ESPN: Baker Mayfield When It Matters

August 21st, 2023

Bucs QB Baker Mayfield.

Has this really been a competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask? Or is this just a charade now because the Bucs don’t want to hurt Trask’s feelings?

It seems Jenna Laine of sort of leans towards the view that this competition is only a delay of the inevitable: Mayfield being named starting quarterback.

Trask has improved by leaps and bounds from last year, and even in the short period between mandatory minicamp and training camp, and he’s certainly benefited from all these reps, but Mayfield has looked better when it’s mattered most.

Joe agrees with Laine’s words but just can’t pass up a big ol’ fastball down the pipe like Laine just threw. When has preseason mattered?

If you buy what Todd Bowles is selling, that Mayfield and Trask are locked in a deathgrip over the starting quarterback gig, then is Bowles going to have a quick hook for the Week 1 starter if he falters?

Remember, Bowles needs wins. Badly.

If a coach/team cannot decide who should be its leader 20 days from kickoff with the coach’s job likely on the line, that just screams like Sam Kinison that the Bucs are drafting a quarterback in the first round next spring.

69 Responses to “ESPN: Baker Mayfield When It Matters”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    “When has preseason mattered?” Dang it Joe – why do you insist on triggering me first thing in the morning? You know how I feel – these games matter!

  2. TB2023 Says:

    All Bowles needs is a winning percentage in the last quarter of the season and he is back. A top-10 defense and late improvement by the offense will keep him in town.

    Everything else just keeps Lane writing posts.

  3. Smoothbayrider Says:

    I just hope the so called Bucs fans will stop crying about a darn QB competition. It doesn’t matter who the QB is, Bucs fans should be rooting for this team to win. It’s almost like some of these posters ( Some who have been coming on to this site for ten plus years), are gonna stop being Bucs fans because either Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask will be the QB. To which I say, “Grow the heck up, and root for favorite team”.

    Bucs fan

  4. Usfbuc Says:

    Neither of them have been great or even really good. Both need the running game to survive. That said even my wife who really doesn’t like football said, “if neither are really very good, why wouldn’t you choose to go with the younger, taller player, and can the Mayfield guy even see down the field? He looks like he is shorter than everyone on the field”

  5. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    The occult of Trask does not approve this message.

  6. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    The day I get my football scoops from a former USF cheerleader……….Laine has an opinion and that is all , besides a forum to put it out there.

  7. Buc4evr Says:

    Oh this season is going to be fun watching Bowles defend Mayfield……. Batted passes, happy feet and interceptions while scoring 13 points a game.

  8. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “Trask looked much better in that game than Mayfield did at home against the Steelers”

    That absolutely did not happen, Trask stans only see what they want to see. Trask threw the better interception though

  9. adam from ny Says:

    it only really gets interesting if baker flops out in week 3 preseason vs the ravens…

    if he throws a jameis-like pick 6 on the opening drive and then coughs it up again before the end of the first half with stats like
    for 4/14 for 31 yards and 2 ints………..then opening day starter gets interesting

  10. WyomingJoe Says:

    Let’s face it. If Baker Mayfield played against the high school defense that the Jets paraded onto the field Saturday he would have thrown for 400 yards and three or four TDs. Trask should be thanking God that Wolford didn’t play in the second half because he looked MUCH BETTER than Trask. Even against that terrible defense Trask threw for what, 216 yards? You guys really think that’s “great?” Please…!

  11. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Tbbucs3 is an OU guy.

    You live in the Dee Eff Dubya?

  12. JD Still Says:

    LOL ! The Mayfield sycophants and Cleveland refugees believe Brady would have probably been an acceptable backup for Mayfield until they could trade him for a better backup! ( They never let reality get in the way of their fantasies).

  13. Frank Pillow Says:

    We know one guy’s ceiling. The other guy’s, no so much—and he is improving day by day.

