking the Bucs higher.

    Coach Todd Bowles, he sees the truth unfold,
    Trask’s gonna win the position, make ’em all behold.
    Buccaneer Nation, full of adoration and cheers,
    Trask’s gonna conquer, wipe away their tears.

    Flowmaster Buc, dropping the rhymes,
    Kyle Trask, the legend, it’s his time to climb.
    No more acting on the field, just greatness to show,
    Buccaneers’ victory, watch it all unfold.

  3. SlyPirate Says:

    No one in the world of football would suggest TB12 was lacking in competitive drive (“fire”) … except Arians. SHM.

    Nice to see him supporting the new guys.

  4. Toad Bowels vintner Says:

    I suggest a Chardonnay with that dish.

  5. Salary Cap Hell Says:

    well done ,Flowmaster Buc . well done

  6. shankasorous Says:

    How can Arians say Mayfield has “a little bit of an edge” when “Arians has not been attending spring practices”?
    Arians very likely watches practice, which is why he referenced how Trask finished a practice. The Coaches, of course, watch practice following the session and they even have it edited nicely for them. Arians can sit at home and pull up the 11-on-11 work.–Joe
    Do the coaches report to Arians after every practice and tell him who has the “edge”? I doubt it. So he’s talking out of his ass.

  7. BoricuaBucfan Says:

    @ salary cap helll

    By far the dumbest theory yet!

  8. SB Says:

    I concur. Well done Flowmaster.

  9. TonyD Says:

    I don’t believe Arians was hinting that the offense lacked fire under Brady last year, rather the offense lacked fire without Brady.

  10. Hodad Says:

    Mayfield has that fire. Yeah, he’s flamed out in his last three stops!

  11. K2 Says:

    Arians is watching film and has open communications with Bucs coach and staff and don’t believe he has any insight. Yet, we have people who haven’t seen one complete play on this site and they’re experts?

    I don’t think Arians is trying to trash Brady. He believes Brady’s play wasn’t up to his previous all world standard. But, Brady still is the best QB to every play the game. I think he fails in his attempts to defend Byron.

    I hope Trask and Mayfield are both great QBs and don’t care who wins the battle as long as it helps the Bucs win.

  12. Crickett Baker Says:

    Thanks, Joe. I, too, was wondering about those practice quotes.

  13. EEK Says:

    BA please unretire
    We could really use a little more fire everywhere

  14. AlwaysBucs Says:

    BA is a straight clown

    Imagine if he didn’t quit on the team to make sure an unqualified Defensive Coordinator had a head coaching position…

    Imagine if he was level headed enough to manage AB or outcoach the Rams…

    2020 was a magical ride but coaching is a HUGE reason they didn’t repeat.

  15. captivajim Says:

    BA left us with Leftwich ,, and gave us bowleszo …n without Brady he would not have a SB ring as head coach , nor leftwich as OC , and nor bowleszo as DC…

    And , BA’s handling of AB likely cost us another SB ..

    Followed by bowleszo not being able to contain the Rams for 42 seconds–likely cost yet another SB

  16. Go Bucs Says:

    I like this from BA thanks Joe. I loved when he was our HC and miss him sometimes so I love when we get to hear what he has to say.

  17. Miami Bucco Says:

    “Bruce Arians Gives Edge To Baker Mayfield”

    Didn’t he also give an edge to Todd Bowles?

  18. HC Grover Says:

    He was soooo JEALOUS!

  19. HC Grover Says:

    Go away Bruce, just go away.

  20. sasquatch Says:

    Leave it to Joe to try to invent a Brady slight.

  21. HC Grover Says:

    Brady won us that SB, Not him.

  22. HC Grover Says:

    Brady would have won us 2 in a row but for Bowles ‘Magnificent Blunder”.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    BA … ‘So it’s a nice battle. You got two young guys who I think are extremely talented and they’re doing a great job.’

