NFL GM: Baker Mayfield “Has No Special Ability” And Is “Just A Backup”

August 1st, 2023

Bucs OC Dave Canales.

You want to know why Joe thinks there is a real chance Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales is potentially a one-and-done coach with the Bucs?

Have you seen or read anything in recent weeks from national NFL publications where anyone thinks Baker Mayfield is a decent quarterback?

And here is the same feedback about Mayfield, only it’s coming from NFL folks.

Mike Sando of The Athletic spoke with 50 NFL coaches and suits to compile his annual quarterback tiers. All voters were granted anonymity. All of their comments are off the record. For Mayfield, the presumed Bucs No. 1 quarterback, the comments were brutal. He ranked No. 26 in the NFL, tied with Jordan Love, in Sando’s Tier-4 of quarterbacks.

Here is what one anonymous NFL general manager had to say.

“Mayfield moves well enough, throws well enough, does some things well enough but possesses no special ability,” a GM said. “He may win you a game because he may run around and people aren’t prepared, but at the end of the day, he is just a backup, in my opinion.”

So how does this mesh with Canales?

Well, let’s look at Canales’ history. He knows how to develop receivers as a long-time receivers coach at Seattle. As quarterbacks coach with the Seahawks, he helped resurrect the career of Geno Smith.

So if the NFL as a whole is this down on Mayfield, and Canales rewires Mayfield to lead the Bucs to the playoffs as Smith did in Seattle last year, Canales will be a very hot commodity.

We all know quarterbacks rule the NFL. Owners lust over them. Fans want them. If Canales can work miracles with Smith and Mayfield, imagine what he might do for a first-round draft pick of a quarterback in 2024?

Joe is quite confident if Canales remolds Mayfield and the Bucs are successful, Canales will be one of the most popular head coaching candidates come January.

67 Responses to “NFL GM: Baker Mayfield “Has No Special Ability” And Is “Just A Backup””

  1. Mulligan Says:

    Why not here? It would be similar to how Morris was elevated.

  2. Hodad Says:

    Or, Canales develops Trask into an NFL starter this year. Any O.C. thought of as a QB whisper will get a H.C. gig. If all these off the record types are right, and Baker is no more then a backup, don’t you think the Bucs know it too?

  3. garro Says:

    More of the anonymous suvey BS?
    I thought that we would be done with that crap once camp got going.

    Go Bucs!

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Mayfield’s gotta win the starting gig first Joe, THEN play very well to become a valuable commodity. Neither is a given by any means.

    Kyle Trask has a much higher upside, but he also would have to play very well IF he wins the starter’s role. No small task for a QB who for all practical purposes is still a rookie.

    BUT … IF Trask wins the competition & does well this season, Bucs will be set for next season without having to pay Mayfield (or any other QB) $25-$30 mil for their services. That’d give us 2 years to decide if Kyle Trask is our QB of the future. Personally I much prefer that scenario because we’ll have a lot of big bills due next year, and we’ll still be dealing with a lot of Dead CAP unfortunately.

  5. Leighroy Says:

    Mulligan, bc if he is successful enough to then become a HC candidate, the current HC can’t/won’t justifiably be let go. It’s a catch-22 of sorts.

  6. HC Grover Says:

    Looks just like a Plan 9 play.

  7. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    He may be a backup, but he’s our backup. Tell that GM to stuff it.

  8. Eric Says:

    This is really not that surprising, what surprises me is they have an inexperienced QB Jordan Love ranked right there with him!

  9. Stanglassman Says:

    I think it’s more Canales system being Qb friendly than him teaching Qbs how to play. Maybe one leads to the another and wouldn’t change his coaching appeal. Hopefully Trask keeps putting good practices together. Best case is they both look great going into the season and make it a difficult choice.

  10. Bucs since 76 Says:

    Mayfield is has been and still is a turnover machine. The Bucs have said they will not play QB who turns the ball over like Winston. Trask on the other has looked a lot better this year due to better coaching and hard work. Bowles may start Mayfield if even training camp and preseason shows Trask is the better QB because Bowles has shown he will make dumb moves. People have said Trask should have played better the last two years because he had Brady to learn from. However, Brady has never helped his backups get better. Brady spent all his time getting himself ready to play the next game that’s how he became the goat.

  11. ATLBuc Says:

    Kai asks: “ Have you seen or read anything in recent weeks from national NFL publications where anyone thinks Baker Mayfield is a decent quarterback?”

