Rich Eisen: Pressure Is On Baker Mayfield To Save His Career And If He Falters Early, “It Might Be Caleb Williams Tank Time”

August 17th, 2023

“Baker, you hear what Rich Eisen is saying?”

The pressure is on Baker Mayfield, big time, says the face of NFL Network.

Rich Eisen is on a Baker Mayfield/Caleb Williams kick for the Bucs of late. Eisen took to his weekday show “The Rich Eisen Show,” and said if the Bucs are floundering, say, six weeks into the season, it might be that point for the Bucs to immediately shift their priorities from winning games to winning the Williams’ sweepstakes for the star USC quarterback.

It seems Eisen has now moved up his timetable.

Last week Eisen suggested if Mayfield can’t get the job done early, then the Bucs should turn to Kyle Trask. If Trask also struggles, the priority should then be on drafting a quarterback in 2024.

Yesterday, Eisen ranked his top five quarterbacks who have the most pressure on them as the 2023 season begins.

Eisen has Mayfield as the No. 3 quarterback under the most pressure to begin the season.

“This is his last chance,” Eisen said of Mayfield. “This is the last chance for Baker Mayfield to be a starter in the league. He has [Mike] Evans and [Chris] Godwin and it is time for him to do this. Because if he doesn’t — Kyle Trask might be in there.

“Outside of that? Pppfffttt… it might be Caleb Williams tank time. So [Mayfield] has to do it and he has to do it fast.”

Joe likes how Eisen believes there is pressure on Mayfield. And Eisen is totally correct. Mayfield is at the crossroads of his career.

The only way you can get the Bucs to throw in the towel and launch #CollapseForCaleb would be a regime change midseason. Todd Bowles isn’t going to commit career suicide so the Bucs can draft a quarterback for his successor (if it comes to that).

Team Glazer has never fired a coach in-season. Oh, they have concluded to move on from a coach in-season but always waited until the season was over to pull the trigger.

No way is Bowles going to lay down on purpose. If the Bucs are going to stink this year bad enough to land a draft pick in order to obtain Williams, they will have to earn it.

35 Responses to “Rich Eisen: Pressure Is On Baker Mayfield To Save His Career And If He Falters Early, “It Might Be Caleb Williams Tank Time””

  1. Joe in Michigan Says:

    If the Bucs defense is good, which I think they’ll be, the Bucs have a chance. If Mayfield is decent, which I think he’ll be, the Bucs have a chance. I’d say there’s a much better chance the Bucs win the division again this year than there is of having the worst record.

  2. Hodad Says:

    Again, tanking in the NFL is a media driven myth. Caleb a sure thing future NFL star like Jameis Winston? Actually Jameis has better measurables. I only watched one USC game last year. Trust me, Caleb ain’t a sure thing. He’s just about as sure as all the rest of the over hyped QBs who came from that school. Caleb Sanchez. Whatch what you wish for Joe.

  3. Joseph Gasper Says:

    Come on number one draft pick. I have seen this many times before. The Bucs under preforming their talent level. One bad season and maybe we get a top their Quarterback and maybe some decent coaching changes.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Oh how refreshing it’d be to hear one of these brilliant talking heads just say ‘I don’t have a clue how well the Bucs are gonna do this year’. But then I also realize that they get paid handsomely NOT to say that. They get paid to play Nostradamus, recognizing that they’ll be wrong probably 50% of the time.

    The Bucs are too talented to tank. They MIGHT go 7-10, but they’re still too talented to tank. Personally I still think they’ll do better than that (around 10-7). Ira’s probably right that Baker Mayfield will get the starting gig, but I’m still convinced that Bowles will keep him on a short leash, and especially if he turns the ball over a bunch or simply can’t move the team. What would Todd have to lose at that point by turning to Trask? And if he doesn’t git ‘er done, turning to Wolford?

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    BTW Joe, that photo makes Baker Mayfield look like a giant compared to Dave Canales (and Todd Bowles too). Got any photos of Canales standing next to Kyle Trask?