  14. ATrain Says:

    Mayfield will start as he has experience. by midseason he will be on the bench

  15. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Tbbucs3 you’re a little too quick to defend your position. Try reading Gus’s comment again. He didn’t compare their play from the Steelers game. He compared Trask’s performance in the Jets game to Mayfield’s vs the Steelers. Unless you’re still being asinine about Trask’s TD throw to Palmer last night….then have at it.

  16. Zoombobba Says:

    I like both qb’s and think it’s pretty even from what I saw and read about in camp and preseason but BM has game experience. With the tough schedule Bucs have and a seemingly mediocre run game thus far so 2-2 before the break is my guess. Trask will probably play at some point this season.
    T will still get his salary if he is #2 and that’s good money couple mil here and there. Our D better be top notch this year.
    I think Laine is really good at her job too.

  17. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Honestly, who trusts Bowles decision making?

    Anyone? Maybe as a DC and even then he’s proven inadequate.

  18. Greg The Truth Says:

    Its just hilarious that Joe thinks Mayfield equals wins. When did Mayfield become Brady? He is more like Jameis. People love the swagger, he shows flashes, but he simply isn’t a winner. Most of his passes in preseason were within 5 yards. He had one drive! That seemed to be enough for Joe to give him the job. When Trask shines somehow its only preseason.

    LET TRASK PLAY WITH OUR STARTERS! Then Joe may understand.

  19. Dwayne Cone Says:

    As someone who remembers the first video game was a square dot that moved around the screen called Pong I have also seen Head Coaches that have opted for Experience.

    When his Quarterback with experience took the team to 1-13 he brought his young prospect in and he lost. Finished 2-14

    Next year when he opted for experience they started 4-5 and he made the choice to cut bait and finish with the kid who went 2-5. team finished 6-10.

    Third year he went with the kid and they went 13-3, 3-0 in the post season. and won a super Bowl

    Ask Bill Walsh what he thinks about going with Experience.

    I am sure if Trask ends up starting game 11 and goes 2-5 there will be a lot of folks calling for a New Guy. Times have changed.

    After the Guy that was dropped for the Kid was let go, he went to Denver and did nothing again.

    Then he was brought to Tampa, where they opted for Experience and the Guy went 8-26 over 4 years.

    I guys things haven’t really changed much after all.

    BTW Those too young to remember Pong the Kids name was Joe Montana.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs’ fans should be rejoicing right now. Just a couple months ago, everyone was concerned that we had zero QBs … Trask was a unproven quasi-rookie, Mayfield had a losing track record, and Wolford was a complete unknown, to us.

    Fast forward to today. Trask needs more ‘seasoning’ obviously, but appears to have excellent potential to lead this team. Mayfield has apparently done quite well thus far in training camp in Canales’ system. And Wolford IMO is the surprise of preseason (ie, the Bucs very own Brock Purdy?). Personally I think any one of the 3 QBs currently on our roster could MANAGE this team … providing that the rest of the offense steps up. None of the 3 appear to be good enough to compensate for poor blocking by our OLine, a bunch of dropped passes by our receivers or for a non-existent running game. All 3 will need a quality TEAM around them.

    Whoever gets the starting gig on Day One is not our call. All we can hope is that whichever QB gets the nod, that he plays his best. And IF that isn’t good enough, then hopefully it’ll be NEXT MAN UP before the season gets out of hand. Welcome to the short leash gentlemen.

  21. Tbbucs3 Says:

    There’s been no greater overreaction to Trask playing his first above average game against the Jets in which 13 points were scored.

    Take a look around the league, the majority of no name QBs who will ultimately be in street clothes this upcoming season playing well this preseason.

    Skyler Thompson last week 3 TDs
    Aiden O Connell 2 TDs
    Blaine Gabbert 2 TDs
    Trask 1 TD (and nearly picked off)

  22. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Wyoming Wolford got flattened trying to step up in the pocket. Speaks to his pocket awareness.

