Todd Bowles Refers To Baker Mayfield As “The Perfect Fit”

June 2nd, 2023

Quarterback chatter.

So an old interview with Bucs coach Todd Bowles has resurfaced and Joe noticed a sentence from Bowles sort of sheds light on not just why the Bucs may have signed Baker Mayfield, but why the Bucs had such a disjointed offense last season.

The Bucs last season had the greatest quarterback who ever lived, Tom Brady. But for Bowles, the perfect quarterback is Mayfield.

Those are not Joe’s words.

There was something out of whack with the Bucs offense all last year. Even in the preseason. Joe still can’t put a finger on it. Was it SpongeBob (failed offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich) who was over his head?

Was it Brady’s (too) quick release? Was it the most popular excuse of fans — all together now! — the offensive line? Was it the non-existent run game? Was it Brady taking a 10-day sojourn to the islands(?) to try to save his marriage? Was it Ryan Jensen’s destroyed knee?

It’s hard to believe the Bucs went from one of the most potent and dangerous offenses in the NFL to a glorified BB gun of an offense. But it happened.

We know Bowles did not want to run the Bucco Bruce Arians’ no-risk-it; no-biscuit offense. But did Bowles so radically change the offensive strategy or direction so much that it threw the offense totally off-kilter? The case might be made.

Earlier this week, NFL Network rebroadcast Bowles’ sitdown with’s Judy Battista, a friend of Ira Kaufman, that originally aired during the week of the March owners meetings in March.

Bowles had a line in the segment that knocked Joe off his feet. Battista asked Bowles about signing Mayfield and this was Bowles’ response:

“The way we were trying to run our offense [last] year, the style of offense we were trying to run, I thought he was the perfect fit for it.”

So let Joe get this straight: Whatever offense Bowles wanted to use, the Bucs would have been better off with Mayfield at quarterback than Brady? In what world?

Maybe Joe is out of line here, but if you have an offense where you think your perfect quarterback is Mayfield and that you are better off with Mayfield over the greatest quarterback who ever played, well, maybe Bowles should have rethought what he was trying to accomplish on offense.

Unless you’re running a wishbone or a run-heavy spread-option, Joe cannot concoct any sort of offense where Mayfield would be a better option than Brady.

That dog just doesn’t hunt, sorry.


61 Responses to “Todd Bowles Refers To Baker Mayfield As “The Perfect Fit””

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    Personally I like that the Bucs were able to get Mayfield. At the time (and still) we had no cap room, the QB cupboard was quite bare, drafting #19, Trask the only signed QB on the roster etc. Kudos Mr. Licht!

  2. Allen Lofton Says:

    Too many conspiracy theories – winning starts with a specific goal – a plan of attack – executing it – a make adjustment through the season.

    BELIEVE IN YOU and play like your life depends on it.

  3. Since76 Says:

    Leftwich was just awfull. For me he was the worst offensive coordinator the BUCS have ever had. Arians leaves and the offense just became predictable. So much talent wanted. He was clueless.

  4. ShakeandBaker Says:

    Well based on these guys throwing errant passes galore in OTAs with no pass rushers and wide open receivers the Bucs may be in a world of trouble. They both appear to suck really really bad. The upside though if they are as bad as they appear to be so far that #1 overall pick is definitely within reach.

  5. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Man I hate being a pessimist but between Bowles HC record, in-game decisions, and quotes as a HC, it’s hard to really feel like this guy knows what he’s doing or has the right blueprint for success. Love him as a DC but jesus man.

    Like so much wrong with this….

    You hired a new OC this year with a new system, but Baker was a perfect fit for the OLD system you were trying? The 18 PPG system with Tom Brady? Seriously wtf are you talking about dude. Can we get a single logical accountable answer to why the offense was so bad last year vs all the vague BS?

    Was it all Leftwich’s show 100% or not? How much influence did Bowles have on the offense and the philosophy to run more and take less deep shots? Thank god we’ll never know. It’s not like fans spend the money that funds their jobs or anything or have any right to know….

  6. Yar Says:

    It takes a special HC to take a 13 win team and change it to an 8 win team. I don’t think I could that.

  7. Stanglassman Says:

    Both Qb probably threw 60-80 passes each. Someone edits it down to the 2 errant throws to TE and WRs they’ve never played with. There are always going to be a few gullible fans who will fall for it.