    Funny how we all tend to pick-and-choose things as we read between the lines in interviews. According to BA … the previously-declared QB Whisperer … BOTH Mayfield AND Trask are very talented and BOTH are doing great this Spring. And yet somehow the title reads ‘Bruce Arians Gives Edge To Baker Mayfield’. Seems like you missed that Arians straight up said he gives an edge to Mayfield. –Joe

    I like your analysis though Joe of what Todd Bowles thought process could be regarding who should start the season. In the final analysis, he loses both ways though. If he starts with Mayfield then switches after the BYE, it’d be because Baker flamed out & we had a bad record in those first 4 games (as in potentially 0-4?). If that happens and THEN he switches to Trask who lights it up; we do decently the rest of the way but miss the playoffs (very probable if you start 0-4), then Bowles would get skewered. Don’t think so because Bowles, in that scenario, could always say he didn’t think Trask was 100 percent ready for opening day and that he needed more time. Plus, if Trask, in that scenario, has the arrow pointing up, everyone will be feeling pretty good about the team. Especially with all the cap room opening up in 2024. –Joe
    His best course of action IMO is to make the right decision from the git-go and have it work out with us playing some solid football & winning the division. Anything less & everyone will want him to walk the plank.

  24. Brandon Says:

    Brady had no fire. Changing a huge amount of plays at the line of scrimmage to smoke screens and when he ran the called play, checked down immediately. Can’t move the chains when you consistently throw at or behind the line of scrimmage. Brady was great but last year he was an embarrassment to himself. The saddest part is that the Brady lovers still blame everybody but him.

  25. HC Grover Says:

    Like Walk the Plank!!!

  26. Buccos Says:

    If the Bucs miss the playoffs, Bowles loses his job, plain and simple. Brady was a shell of his former self last year. He had one good game against Carolina. other than that he was a disaster.

  27. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Say what you will about Brady overthrowing receivers, but to suggest Brady lacked fire is ridiculous. We’re talking about Tom Brady?! Breaking tablets Tom Brady. I think he was suggesting Trask doesn’t have fire. Bruce has always had a man crush on Mayfield. Poor Trask doesn’t stand a chance. Bruce also said Mayfield is always working on his fundamentals. I guess that was a shot at Brady, too? Yes, Tom Brady famously known for not working on his fundamentals

  28. shankasorous Says:

    “Arians was interviewed two weeks ago”

    Two weeks ago? That means Arians’ comment does not factor in most of the OTAs, including the final OTA where Trask – at least based on Joe’s report – had a far better day than Mayfield:
    Joe doesn’t report stats from OTAs. Only a few selected highlights/lowlights. –Joe

  29. JTHV Says:

    This team can win a Super Bowl with 2020 Tom Brady and Gronk.

    5-12 without.

    Y’all better get ready for draft analysis around Halloween.

  30. Tim Says:

    If our GM is as smart as he appears, he will deal Mayfield to the Raiders since Jimmy G won’t be playing for a draft pick. Let Trask do his thing. If Trask can’t do it, we get Williams in the next draft

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Especially with all the cap room opening up in 2024.’

    We have a very much different view of our 2024 CAP situation Joe. Spotrac estimates next year’s adjusted CAP for the Bucs will be $240.5 mil, an increase of roughly $13 mil over this year’s CAP. They show us with only $16 mil of CAP space for 2024 (Top-51) based on having 65 players under contract (at least 25-30 of those won’t even be on our team once preseason finishes). What it doesn’t include is any Dead CAP for 2024, and we both know that’ll be a bunch because we kicked the can down the street yet again this year.

    IOW we’re already well in the hole for 2024, with quite a few expensive FAs to sign. Players like Evans, White, LVD, Winfield, Gaines, Feiler, Neal. And even possibly Mayfield if he has a good season. Oh and Wirfs will be on his 5th year option (a mere $18 mil). All of that with us starting in the hole. Our biggest problem is that we’ve run out of guys to restructure. Sooner or later you end up paying the piper, and we didn’t do that in 2023.