    Trask came back with a whisper of the 3rd quarter left. Then was 5-6 77 yards. 11 yds/att.

    There was a BS grounding call on a ball thrown at Payne’s feet and a sack on a broken play that looked like the back ran the wrong way on a hand off. That was with playing with a lead. 3rd and 1 on the 11 they call a run play that gets stuffed. No chance to see Trask try to put it in the end zone.

    He made some big throws. You may not like it, but accept it.

  23. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @WyomingJoe – that has to be satire. Baker has never thrown for 400 yards in the NFL. He’s only thrown for 300 10 times and only thrown 3+ TD’s 8 times so there’s only a 14% chance he’d throw that many yards and 11.5 % chance he’d score that much.

    You must be aN OU college fan in order to have such an inflated view of a below average NFL QB.

  24. JA Says:

    “Or is this just a charade now because the Bucs don’t want to hurt Trask’s feelings?”
    If true, Trask would redefine the definition of blissful ignorance.
    Fans, coaches and players are fully aware Mayfield will be the Week 1 starter. And unless you’re in a Siberian gulag or have been oasis prospecting while crawling across the Sahara Desert, you know it too.
    The final hint in Trask’s worst kept secret status was announced prior to last week’s preseason game when Bowles informed the media he would be resting his starters.
    Anyone see Mayfield take a snap that day?
    If Trask’s feelings were hurt by news of the inevitable, the emotional onslaught from being given the second fiddle has long ago come and gone.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘that just screams like Sam Kinison that the Bucs are drafting a quarterback in the first round next spring.’

    I for one hope that we do draft a QB in Rnd 1 next year, providing that there’s a QB on the board who’s the BPA to fill one of our various needs when the draft occurs. Mayfield won’t be with us next year. If he has a bad year this season, we obviously won’t want to re-sign him. If he has a good year, we probably won’t be able to afford him (too risky anyways, after all, he did have one good year in Cleveland then it all went south).

    I have no idea if Kyle Trask is a keeper after next year, but I am certain that you can never have enough quality players. And especially at key positions like QB. And even more especially if your 1st Rnd QB turns out to be starter material and is locked in for 5 years at a relatively inexpensive cost.

  26. Cover deuce Says:

    Sam kinison died 30 yrs ago man nobody remembers who he is.

  27. Ethan Says:

    Trask also played a sh** ton more than Mayfield Baker is the better quarterback as far as experience and big moment situations go that’s to you Gus i’m tired of everybody hating on these quarterbacks if it’s your team, then stick with them and stop criticizing their players you guys are acting like a little kids out here

  28. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Dwayne Cone-
    You could make the exact same opposite argument for Mayfield-
    Remember Jim Plunkett?

  29. uther Barnum Says:

    The only thing I remember about Sam Kinison is the screaming and not his jokes. That’s not a good thing.

  30. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Mayfield will be benched by week six. Book it.

  31. chickster Says:

    Bad decision

  32. chickster Says:

    Its on the coach

  33. ATLBuc Says:

    Trask looked much better in that game than Mayfield did at home against the Steelers”

    Trask looked much better than Mayfield in the Steelers game. Mayfield threw only one pass longer than 10 yards, finishing with 66. Despite his interception, Trask ripped it for almost 100 yards in 6 completions. In the Jets game Trask stood tall in the pocket and delivered the ball on point.

  34. Craig Says:

    I am sure the Carolina coaching staff felt the same before last season, when Duh Baker was named starter.

    Now that old coaching staff is looking for a job.

    The same will happen here. Hot Toddie was not all in on Trask when he was drafted. He expected him to fail, so saddled himself to a proven failure.

    I do not think any coach can change Duh Baker, he seems fine to himself as shown by his I am what I am statements.

    What he has been, except for one playoff in five years is a guy that can fall flat on his face and blame someone else.

    Where I am now I don’t think kicking Hot Toddie to the curb is a bad thing. He screwed up a lot last season and the problems were so basic I do not think they can be fixed because he truly believes he is doing it right.