  8. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Personally I think the offense sucking was due to a combo of

    1) huge losses across the offensive line (going from elite to below average)
    2) the change from ARians to Bowles
    3) the lack of any decent 3rd target between Gage injury / no Gronk or Brown
    4) Tom Brady’s life drama /general play falling off

    I’d put it probably in that order. I’m pretty sure Leftwich was OC the prior 2 years, but we make a HC change and all of a sudden everything is Leftwichi’s fault.

    Which is fine if Arians was really the OC basically. But it just speaks to more organizational disfunction in general.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Bowles … “The way we were trying to run our offense [last] year, the style of offense we were trying to run, I thought he was the perfect fit for it.”

    So reading between the lines, Mayfield was the perfect fit to run the inept, totally disjointed style of offense that we ran last year. Got it.

    BA’s ‘no-riskit-no-biscuit’ style of offense required a strong OLine to buy enough time in pass protection to allow the receivers to get open. Also helpful to have an experienced QB who could read the defense quickly and see ‘opportunities’ before they actually materialized. Bucs had the 2nd in Tom Brady, but not the 1st (our OLine couldn’t protect Brady long enough on average).

    Byron Leftwich was no offensive genius, but I doubt that BA himself couldn’t gotten much better results from the offensive talent that was available game-in & game-out. Jensen & Stinnie missed the whole season. Wirfs missed several games (got 76% of the offensive snaps). So did Donovan Smith (he only got 74% of the offensive snaps). And so did Leverett (he only got 62% of the snaps). The only 2 who gave us a full season were Mason (99%) and Hainsey (97%). One of those is now gone, and the other sounds like he’s a depth player.

  10. Buddha Says:

    Brady was a shell of a GOAT last year.

  11. Cobraboy Says:

    Welcome to Bowles idiocy, trying to force an “offense” on a QB who supposedly was not fit for it.

    Whatever happened to fit O and D’s around the players available, not the other way around?

    Todd Bowles is a terrible head coach.

  12. ShakeandBaker Says:

    Stanglass there were a lot more than two. Of course it’s edited but both of them missing 7 to 8 passes each is awful. These are layups and they are missing wildly. Pretty sure the coaches know Trask isn’t going to cut it as a starter in the NFL and that is why they brought in Mayfield. Unfortunately for all of us he doesn’t look any better.

  13. Craig Says:

    Talk about a coach being out of touch with reality.

    It sounds like he doesn’t care how the QB competition happens; he is going to anoint Mayfly. That will make to new offense look inept.

    A modified West Coast offense needs to be cohesive. The O-line needs to know where the QB is, and that ain’t happening with Mayfly. He has been sacked so much he is going to freak if one of the D guys yells at him as he goes by.

    Then he will run around and the O-line will try to figure out what is happening. Mayfly will get happy feet and try to force something that isn’t there, like normal.

    Mayfly is a disaster waiting to happen.

  14. Bucswin Says:

    Old /thin goat was terrible last season. Missing wide open receivers! Scared to get hit! Who does that? Someone not in their right mind or body. GO BUCS!

  15. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    It was Brady sure, but not at his prime. Big difference.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Perhaps it was all of these things combined that affected the offense in 2022.

    Brady rushed, dinks & dunks
    No running game
    Byron Leftwich
    Brady not focused

    Todd Bowles meddling

  17. Smoothbayrider Says:

    Brady’s throwing shoulder was toast. He injured it early on in the year, and you could tell down the stretch that his arm was dead. On downfield attempts, he was throwing a lot more with his hips and torso than with shoulder and elbow.

    That being said, I think what Bowles is insinuating is that Mayfield has a more lively arm that can make off platform throws downfield to our all world WRs. Maybe make something out of plays that last year, were over as soon as Brady deemed he didn’t have anybody open and turtled up.

  18. ATLBuc Says:

    Last year, during live games, I saw the GOAT throw MANY passes that were worse than the two throws in practice. We’re talking about PRACTICE!!

  19. Dooley Says:

    It takes a concerted effort to be as bad as we were on offense last season, but this is kind of filling in the blanks with your imagination which is just a few rungs above make-believe. Fact is, nobody knows how much “meddling” Bowles did over the offense, but it’s also fair to say that the dysfunction of our offense didn’t start week 1 of 2022, but carried over from the last few games of 2021 as we struggled simarliy to how our offense coming down the stretch in 2021.