    No!! Only on this site!

  12. ATLBuc Says:

    …Joe asks…

  13. ATLBuc Says:

    Joe, you keep saying that Bowles will start Mayfield because of his experience. Does experience trump talent? Does experience erase past performances? Who would you rather have as your starting quarterback Baker Mayfield or Brock Purdy, a player with less than a year of experience?
    No NFL quarterback has experience until he plays. Right now the Carolina Panthers are ranked ahead of us because their rookie quarterback is deemed to be better than both of our quarterbacks.
    I just don’t get your thinking regarding Bakers experience being the reason he wins the quarterbacks competition.
    That “experience” will include a month filled with preseason games and practices in pads. Joe has never said there is no competitiong. However, the Mayfield body of work got him signed here and embraced by Todd Bowles (regardless of what you or anyone else things of the body of work). Bowles signed him because he believes he can win with Mayfield. It will take A LOT from Trask to change that in Bowles’ mind. –Joe

  14. HC Grover Says:

    Just play Trask. All year. Let Mayfield back him.

  15. nooyoker Says:

    “If Canales can work miracles with Smith and Mayfield, imagine what he might do for a young first-round draft pick of a quarterback in the 2024 draft?”

    Why can’t Joe imagine what Canales might do with TRASK this year? One of the Joes has a mental block when it comes to Trask.

  16. Duane Says:

    So would it not be an even greater compliment to Cannales if he turns Kyle Trask into a star quarterback? Either way, Cannales wins.

    However, the notion of “one and done” seems a little too hyper. A whole lot of people were convinced that Byron Leftwich would be snapped up as a head coach somewhere after the 2021 Super Bowl championship, and he interviewed for several openings, but no offers. Cannales may indeed produce an offense much better than anyone outside of Bucs fandom believes is likely, but that’s just one season .. and it seems unlikely that the Bucs will win another Superbowl next February. Now if Cannales strings together two highly successful seasons, with top 5 offenses, then yes, other teams will come calling.

  17. nooyoker Says:

    Joes: “Have you seen or read anything in recent weeks from national NFL publications where anyone thinks Baker Mayfield is a decent quarterback?”

    Yes. “The most popular Buccaneers blog on earth” has been selling Mayfield 24/7.

  18. Dooley Says:

    I shared this exact sentiment on here weeks ago, but as much talk as there is about Mayfields’ personality or demeanor there’s not much talk about what he brings to the table purely as an athlete and how that translates into what differences he can make as any teams QB.

    We’ll see how this competition shakes out, but if our defenders keep finding themselves w/Mayfields passes in their hands or we keep hearing about passes getting batted at the LOS it might be over quick. Especially considering the test going against what’s a very young and aggressive Jets defense during those joint sessions.

  19. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    This sounds just like, “If Leftwich can fix Winston, he will be the leading the new head coach list”.

  20. Jack Clark Says:

    Too bad our GM wasn’t one of the suits who thinks baker mayfield is a sorry as quarterback. Or maybe he does and just bought the best quarterback he could find at the dollar tree

  21. geno711 Says:

    There were two coaches on Seattle last year who may have been responsible for Geno Smith’s “resurrection” as Joe says.

    Those would have been Canales. Or it could have been Shane Waldren.

    Not so sure why Joe so easily just suggests that it was all Canales and not Waldren.

    In any case, those same GM’s who rated Baker at 26 this year, rated Geno Smith at 20.

    So if that Canales raises Baker from 26 this year to 20 best in the GM ratings for next year.

    Is that wow unbelievable? Or just some simple standard deviation?

  22. Buc4evr Says:

    Hopefully Canales can work his magic on Mayfield. However the stats speak for themselves and Mayfield has not been a consistent QB and the only reason he is here is because of the cap situation. There’s probably not one Coach on the Bucs that thinks he is any good. The few times I saw him play he was getting sacked, passes were being batted down and he had happy feet. I suspect at some point this season Trask will start.

  23. Dewey Selmon Says:

    This is going to be Dirk Koetter part II

  24. Scott Says:

    Mayfield has had flashes but seems to be more of a good backup. That’s what the Rams wanted him as.