    Next season will be a big change, but it will not be Trask walking away. He will not be a true savior for this season, but he will do enough to be named next season’s starter when the new coach is crowned.

  35. Dave Pear Says:

    Bowles is simply not a head coach.

  36. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Alanbucsfan Says:

    Dwayne Cone-
    You could make the exact same opposite argument for Mayfield-
    Remember Jim Plunkett?

    Yes remember Jim Plunkett well but you mentioned Baker first.

    Cannot compare Baker to DeBurg . Baker might be a little an little better than Steve Deburg.

    Although if 49ers had done for him what CLV did for Baker and spent 72 million more the year he came in (2018) than the year before (2017) and 19 million more than 2019 in 2020 he might have went 11-5 and won a playoff game. Unfortunately when a QB sucks it eventually shows.

    Give Baker all the Credit for that season and use it as a basis for your argument but it was Money and not so much Baker that got them there.

    Take that one good year out of the equation and he’s a 20-33 and Cleveland was smart to move on.

    I remember Jim Plunkett Career 164 TD’s and 198 INT’s. Are you comparing Baker to Plunkett? Good Comparison.

  37. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Last coaching staff unfortunately stunted Trask’s growth. Look how much he’s improved because of all the reps. Common sense says if he’s improving leaps and bounds because of these reps won’t he keep improving then more n more so why not keep it going. Why draft a rookie QB who will put us in the same position we are all ready in with trask. To many people think because you have a top 5 pick your getting your future QB. Did that happen with Winston or Mariota or how many other QB drafting in the 1st rd let alone a top 5 pick. Bowles is shafting trask development if he goes with baker not saying trask is the answer but dude is improving a lot with more reps then keep giving it to him. It’s understandable about the last coaching staff being all in on the SB so no reps for the young guy but that’s not the case so Bowles do what’s best for the franchise and not to save your job

  38. WyomingJoe Says:

    Dear Trask worshipers… please stop being jealous of Mayfield’s talent. Once again, let me educate you. Mayfield broke Peyton Manning’s record for most TDs by a rookie, and he did it in 13 games! Before his first start in the NFL the Browns were 1-34 in the previous two years; so he didn’t actually inherit a great team! He brought the Browns to the playoffs in his third year- for the first time in two decades! He played Joe Burrow three times and beat him three times. The last time Baker threw 5 TDs to win the game and he completed 23 straight passes. So please don’t tell me this guy can’t play because that would be delusional. Lastly, Baker played for Kevin Stenfanski who can’t spell the words forward pass. Oh, and trust what TBBUCS3 says because he knows what he talking about. I personally think you’re all jealous of him too…

  39. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Dwayne Cone-
    Take those 2 Super Bowl rings away from Plunkett and he sucked.
    Mayfield is the starter and we’ll see- the Oline is the big question mark to me.

  40. Buddha Says:

    What is going on in Tampa is just a reflection of the polarity that is going on in our country. If you like Trash, you have to hate Mayfield. If you like Mayfield, then you have to hate Trask. #sad. I am rooting for whoever is behind center starting in Minnesota. Preseason games are for looking at backups. The offenses are vanilla. The coaches have had 6 months with these guys. The sample size that we the fans have in which to look at them is small.

  41. WyomingJoe Says:

    BUDDHA.:. sage advice.

  42. Bucfan37 Says:

    Trask is the Bucs star QB, it is not even close, All of you Gator haters are demented a holes. Mayfield is trash. Trask should have played last year over washed up Brady.

  43. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Alanbucsfan Says:
    August 21st, 2023 at 11:19 am
    Dwayne Cone-
    Take those 2 Super Bowl rings away from Plunkett and he sucked.

    Even with 2 Rings he sucked. 38TD to 34 INT those two seasons.
    That’s how good the Raiders team were those two seasons. Won in spite of him.

    One thing for sure. Neither will make the HOF.