    The Rams game you guys love citing, but don’t mention before that last defensive snap that our offense did next to nothing for the entire first half and didn’t show signs of life until the last 20 minutes of the game. That game itself, played out much like EVERY game of the 2022 season.

  20. Dooley Says:


    do you remember the Ravens game when we were threatening outside of the redzone, Mike Evans had about a step in a half on his man deadcenter in the endzone with nothing but green in front of him and Brady let the pass sail over Evans out of his reach for an incompletion. That play by itself is the epitome of “leaving points on the field” wasn’t the only problem with our offense, but an example of some of the reductive play that led to our offense being as miserable as it looked from start to finish.

  21. bucaabubba Says:

    Joe misses the boat. Bowles said Minifield would have been the “perfect fit” for the offense run “last year”. However, Canales is putting in a new offense, which means Minifield would no be longer the “perfect fit”. Maybe a good backup. 😛

  22. bucabubba Says:

    Joe misses the boat. Bowles said Minifield would have been the “perfect fit” for the offense run “last year”. However, Canales is putting in a new offense, which means Minifield is no longer the “perfect fit”. Maybe a good backup. 😛

  23. ATLBuc Says:


    I remember!! There were many such throws. I remember a lot of throws that looked like Kancy’s first pitch.

  24. Joe Says:

    Joe misses the boat. Bowles said Minifield would have been the “perfect fit” for the offense run “last year”.

    Re-read the quote. Everything he said was past tense. Joe listened to the quote several times. Still have the recording.

  25. Winny Testaverde Says:

    It’s official…Bowles is Lovie 2.oh no. Mayfield is Lovie’s McClown. This ends poorly but hopefully with a high draft choice.

  26. sasquatch Says:

    Let’s not get hung up on one statement… Or the phrase “perfect fit”… Who the hell knows what he meant? Let’s take out of this what we know he meant — they like Mayfield and they believe he could have been a fit in last year’s offense (not that he would have been better than Brady), and obviously they think he’ll fit in this year’s offense or they would not have signed him.

  27. bucabubnba Says:

    Joe, that’s my point. What Bowles said was past tense. Your title though reads as if Bowles is calling Mayfield the perfect fit NOW, under the NEW offense.

  28. bucabubba Says:

    Joe, that’s my point. What Bowles said was past tense. Your title though reads as if Bowles is calling Mayfield the perfect fit NOW, under the NEW offense.

  29. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @Dooley. I always thought the infamous “cover zero” game lacked any nuanced analysis. Yes, it was a bad call, but if you look at the whole game the offense wasn’t great at all. We had too many three and outs. The OL was getting bullied all game. I think the special teams unit was let completely off the hook. The punter shanked two kicks out of bounds. It put our defense in bad situations all game. We also got nothing in the return game. The D was constantly forced to defend short fields and the offense had horrible field position that forced us to drive the entire field. Keith Armstrong was never held accountable for our horrible STs all year. Bowles played favorites by firing Leftwich and keeping Armstrong.

  30. Brandon Says:

    How would anyone outside the organization know what the Bucs offense was supposed to be last season? I know Leftwich didn’t have nine of the first 10 passes called to be smoke screens or checkdowns. That was all Brady’s doing. Those smoke screens only occur after the QB makes a siight adjustment and audibles to one. We threw those ineffective smoke screens constantly… and they rarely worked. And then the constant checkdowns because Brady had zero interest in pushing the ball downfield… that’s on him as well. For all we know, Leftwich was calling a brilliant game… but unfortunately the man under center continued to continue doing something that didn’t work and expect different results. If it was anybody other than Brady that was the starter, the guy would have been benched. But it was never discussed because no matter how bad he was, he’s a demigod and nobody would dare suggest that he’s the cause of the problem…. even though he clearly was.

  31. ATLBuc Says:

    Absolutely nothing can be reduced from the quote above. I can’t even tell who bowles was referring to. Joe you can’t give me quote with limited information and expect me to take your word for missing content. What did Bowles say before and after that partial statement?

  32. K2 Says:

    I think coaches and players are going out of their way to not say, “Byron was absolutely terrible!” So, we’re not going to get them to say that he was a big part of the problem.

  33. Mike Johnson Says:

    Perfect fit aye Todd? Both you and Baker will receive walking papers after this years disastrous season.