  25. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Let’s calm down a little bit it’s barely August

  26. Oneilbuc Says:

    Well so far Kyle Trask has been better than Baker Mayfield and I think Baker Mayfield will be the starter regardless if Kyle Trask is better than him . So this ain’t no real competition. Joe has already pick the guy he wants to be the starter at quarterback. Joe doesn’t care if Trask is better than Baker Mayfield he rather Baker Mayfield even if Trask is better. Lol 🤣🤣

  27. Mark hardt Says:

    The goal is to win games. We are looking for the best fit not the best individual performer such as in Tennis. The Browns dumped Mayfield for a guy whose last full season was 4-12. Last year the Browns had another losing season and the big money QB had a losing record. like an MLB pitcher the QB touches the ball first for half the game. Unlike a right guard he can win and lose games for you. We need a winner not a stat hog who takes sacks to avoid notching an incomplete like Watson does.

  28. Old Sombrero Says:

    Is he better than America’s QB?

  29. View from 132 Says:

    Who cares about job prospects for 2024. How about win one game. All this career forecasting stuff serves no one but agents. People forget coaches have agents too.

  30. Craig Says:

    If Baker doesn’t step it up even the Bowles cleaner will be able to see Trask as the new Chosen One.

    Baker is Todd’s QB. He did not draft Trask and never bought in to it. That is no reflection on Canales, if the Bowles cleaner overrides all sense because he is feeling the heat to prove he is an NFL HC.

    Luckily the Bowles cleaner will have a second chance during this season, if he anoints Baker. That chance is in the ability to sit Baker when the interceptions pile up.

  31. WyomingJoe Says:

    Why do you Baker Haters fall for this BS from writers all the time? And who actually believes what NFL GM’s say anyway? Let’s face it, even if Trask wins the QB job, how long will it take you all to drag HIM through the mud if he struggles early? My guess is two games, and then you’ll be screaming for the Bucs to tank for a shot at the top QB in the draft. There’s a lot of training camp yet and a long season. Let it play out…

  32. Bucnjim Says:

    If being wrong about Trask makes the Bucs better I’ll take being wrong every time. I’ve been wrong before!

  33. alphabetsend Says:

    I dunno, joining a team on a Tuesday and leading a historic 98 yard comeback drive with two minutes and no timeouts seems like a ‘special ability’ to me.

  34. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    It’s going to be difficult leading the Bucs with clipboard in his hands.

    Trask will be the starter.

  35. Buddha Says:

    He throws well and he moves well but he is not special. Precisely what makes a QB special. This would be more credible if some criteria were listed.

  36. Ethan Says:

    Baker will come back still a lot of TC left

  37. Greg Says:

    We win NOTHING by starting Mayfield. He is a waste of time when we could be developing a young talent. Trask needs starts to be evaluated. Didn’t Mayfield lead the NFL in turnovers the last 3 years? He is a less talented Jameis Winston! He won’t sell Jerseys, let alone tickets. I still believe that no matter how much Trask beats Mayfield in practice or in preseason games, Bowels will still go with what he thinks is the (safe) choice. The more Trask shows however, the shorter the leash will be on Mayfield. The season is going to be made or broken by how stubborn Bowels is going to be before giving Mayfield the hook.

  38. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Personally I would hope that GMs and owners around the league have better sense than to consider Canales as a “hot HC candidate” after one season as an OC, however well our QBs play or offense performs. That’s a pretty small sample size of his coaching ability, but nothing shocks me these days.

    There are plenty of reasons aside from Canales that should or hopefully turn our offense around. A healthier, improved o-line, a healthy set of WRs (including Gage), Otton in year 2 showing improvement and of course the subtraction of BL’s play calling. Also, if we roll with Mayfield, he’ll have a full camp this year and a healthy shoulder so he should be better than the doubters expect.

    Geno Smith was very good by Geno Smith standards last year, but c’mon. While he may have exceeded expectations, he didn’t exactly set the league on fire and make people forget about Mahomes, Burrow, Allen, etc.

    If teams are looking for a “QB whisperer”, let’s see if those “whispers” stick with Geno this year or if he reverts to the old Geno which would mean he really didn’t “transform” and last year was a fluke. It won’t be because Canales left and he scrubbed Geno’s mind clean of his teachings on his way out the door. I’m pretty sure that only happens in comic books.

    If people say Smith got worse because Canales left, to me that says Canales was more of a hand-holder than a teacher or QB developer.