  32. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    I’m excited for the season. Super excited for what Canales brings. I think it’s going to be a total different offense, one that is almost designed for Bakers strengths. I think when Davis said yesterday if teams aren’t ready for us they’re going to get punched in the jaw, he was referring to this offense. If our line gels, we may play a lot of smash mouth football. It would be nice for our offense to look like the ravens or the Seahawks. There’s too many changes from last season for anyone to know what to expect. I personally think our offense was terrible last year and the defense got beat up down the stretch. I think we may be better this year. Our depth is better. If Devin White would shut up and play ball, I think we are going to be very good. Go Bucs!!!

  33. David Says:

    Opposite of what media thinks, Todd B. will be a fool and lose his job to gamble and start Baker hoping a good version of Baker shows up. On the other hand Trask is unknown in NFL and he can justify it if he starts Trask and fails. Rookies have to start somewhere to be evaluated in meaningful games especially a round two qb. Otherwise Bucs will be a bush organization with so many years of failed qb’s draft picks.

  34. fwfan Says:

    Bucs should not tank for Williams. The Bucs are not going to anger a fan base that most believe they could win it all this year. No way.

  35. Buc4evr Says:

    The fix is in, Mayfield to start. Trask gets to try to pick up the pieces when Mayfield fails miserably. If Bowles thinks Mayfield is going to save his job, he better start packing.

  36. TampabayDJ Says:

    Listen to all you Bruce Arians haters !! Same guys that hate Todd B. And Bruce won us a Super Bowl ! Shame on all of you. And to the dummies that say Bruce doesn’t watch Bucs practice just because he’s not there ? It’s called Video ! You know , the stuff that players and coaches watch throughout the season ? Wow there are some real clowns 🤡 out here. Go Bucs and Bucco Bruce

  37. BillyBucco Says:

    Watch there be an injury to one of the 2 and all this conjecture about Mayfield and Trask doesn’t even matter.
    You think the 49ers thought Brock Purdy would play?
    Or Cooper Rush for Dallas?
    It’s not like these guys are a bunch of scrubs.
    They are in the NFL for crying out loud.
    Trasks MO is being 3rd then 2nd string before getting his chance and this is no different.
    This will also be the 1st QB not named TB12 to start since Jaymiss Winston.
    If we can’t compete with Mayfield and/or Trask, do you really want this staff coaching up Caleb Williams?
    Way too much love for Brady as great as he was. This team wasn’t before Brady, and aren’t now, that far away from success.

  38. My Momma Says:

    Wasn’t said here on this site that BA had a hand in drafting Trask, and now implies he doesn’t have fire???

  39. catcard202 Says:

    Love me some BA BS! Arians is a fun interview, that’s for damn sure.

    Baker has been there & done that with mixed success…But he’s also on his 3rd 2nd chance as a former #1 overall pick & likely looking at his last-best opportunity to become the face of a franchise/earn QB1 money moving forward.

    While Trask hasn’t shown he is equipped to beat out a JoeAvg BU for a gameday roster spot & sideline clipboard duty, since being taken as a “developmental project” & TB12 sudden retirement insurance policy / depth piece in 2021.

    I can 100% understand why Baker took the Bucs performance based “prove it” offer & is betting on himself.

  40. garro Says:

    Two weeks ago I was sitting drinking coffee on a beautiful beach in Thailand.
    And it was just as relevent to the present Bucs as Arians thoughts from two weeks ago.

    Go Bucs!

  41. lambchop Says:

    I don’t see this as criticism of Brady at all. It’s a direct comparison of Baker to Trask. Brady always brought fire, even at practices. Arians knows this team doesn’t respond to a ho-hum kind of attitude at the most important position. Baker may not be as demanding as Tom, but he’ll keep the energy level high and competitive.

    Trask is a different personality. If he can win the job and rally his teammates to win with him, then that’s just another way to go about it. But, it’s an up hill climb if your attitude is “Aw shucks.”

  42. Eric Says:

    Lol and how many games have fire and charisma won, can he play in the structure of the offense that’s the biggest question I have!