  34. Hodad Says:

    This offense is similar to what the Rams run let’s look at their last two QB’s. Matt Stafford, and Jared Goeff. Not exactly known for their scrambling ability. Geno Smith running the same offense in Sea. He can move, but not know as a overly mobile QB. All three QBs well over six foot. Seems like Trask if you compare him to the QBs running this offense, he’s a better fir than Baker.

  35. Oneilbuc Says:

    This ain’t no quarterback competition I wish they would just stop saying quarterback competition. Baker Mayfield has been gifted the starting job and this is his 4th team in 6 years lol 🤣🤣 but Baker Mayfield is the guy who will at least get us to the playoffs!! The bucs has destroyed another quarterback!!

  36. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Was it the most popular excuse of fans — all together now! — the offensive line?

    Gee, I wonder why Bucs will have 4 new starters on Oline this year?

  37. Joe in Michigan Says:

    bucaabubba Says:
    June 2nd, 2023 at 10:06 am
    Joe misses the boat. Bowles said Minifield would have been the “perfect fit” for the offense run “last year”. However, Canales is putting in a new offense, which means Minifield would no be longer the “perfect fit”. Maybe a good backup. 😛
    The “perfect fit” for bucabubba probably involves a gerbil.

  38. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Look, I’m not going to pile on Brady. We got a ring out of his time here, and I’m happy that he’s now part of Bucs history. But I don’t think anybody would disagree that he was a complete statue and played pretty scared last year.

    Bowles probably should have chosen better words, but I’m pretty sure this is the translation:

    “a QB who can move at least a little and take a hit or two would have helped the OL”

  39. westernbuc Says:

    Our offensive line wasn’t good enough for an immobile 45 year old Qb who didn’t want to get hit. It would’ve been adequate if we had a semi mobile guy. this is why believe we’ll be better this year than last.

  40. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Lord Cornelius Says

    “Personally I think the offense sucking was due to a combo of

    1) huge losses across the offensive line (going from elite to below average)
    2) the change from ARians to Bowles
    3) the lack of any decent 3rd target between Gage injury / no Gronk or Brown
    4) Tom Brady’s life drama /general play falling off”

    You pretty much nailed it. But…fans like to point fingers, not be reasonable.

  41. LakelandSteve Says:

    Just doesn’t give me a whole lot of faith in Bowles. Considering his record as a head coach, some horrible in game decisions last year and if it is true that Bowles tried to tinker with the offense to take away what Brady does best, well it just doesn’t give you a warm fuzzy feeling. You have to work with the people you have and adjust play to suit them not trying to put a square peg in a round hole. There just seems that Bowles lacks a little bit of common sense when it comes to being a head coach.

  42. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    realistic-optimistic Says
    “Brady…played pretty scared last year….”

    I don’t think he played scared, though, given the condition of the offensive line, he had every right to.

    I think his head just wasn’t in the game like it was in the past…probably due to his divorce and concerns that his wife would separate him from his kids. That had to be a huge distraction.

    And because of that, I think he lost the joy for playing, since him coming out of retirement is what caused the divorce.

  43. bucabubba Says:

    Joe in Michigan Says: “The “perfect fit” for bucabubba probably involves a gerbil.”

    Nothing but class, I tell you, from those guys from Meatchicken.

  44. Allbuccedup Says:

    This is coming from a head coach that ruined Geno Smiths career( until last year took him 7 years to recover) Sam Donalds and responsible for Tom Brady having his only losing season as a starting quarterback. This offense is going to be a complete trainwreck and he can’t blame this on no one but himself and the GM and ownership for giving him the head coaching gig.

  45. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @ Brandon. Sounds personal with you. It’s just irrational hate. When did Brady wrong you? I bet you didn’t have that same energy in 2020 and 2021. It’s perfectly fine to criticize Brady. He has readily admitted when he played like dog crap. I don’t know what’s your beef with him. No one is off limits, but you sound like a hater who’s not living in reality.

    Every single analyst with eyes will tell you that the OL was bad AND it affected Brady’s play. You need time to push the ball downfield. I have no idea what people were expecting of a 45 year old, especially one with a below average OL and no running game. My expectations were low since training camp. I attended some practices and saw a OL getting pushed back and one that couldn’t open holes for the RB. The game has changed so dramatically. You need a QB who can at least move in the pocket. The organization had to know they needed a good OL in order to be competitive.

