“I Don’t Think We Know Any Of That”

July 20th, 2023


Here’s a chance to solve a puzzle.

Go ahead and search for someone employed by a statgeek site or even an ex-NFL player that believes the Bucs will win the NFC South division this fall. Joe will give you props if you find someone.

While searching, you no doubt will find tons of content predicting doom for the Bucs this season. And what’s the common denominator? Baker Mayfield (OK, OK, OK Kyle Trask if that makes you feel better and soothes your nerves).

Oh, you surely will read/watch/hear little to no faith in Todd Bowles, but the main reason folks are down on the Bucs is Mayfield (OK, Trask).

Famed NFL Films X’s and O’s analyst Greg Cosell isn’t ready to bury the Bucs. And he’s claiming Mayfield is a giant boogieman like so many are. Cosell isn’t crazy enough to say Mayfield is a top-shelf quarterback. But he has hope for the fit with new Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

Talking NFC South on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast, probably the best series of pure football podcasts you will find (outside of the Ira Kaufman Podcast, of course), Cosell said Mayfield with Canales is a great unknown.

Ross Tucker: You still have faith that Baker Mayfield can be a winning quarterback in this league, long-term Greg?

Greg Cosell: I think that is a hard question to answer. I think he has traits to be a solid quarterback. I think they are very much an unknown for this reason: They have a new coordinator. I don’t know enough about him — I’m just being honest — to know what he is ultimately going to do. Now he came from Seattle where he had been for a number of years. I don’t know if he is going to take the Pete Carroll approach or if he believes, “Hey, now I’m free and I’m going to really become a spread guy.” I don’t know any of that. I don’t that we know any of that yet.

Fair point.

Bowles won’t give Canales the green light to go full-blown spread-option or Mike Leach Air Raid. While that would be fun as hell to watch, Joe is sure every Bucs fans agrees no one wants to see Mayfield (alright, Trask) attempt 45-50 passes a game. (And you thought Jameis threw picks! LOL)

Cosell’s premise is right on. Predicting Mayfield’s season is too hard because no one knows what Canales has up his sleeve.

25 Responses to ““I Don’t Think We Know Any Of That””

  1. Mike S Says:

    Can you imagine if after Farve Green Bay decided that Rodgers was too green to “risk” anyone’s career on so they went with free agent Billy Volek who was available in 2008 based purely on the fact that he had starting experience as a QB and assorted intangibles?

    Before you laugh Volek’s career comp % and TD-INT ratio lines up with Baker Mayfield’s numbers nearly exactly – and Volek’s 2007 season was superior to Mayfield’s in 2022.

    In the NFL sometimes two in the bush IS worth more than one in the hand. Rodgers first year as the starter they went 6-10, but he did throw for 4,000 yards and 28 TDs.

    I was watching everyone’s friend and straight shooter Rich Eisen talk about the Bucs yesterday and he went through the Bucs roster and said (paraphrasing) there are some good players here – why are the Bucs picked to finish last in this division? Then with an irritated look on his face resulting from realization he said “It must be because they believe Baker is washed.”

    Cowherd won’t even entertain an argument about Baker as far as he’s concerned the matter is settled – washed. He was annoyed at the question being asked.

    Think about it – 6.5 wins? Longest shot to win the South? With a roster that has these names? No other conclusion here can be made other than everyone saying that Baker is the presumptive starter and therefore the offense is going to be terrible. There is a consensus about the guy everywhere outside Tampa Bay.

    Canales is an unknown and the hand was tipped about being a stodgy run first offense – certainly doesn’t support any additional argument for big offensive production. You have to give Canales some leeway to ramp up. It would be a shock to everyone if the Bucs came out of the gate like firecrackers. I think he’s a smart guy who will be fine after he gets the requisite experience.

    Joe thinks we’re just Gator homers. No that’s not it Joe. You don’t become a winning franchise without a franchise QB. You can’t reliably sign guys in free agency and have an expectation for success at the QB position. Trask had a very good preseason last year – made special throws and looked big time. It takes patience and commitment to develop a franchise QB. You don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. You certainly don’t recite intangibles as a counter to bad numbers on journeymen.

  2. Hodad Says:

    Nothing in Canales’s back ground would suggest he’d run a spread option offense. He’s been with Pete Carroll for like 13 years, don’t see him breaking free all of a sudden.

  3. kyle Says:

    mike^ good analysis. Can you please explain the “special throws” trask made in a preseason game please? Which preseason game did he look “big time”?