  44. Infomeplease Says:

    I, for one, want to see BM start! I want to see what this offense looks like with BM as the QB and DC calling the plays! That said, I believe KT may have a future in the NFL. Perhaps as a starter for the Bucs. He seems to be coming along pretty well! We’ll see. If BM really looks bad then it’s an easy move to start KT.

  45. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    Trask has thrown 1 TD in his NFL career, with 1 INT. One, that’s it. 1 TD. And that was in a preseason game against players trying to make the Jets 53 man roster. Forget about all the TD’s Baker has thrown against the starters on good teams, not teams in the NFC South. Trask has thrown one.

    When Chesley recovered a fumble inside the 20, Trask was unable to capitalize on it. He started inside the red zone and went three and out. We had to kick a field goal because he couldn’t move the ball. If Mayfield had done the same thing, the haters would be screaming how he was gifted the ball inside the 20 and couldn’t score. But the same haters say Trask is a football GOD. Again, he’s thrown 1 TD against a bunch of guys who will be in street clothes after August 29. I have nothing against Trask, it’s just funny to see how the Baker haters act like Trask is the SB MVP after he threw 1 TD against scrubs.

  46. Infomeplease Says:

    After a couple of wins with BM as the QB, we’ll see the new BM commercials where him and his wife are moving into RayJay carrying boxes and unpacking… sweet!!!

  47. JD Still Says:

    Mayfield the Great! Destroyer of Teams,(HisOwn),Coaching Staffs,(His Own), Future Franchise Players ,(Who in their right mind will ever believe anything anyone in this organization tells them or offers them ever again ) , fan bases,(Go Jags, Dolphins,etc,etc,etc.!), and for those hoping for a magic miracle draft fix, how is that can’t miss number one pick , Bryce Young doing at Carolina ?

  48. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Don’t tell me it’s raining …. You’re kidding right? Did you watch the game? There was no field goal on that drive. Trask executed two kneel downs to end the game promptly after the Chesley fumble recovery… talk about derangement.

  49. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    You’re right that it wasn’t after the turnover that he couldn’t score in the red zone. I did watch the game and it was on Trask’s fourth series of play that he couldn’t score.

  50. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    You know Gus you may be right. He might have thrown one TD pass a couple of years ago in a preseason game against the Texans. I had forgotten about that one. If so then I guess that second preseason TD does truly make him the GOAT.

  51. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    And Gus I believe the “24.5 rating each of the last two seasons” is incorrect.

  52. Matt Says:

    It isn’t about whether or not Trask is the answer. He probably isn’t.

    It is 100% about the fact that Baker is NOT the answer. It has been proven over and over and over.

    The only reason to start Baker is Bowles thinks its his best shot at a mediocre year and to save his job. There is zero upside, zero future, zero hope.

  53. Aleyz2020 Says:

    It’s a charade! The only 2 coaches in recent history that didn’t bs the paying fans were Chucky and BA! For Bowles to stand there and say he sent Trask back in because he didn’t want Mayfield to play behind that OL is bs if it were a true QB competition. The biggest charade here is awarding Bowles the Head Coaching title without a proper interview with other candidates!

  54. Infomeplease Says:

    KT Fans, the NFL is a “what can you do for me now league. ” Give BM a couple games. This is a different team then he has played for. The OC is different and his play book is different too. The GM, Coaches, and perhaps even the owners have or will decide the QB starter. Your guy may very well get his chance to start. But it might not be this year, and it might not be for this team.

  55. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s your bias that blinds. ESPN shows the 24.5 QBR is from one season (2022) when he played for Carolina and LA. I will agree 2022 definitely wasn’t a good year for Mayfield and his 24.5 QBR reflects that. I believe Trask had 1.6 QBR in 2022. Hopefully they will both do better in 2023

  56. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    Are you sure about that Gus?

  57. HC Grover Says:

    HC needs to consult DC to figger it out. The HC is argueing with the DC about it.