  43. shankasorous Says:

    You all need to cool your enthusiasm for Caleb Williams in the next draft. Aside from being undersized, the odds of him being our savior are almost nil. Since 2000, there have been 69 quarterbacks taken in the first round of the NFL draft. Of those 69 first-rounders, only 5 have won a Super Bowl. Yup, 5 of 69, or 7%.

  44. shankasorous Says:


    I agree. Starting Mayfield when we have no chance of winning anything this season – except maybe another “NFC South Champions!” t-shirt – is lunacy. Start Trask – who has been looking good in the spring practices – with veteran Wolford as his backup, and trade the undersized over-hyped bust to the Raiders for a draft pick. If Trask had played at FSU, this board would be in melt down mode screaming for exactly that – and that’s a FACT.

  45. DBS Says:

    This is only June. The final team is not close to being set nor preseason over. I will wait until then to see what QB is chosen to start and respect the coaches decision. And Son of Trask can scream and insult all he wants . It doesn’t mean the coaches feel or see Trask the same. Or Mayfield for that matter. Just who will be best at that time.

  46. realistic-optimistic Says:

    I appreciate everything good that BA gave this franchise, but I really struggle with the way he left. He stranded the team with BL! To me, this is almost unforgivable.

  47. Oneilbuc Says:

    Realistic. Brady got BA sent up stairs remember what Brady wants Brady gets that was the on going slogan on this site and the bucs organization. Brady was given more power than the coaches and GM no one could tell Brady no . Brady did what he wanted and when he wanted no one could do nothing about it. He changed the game plan the day before the game and BL became the scapegoat when it didn’t work and that’s a proven fact. But this is why you never make one player bigger than the organization!!!

  48. gotbbucs Says:

    Baker had this same fire and charisma last year when he was the worst QB in the NFL, by a mile. Just saying. His attitude didn’t take a year off for a down year and then all of the sudden switch back into a cocky gun fighter.

    Johnny Manziel had tons of fire and charisma too, didn’t make him an NFL QB.

    Listen, I don’t know if Baker is going to be good or bad. I do know that once that ball is snapped, machismo doesn’t put the ball in the recievers hands.

  49. Buc1987 Says:

    fwfan Says:

    “Bucs should not tank for Williams. The Bucs are not going to anger a fan base that most believe they could win it all this year. No way.”

    Most of us think they’re going to suck but whatever gets you by I guess…

    Go Bucs!

  50. Oneilbuc Says:

    Tanking is for losers if they tank for Caleb Williams what makes you think they’re going to develop him ?? The bucs will ruin his career just like the rest of the quarterbacks they drafted .

  51. steele Says:

    Joe clearly stated an opinion, on Joe’s opinion driven website. No need to characterize it such a malicious way.–Joe

    As for “fire”, Brady “fired” constantly, trying to get his offensive guys to grow up and fight. They tuned him out, and quiet quit on him, individually and collectively. Super Bowl malaise on the part of veterans, and disregard from the young JAGs.

    With Rah Rah Canales and Mayfield, there’s a better chance they’ll come out of slumber, simply because there’s a change.

  52. garro Says:

    I think it is a stretch to say that is a slight at Brady. More of an observation about Maybefield. But anything to get those clicks Joe.

  53. JD Still Says:

    Mayfield has charisma and fire? Custer of the Seventh Calvary had charisma , fire , and experience too! But he wasn’t very good , he was actually removed from command several times,( sounds familiar ?), but he had charisma ,fire ,and experience, so they gave him one more chance, after all , what’s the worst that could happen ? They found out ,The 7thwas totally destroyed , fortunately , here, we are only talking about a football team that could self destruct, lost coaching and front office careers, millions of lost fans and millions of dollars in lost revenue for years to come, but hey, what’s the worst that could happen?

  54. Mike Alstott Jr. Says:

    Meh, anyone that watched Brady last year knows that he had a different attitude than the previous two. Flowmaster Buc for president!!!