  46. Bobby M. Says:

    Bowles doesn’t want an offense that presses down the field quickly….he prefers one plots its way in small doses with a focus on burning clock. Folks need to realize what ultimately keeps Bowles employable in the league is how his defense looks. He’s focused on keeping the defense fresh, minimizing time of possession for the opposing offense, whatever it takes to preserve his defensive ranking. He’s not playing to win the game, complete opposite of Arians approach.

  47. Joe Says:

    Joe, that’s my point. What Bowles said was past tense. Your title though reads as if Bowles is calling Mayfield the perfect fit NOW, under the NEW offense.

    There isn’t a thing wrong with that headline.

  48. HC Grover Says:


  49. lambchop Says:

    Baker would have been better last year because of the OL deficiency. You need a mobile QB to escape that cluster F that was going on. Brady needs a solid line to be effective. Always has been that way, so no surprise there.

    I think that’s the extent of why Baker would have been a better fit. Brady is all about timing. Baker can freelance. But, there’s nobody who would have thrived last year. It was not an ideal situation. If this year, you put Baker in a more controlled offense where he has to put everything on his shoulders and freelance, the better he will play. The freelance mobility will just be planned and more evenly distributed. If Baker has to play like Mahomes, he will lose games more than not ala Jameis.

  50. lambchop Says:

    * where he (Baker) doesn’t have to put everything on his shoulders and freelance…

  51. chark Says:

    Anyone that is buying the whole “bowles didnt have his offense” statement is truly kidding themselves. bowles was going to change absolutely nothing last year, that is not his dna, leftwich and all that were fired were scapegoats..probably coerced into being fired by design coming from licht. Yes they all needed to be fired, but bowles doesnt have the gumption or skill to hire and fire people. Our offense was a team strong point up till then. Never seen such an excuse propaganda machine behind a reeks of politics.

  52. Arn platz Says:

    No Joe you are not out of line you are 100% right. We had what will go down as the greatest QB in our lifetime and Leftwich /Bowles wasted it.

  53. Simeon97 Says:

    This team would be awesome if it had a coach and a QB.

  54. HC Grover Says:

    4th times the charm. ROFL. The Keystone Cops Offense is on the way.

  55. gotbbucs Says:

    Go back and look at Brady’s numbers last year and tell me with a straight face that that was GOAT QB football.
    You put Brady in New England last year and he would have probably graded out as the worst QB in football.

    …and Baker runs a 4.84 40 yard dash, can we quit acting like he’s going to run away from anybody on the field. Baker’s QBR outside the pocket is atrocious.

  56. Posey99 Says:

    Opinions are interesting. Mayfield hasn’t played in this offense and trask hasn’t played at all. It’s interesting that at one time (before he played) people complained (gave their opinion) that Tom Brady wasn’t the right guy and Peyton Manning couldn’t play after his rookie season. The fact is we just don’t know until it happens, everything else is just an assumption.

  57. Quezter Says:

    Wow, it was real simple. The offensive line wasn’t as good and no Gronk! With the Cap room I like Mayfield a lot! It would have been nice to get a top tier lineman, but I like what I’m seeing.
    Give em a chance. I’m pretty good at this analytical stuff!

  58. Voice of Truth Says:

    Bowles is a complete tool as a HC – so far over his head he can’t even see the surface – what an idiotic statement to make

    We are stuck in neutral with him in charge

    Todd Bowles, king of the six win season

  59. Rob Says:

    I’m afraid the Bucs are going to finish 3-14 and will be hiring a new coach next season.

  60. garro Says:

    It’s a scary thought that most of the time you know that Bowles is just blowing smoke with his coach speak. Other times…you have to go…Huh???

    Did he really just say that?

    I’m getting ever closer to jumping on the fire Bowles bandwagon.

    I had my suspicions that Bowles had been messing with the offense last season. But nothing to base it on other than it definately did not look like BAs offensive philosophy.

    If it turns out that all of this has been Bowles manipulation and throwing all the blame for the offensive woes on other people and circumstances.

    Then I will run to jump on that bandwagon and be screaming the loudest!

  61. BuckeyeBuck Says:

    The greatest Pro QB was NOT named Tom Brady. Archie Manning was #1, great player on a shi**y team. Fran Tarkenton was a close second. Both did more with much less