    Idk, i didnt see that in the 2nd half against the Falcons in game 17 last year?

  4. Lt. Dan Says:

    “And you thought Jameis threw picks!” Still do. When and if he gets on the field.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Mike S … Excellent points! Like Ira said yesterday, let it be decided on the grass in a fair competition.

  6. Sly Pirate Says:

    Mike, “You can’t reliably sign guys in free agency and have an expectation for success at the QB position.”

    The only success the Bucs have ever had is with acquired QBs. Johnson and TB12 … even García was good. Every drafted QB has been a fail. I would advocate sticking with signing proven vets (Baker isn’t proven) and using draft picks on other positions. The strategy historically works. Johnson, Manning, Stafford, TB12.

  7. Crash Says:

    Carr? Ridder? Young?
    Those are the QBs in the NFC South? The Bucs will win the division.

  8. Wild Bill Says:

    If the Bucs can put together a solid running game they should very much be a contender in their division. Neither Trask or Baker need to carry the team if the run game is solid. Simple as that. Even Brady sucked last year without a decent run game. Defense should be decent enough to contend in their division. Both qbs can hand off the ball. Both qbs can be adequate if the run game produces and the opposition has to focus on stopping the run. Solid defense, solid run game, and decent but not spectactular qb play could win the division. If the run game fizzles and the burden falls on qb performance, the bucs are in big trouble much like last season.

  9. stpetebucfan Says:

    “You can’t reliably sign guys in free agency and have an expectation for success at the QB position:

    Reliably is the KEY word here. I can’t argue that point. I could add however you can’t RELIABLY draft a QB even in the 1st round, even at #1 or #2 (See Fameis and Marcus) and expect success.

    I go to Rich Gannon as the perfect example. Both Trask and Mayfield fans can take comfort from his career. So disrespected in the draft that N.E. selected him to play either DB or WR, he balked forced a trade to Minnesota where he rode the pine behind Wade Wilson and Tommy Kramer. (Trask fans can take heart from this) Traded to Washington he played little before blowing out his shoulder and missing an entire season. (Mayfield supporters can take heart here)

    Gannon went to the Raiders and the rest as they say is history.

    Neither of the Buc’s SB winning QB’s were drafted by the Bucs. Neither were drafted any higher than the 6th round!

    NOBODY can say with any certainty WHERE NFL QB’s come from. Yes the preponderance may come from the draft but many others do not! Drew Brees did not get drafted by N.O.!

    I simply hope the ONE thing we can all agree on is that as has been posted the “competition” for starter in 2023 is decided on the grass!

    I have even higher hopes. I hope that BOTH Mayfield and Trask are decent NFL QB’s. AGAIN…look at S.F. last year…start with the “savior”(Niners traded THREE first round picks for him) from the draft..Trey Lance..he goes down and vet Garrapolo picks up the pieces before he goes down and then the Niners are forced to turn to 2022’s Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy and they never skipped a beat.

    I like depth at every position, including QB! I do not care who wins the “starting nod” I hope they are BOTH capable NFL QB’s.

    I just gave the SF example…GB had two GREAT QB’s on their roster at the same time!!! I do not believe either Mayfield or Trask will be great but they could at least be competent and give the Bucs a chance to win.

  10. First Name Greatest Says:

    Funny how Joe was a Jameis fanboy but Baker is basically the same QB and he thinks he is toast, be better Joe

  11. Miller5252 Says:

    Hey Joe, what’s the deal with the Ira podcast that the title talks about Devin White? It won’t play on your website and Apple podcast says it’s not available when you click play.

  12. HC Grover Says:

    They may squeak by the Bears but that is the only game they have a chance to win before the bye. All you have to do is watch Plan 9 play. It is obvious. Get him out.

  13. BuxfaninTX Says:

    I sure hope that Dave Canales isn’t the next Les Steckel or that guy we hired from Boston college

  14. pepsi Says:

    “And you thought Jameis threw picks!’ uh.. yea. he threw 88 picks in 5 seasons with the Bucs. You think its possible someone could throw more in a 5 year span? we may actually never see anyone throw more in a 5 year span in our lifetime. Not to mention he had 23 lost funmbles. thats 111 TOs by Jameis in five years with the Bucs.. Not gonna let your forget that Joe.

  15. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Caneles looks too much like Marcus Arroyo for me to have any confidence…..plus his resume is very shakey…..Geno Smith has 1 above average season and we hire the quarterbacks coach?