  58. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    I believe the 24.5 QBR is for one season (2022) when he played for Carolina and LA. I agree 2022 wasn’t a good year for Mayfield and his 24.5 QBR reflects that. I believe Trask had 1.6 QBR in 2022. Hopefully they will both do better in 2023

  59. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    Unfortunately it looks like the Moderator today is the Joe that doesn’t like Mayfield and he won’t post my comments. But the 24.5 QBR is for 2022 not the last two seasons.

  60. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    Gus that’s for 2022

  61. Mark A Swygert Says:

    Hey you guys, just for the record passer rating and QBR are two totally separate stats. BM’s QBR may well have been 24.5, but it is doubtful that was his passer rating. It was mediocre, but probably closer to 70 or 75. You should not have used the word rating because the mathematical formulae used to determine these numbers are ,though based on similar criteria, are complex and differ greatly.

  62. A Bucs Fan Says:


  63. Usfbuc Says:

    In 2021 his QBR was 40

  64. JD Still Says:

    I keep having nightmares about what Atlanta did, They had a rookie named Brett Farve and the coach wanted someone with more “experience” so they traded Farve to Greenbay for someone, nobody remembers who, and Farve went into the Hall of Fame and Atlanta went into the toilet. Come on Tampa! Don’t be an Atlanta!

  65. WyomingJoe Says:

    Attention Baker Gators… yes, I’ve changed Haters to Gators because they’re synonymous. To you Trask worshipers, that means … well ask someone to help you look it up. Honestly, I can’t believe how you guys are drooling over Trask throwing for 216 yards against 3rd teamers. I suppose since you have nothing else to cheer about 216 yards against a high school defense is enough. Think about it, 216 yards in the air after nearly playing the whole game! You’re lucky that Wolford had to leave because of injury because they way he was throwing he’d be No. 2 behind Mayfield.

  66. Rod Munch Says:

    Mayfield is LITERALLY the #32 ranked QB in QBR over the last two season. QBR was a stat created that LITERALLY takes into account what QBs do when it matters. If you throw a hail mary INT at the end of the half – who cares other than the morons that just look at the box score and don’t even know the context of the play. But if you throw a 3 yard pass on 3rd and 18, you don’t get credit for that – meanwhile the same box score morons will see a high completion percentage and think the QB did a good job. That’s why QBR is actually a very useful way to gage QB play. By that standard, no one has been worse than Mayfield over the last two seasons.

    That’s a long time to be the worst QB in the game. Sure, he might improve, maybe if he has the NFL’s best running game and a top 3 offensive line, perhaps he can be a competent game manager like he was for one year in Cleveland. But, just in case you don’t know this, he’s not going to have the best running game here, and he’s not going to have a top 3 offensive line.

  67. 1#bucsfan Says:

    I’m deff not a trask worshipper but at some point in the season I would like to see what we have in trask playing with weapons in the likes of ME13 CG14 RW1 hopefully Jensen wirfs an the dude from the chargers. I was never a Brady fan but when he came to TB I changed. Same goes for baker never was a fan but I will root for him if he starts. All I’m saying is look how trask has developed over this TC. People including JOE can’t believe it’s actually trask. Keep giving him the reps so he can keep getting better but bowels isn’t a good HC so he will mess this QB situation up. Let him jus focus on what he is good at and that is defense

  68. D Cone Says:

    Rod Munch Says Said a lot.

    Yes stats are deceiving. A screen pass behind the line that a back breaks 3 tackles and goes 90 yards for a TD looks like a bomb on the stat sheet. Difference between 19 of 25 for 185 and 19 of 25 for 270.

  69. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    Mayfield’s 2021 QBR wasn’t great by any stretch but it wasn’t last in the league.

    27. Baker Mayfield 40.9
    28. Trevor Lawerence 39.1
    29. Sam Darnold 38.8
    30. Zach Wilson 33.4
    31. Justin Fields 31.4