    Many view Canales’ hire as an OC to be risky or desperate given his lack of play calling experience. But if somehow a QB like Mayfield, who is entering his 6th NFL season, can play as well as he sometimes did in the past this season under Canales that would propel him to HC worthiness? Or would it make more sense that maybe, just maybe, Mayfield is a decent QB and just needed a better situation than Cleveland, Carolina or an emergency QB job for a lost and bewildered Rams team?

    I hope Canales is a genius and gives us a few years of great coaching and when he’s proven himself, his first HC interview is with us. I just think it will take more than one good year out of Mayfield (or Trask) to catapult him to the top job. Then again, teams keep hiring guys like Lovie, so wtf do I know. Lol

  39. Brandon Says:

    Know who else had no special qualities? Brady. Neither did Rivers or Matt Ryan. Montana, Brad Johnson, and Brees all won Super Bowls with no special qualities.

  40. Billy Bob Says:

    Why would any team give a one year play caller a head coaching job? Cmon Man

  41. Power Of Pewter Says:

    So, weeks before the Bucs take their first regular season snap, Canales is already a hot commodity HC prospect for turning Mayfield/Trask into a franchise QB? Pre-season enthusiasm is great, but let’s not get carried away. Mayfield to date has shown he’s an inconsistant mid-level QB. Trask hasn’t shown anything in 2 years, not even progressing to the #2 spot last year. Canales is an unproven rookie OC. Who knows if stirring up the OL will work? Is there any depth at WR? Do the Bucs even have a legit RB and TE? Too many question marks. Remember that 18 months ago Byron Leftwich was a hot commodity for a HC position…how did that turn out? Prob should wait and see how the offense pans out before declaring Canales King.

  42. Joe Says:

    Why would any team give a one year play caller a head coaching job? Cmon Man

    Mike McDaniel says hi.

    Also, Zac Taylor went straight from quarterbacks coach to head coach. Didn’t call plays.

    And then there is Mike Tomlin, who had one year as a defensive coordinator calling defensive plays.

  43. ATLBuc Says:

    Joe says:
    “Bowles signed him because he believes he can win with Mayfield. It will take A LOT from Trask to change that in Bowles’ mind. –Joe”

    Joe, I think Mayfield was signed 1. Because he was cheap and 2. As a veteran backup.

  44. Just Saying Says:

    Joe is so certain Baker was brought here to be the starter. I’m not, he is paid like a journeyman backup, he is playing like one so far and the Bucs best opportunity for long term success is to have Trask play and let this team know what they have. Whether that is the long term QB or a highly drafted QB of the future. Baker is good insurance if Kyle showed himself to be who the one Joe has always thought him to be. So far thankfully for the Bucs Joe is looking like he usually does with judging QB talent.

  45. ATLBuc Says:

    | Why would any team give a one year play caller a head coaching job? Cmon Man|
    Didn’t the Bucs can Lovie and give Koetter a head coaching position after just one year as OC?

  46. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Brandon Says:
    August 1st, 2023 at 10:03 am
    Know who else had no special qualities? Brady. Neither did Rivers or Matt Ryan. Montana, Brad Johnson, and Brees all won Super Bowls with no special qualities.
    I was thinking the same thing. Kurt Warner was probably considered a “backup at best” guy early on.

  47. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Gotta love August 1st where we make up fanasties about Canales, who’s never called a single NFL play, taking over as HC and living happily ever after.

  48. ATLBuc Says:

    I keep hearing the notion that even when Trask is better during training camp Bowles will still start Mayfield. To me that’s preposterous!! First, how would the players feel if they thought Bowles wasn’t giving the team the best chance to win? Second, what would the Glaziers think about Bowles after a predictably bad Mayfield tanks this season after LOSING the quarterback competition?
    To me, it seems that the Glaziers would be more forgiving of a losing season if Bowles were developing his young quarterback. Also, why would Bowles be on the hot seat after one playoff year? He’s not. This year is to develop Trask and see what we have. How will we know whether to go after one of these highly touted quarterbacks coming in if we don’t know what we have in our own 2nd round pick. If we play Mayfield, we learn nothing. If we play Trask, the worst thing that could happen is that we will have a good chance to draft a QB

  49. BucU Says:

    ” People have said Trask should have played better the last two years because he had Brady to learn from. However, Brady has never helped his backups get better. Brady spent all his time getting himself ready to play the next game that’s how he became the goat.”

    That statement is misguided at best. at worst it’s bullshyt.