    Didn’t even call plays I don’t think most fans reliaze the jump going from quarterbacks coach (a pretty much meaningless figurehead position) to offensive coordinator where you have to install an entire playbook, sort protections, gameplan every week and call plays on the fly…

    The only hope I have for this season is by the defense carrying a putrid offense (like last season)……and before the “Caneles can’t be worse than Leftwhich” crowd arrives, Leftwhich called plays throughout the superbowl year.

  16. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “Funny how Joe was a Jameis fanboy but Baker is basically the same QB”

    The idiots are up early today…casuals just look at inception numbers and think that determines how good a QB is but fail to look at actual producvity….Jameis vs Baker completley different as players, Baker is a washed game manager but Jameis actually has the ability to lead an explosive offense something that Mayfield cannot do (outside of his time at Oklahoma)

    If I had the choice between Mayfield or Winston, I’m taking Winston in a landslide.

  17. garro Says:

    Slid take by Cosell.
    And you are right Joe. We no longer have the… yes THE… guy who can get away with 40 to 50 passes per game and win.

    Go Bucs!

  18. Craig Says:

    Baker has the intelligence and knowledge to be a decent QB.

    It is when those don’t work that he falls short. He tries to do too much and it all falls apart. His happy feet get tempo and he forces things.

    No one has any idea if Trask can keep a simple and consistent strategy going. I do believe he will be more consistent than Baker and that is what I am looking for.

    QBs that flash do that because they cannot consistently move the chains. Trask has more credibility at that but only because we have no data to crunch on.

    If the D-line gains that missing step to pressuring the opposing QB, I think the Bucs have a chance this season. It is not all about QB positives, but it will be about QB negatives, like turnovers.

    Special teams also needs to be a lot more special,

  19. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Tbbucs3 Says:
    “Leftwhich called plays throughout the superbowl year.”

    Arians let Leftfoot call plays the way I would let my 13 year old daughter talk to a boy on the phone. Not beyond earshot, and I hold veto power.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    BuxfaninTX … ‘I sure hope that Dave Canales isn’t the next Les Steckel’.

    I’d love for him to get the same results that Les Steckel got in his 1 year as Tony Dungy’s OC (2000). He led the Bucs to their 5th highest-scoring season in our 47 years (388 points in 16 games). Fortunately for him, he had Mike Alstott & Warrick Dunn to pound the ball, because Shaun King didn’t exactly overwhelm everyone passing the ball (54.4% with 18 TDs). Unfortunately for Steckel however, his hard-ass Marine drill sergeant approach to discipline apparently didn’t go over well. It got results though … 24.3 PPG while we were still in the Black-and-Blue division.

    That year BTW (2000) MAY serve as a precursor for what we’ll be seeing this season. Bucs went 10-6 that season, earned a wildcard spot for the playoffs, then got trounced in Philly 21-3. Eagles defense shut down our running game (50 yards total on 19 rushes), forcing King to step up in his passing (17-of-31 for 171 yds with 4 sacks). He failed pretty badly (only 11 total 1st downs) & the Bucs got squashed.

    Steckel used the run very effectively during that season though, and we ran on 51.0% of our plays that year (490 runs for 2066 yards). I probably would’ve taken the same approach if I had Thunder & Lightning in the backfield. Even King was a decent runner, picking up 353 yards rushing for a 4.8 YPC average. I’d take that from this year’s QBs all day long.

  21. Lt. Dan Says:

    Well played Crack Pipe! LOL..!!

  22. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Good line Crack Pipe….but the idea that in such a fast paced game that Arians was cherry picking everyone of Leftwhiches play calls is nonsense. Arians didn’t hold a playsheet.

  23. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Tbbucs3 Says:
    “Arians didn’t hold a playsheet.”

    Au contraire. When on the sideline, he always wore the same play card on his wrist as his quarterbacks did.

  24. Tbbucs3 Says:

    A wristband can only hold so many play calls big difference between that and the full playsheet that Left which held.

    It’s just amazing how amongst Bucs fans especially on this site, the the team preformed well all credit went to Arians and Brady, but when it’s bad all blame goes to Leftwhich….that’s nonsense.

    Well anyways, that highly successful span is over and now we get to watch the failed expirment in waiting of Caneles/Mayfield.

  25. garro Says:

    Come on folks. Arians did veto game plans and play calls.
    Also there is the Bowles factor. He had a hand in the offenses dismal performance last year, when Arians did not veto anything after his banishment.

    Go Bucs!