  50. Drew: Says:

    I’m a little confused I mean Baker Mayfield did break the rookie QB Touchdowns record and take the Browns to the playoffs and win on the road!! He has tossed five touchdowns in a game. I mean the dude can play. The Browns were under 500 for like 12 years in a row before him and ironically were under 500 last year without him. I might be wrong on this, but I think his career record as a Brown is 30 and 30 in Cleveland! The same team that was 1-31 before him! That’s not counting his first game ever played where he came in down 14-0.. I believe he has had 7 head coaches now, let’s give him more than a few practices imo!!

  51. westernbuc Says:

    Mayfield has elite arm strength. Either the quote is fabricated or there’s a real GM that doesn’t know that and should be run out of his job

  52. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I wonder how much of this Mayfield hate is derived from Gators losing to Sooners in football and baseball?
    Wasn’t Tebow the last Gator QB to beat Oklahoma?

  53. Buc1987 Says:

    Yes sir… he can backup Trask!

  54. ATLBuc Says:

    Oklahoma has been irrelevant for 30 years

  55. ATLBuc Says:

    The SEC is throwing them a lifeline

  56. Oneilbuc Says:

    ATLbuc. I feel the same way bro!!!

  57. EEK Says:

    Not out of the question that Canales is the Bucs HC after Thanksgiving and he’s drafting his new QB in 2024

  58. Student of the Game Says:

    Sure a lot of guys (especially ATLBuc) posting that seem to believe they KNOW what level of talent players have that they never played with. News flash, football is a team game. Only as strong as the weakest link is not a cliché. If all you guys were right, there is no reason to even play the games, just pencil in whatever this or that expert says and get on to the Super Bowl matchup.

  59. Student of the Game Says:

    It just hit me, ATLBuc is either Trask himself, or his mom.

  60. Student of the Game Says:

    If Mayfield does win the QB competition, with minimal injuries the team is likely to be 11-5 or 12-4. Mayfield was great at Oklahoma because he was surrounded by exceptional players compared to the competition. Pro football is no different. Mahommes would not have had a winning season at Carolina. Tampa Bay has more talent than anywhere Mayfield has played to date. LA was decimated by injuries. Carolina had no o-line, or defense. Experience at QB can win close games. TB plays great defense. He knows that. He will do his part.

  61. APiratesLife Says:

    Faker Mayfield may prove to be an excellent tank commander though, and that might be better than in the long run anyway.

  62. Rod Munch Says:

    Here’s how you know Mayfield isn’t highly regarded…

    He’s on his 4th team in just over a year.

    Also, in a very inflated market, he got $5m.

    That is backup QB money, and not even top flight backups.

    Watching his tape from the last two years, what I saw was a guy who was the worst rated QB in football. Yes, some of that was on his supporting cast, but he also just looked bad. He is supposed to be a gunslinger, yet I’d see him again and again pass up easy down the field passes to take dump offs for 2 yards in 3rd and 9. I don’t begrudge the Bucs for signing him, you need to fill out your roster, but I’d much rather see what Trask can do, good or bad.

  63. Fred McNeil Says:

    We have the whole month to let these guys show what they have. I’d rather see Trask win outright, but all things being equal…Mayfield wins the tie.

  64. gotbbucs Says:

    @ Brandon
    Don’t ever compare Baker Mayfield to Tom Brady, Joe Montana, or Drew Brees ever again. Brad Johnson, Phillip Rivers, and Matt Ryan could at least see over their offensive lines.
    By your logic every turd QB that gets drafted has the potential to be a HOF QB.
    The rest of the NFL said their piece when nobody offered Mayfield anything in free agency. There is nothing special about the guy other than his apparent unwavering confidence.

  65. steele Says:

    Everyone knows they are “just backup” QBs, all of them. Just as Todd Bowles is just as backup coach, and Rah Rah is a backup coordinator. This whole season is about a lot of wishful thinking, hope in a weak division. Could it all happen? Sure. It just delays the inevitable, the total reboot that keeps looming.

  66. David Says:

    Baker can’t even be a back up qb due to his bad temper and disruptive attitude in locker room if he is not pick as starter.

  67. Pickgrin Says:

    Can we at least see one “exhibition” game? at least ONE…. which will be our OCs FIRST game calling a live play in a fake game – before we start anointing Canales as a hot HC prospect??? Geez…..