  6. JD Still Says:

    I believe Chicken Little was probably the first prognosticator followed by the likes of Al Gore and Rich Eisen, Well , the sky did not fall , New York is not presently under water from global warming , and Kyle Trask continues to outperform Baker Mayfield , now, there will always be those who buy falling sky proof umbrellas , ocean front property in Arizona and the inevitability of Mayfield starting , but I am a just give me the facts kind of guy, that always seems to be the best way to go in the end , and if someone is trying to sell you anything else, buyer beware!

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I am concerned that Mayfield will be just good enough to win 7 or 8 games….miss the playoffs and an opportunity for a top QB pick.

    We may just have to pony up like other teams and cough up a bunch of draft picks for one.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF … Kyle Trask just MIGHT end up being our long-term answer at QB. Sad fact is that we’ll never know unless he’s given a shot at leading the team, at least for several games.

  9. Razor Ramone Says:

    I think that’s Rapoport.

  10. An Erection for Sacks Says:

    This article is a perfect example to compare and contrast local and national media coverage, of the NFL in general, and of the Bucs in particular in this new post-Brady era.

    The national takes are, unsurprisingly, little more than carbon copies of each other, with VERY little nuance, context or depth. Local coverage, however, is very good overall, imo. JBF has a LOT to do with that (It’s where I go first!🍻) because… SURPRISE EVERYBODY, JBF is run by actual journalists, with college degrees to prove it. Add to that their unmatched volume of coverage, along with the unwavering mantra of doing things their OWN way, as opposed to the national talking heads who are too afraid to anger their bosses, and you’ll notice how COMPLETELY different these two approaches to media coverage are, and what those differences can mean.

  11. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Adam Schefter

  12. Lt. Dan Says:

    “Team Glazer, since they have owned the team, has never fired a coach in-season.

    True – but… I can see a scenario in which this happens. With Caleb Williams as the prize, obviously the Bucs would need to be drafting at least top three. Fire Bowles mid season (if warranted) and promote one of the assistants as interim HC.

  13. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Bowles might tank if he is guaranteed a third season. However, that is extremely unlikely. Looks like the Williams mob is in an untenable position.

  14. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    They have never fired a coach in-season, they have interviewed head coach candidates in-season.

    Let the interviews commence.

  15. PSL Bob Says:

    What’s likely to happen is the Bucs are a mediocre team with say a 7-10 record. Bad enough to miss the playoffs but not bad enough to get the QB they want.

  16. Max Vasher Says:

    That picture of Schefter with his arms folded atop an emergent but managed midsection in full blown arrogant defiance of his own comparatively diminutive stature focussed fully on his interrogation of Mayfield is quite Kaufman-esque.

  17. Wild Bill Says:

    Dam, anyone who has played sports in high school, college, and city leagues knows that virtually all serious players strive to be the best that they can be all the time. I have been on winning teams and losing teams and the effort is no different for the vast majority of players. The game within the game is guys striving to excell. Slackers are harassed by their team mates and are quickly ostracized. Not everybody on a team is a superstar but even the lesser talented guys give it their all. Or they are soon gone. The thought of a pro team tanking on purpose is not credible. Can teams lose their confidence and not reach their full potential? Yes. Does a team that has no chance at making playoffs play new younger guys to evaluate and improve their experience level for the next year? Sure. But to delibertly tank would disgust atheletes at any level. Team comaradie and pride are the dominate attitudes for all but a few disgruntled who get weeded out sooner than later.

  18. HC Grover Says:

    If he falters he can start a Dinkum and Dunkum Doughnut Shop.

  19. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    Tanking is dishonorable. Be a man and compete.

  20. kyle Says:

    defense rules^^ thats adam schefter genius

  21. ATLBuc Says:

    Is this a rerun?

  22. Jvato24 Says:

    There is no chance in hell that Todd Bowles will tank, cuz he will be fired so this is just worthless talk

  23. m milligan Says:

    I’ve got the buc’s starting the season 2-0 and then gunning down the eagles in a stunner on Monday night in the pirate ship. Mayfield at the helm obviously.

  24. m milligan Says:

    And i’m not down with all the Caleb Williams hype and $’s surrounding pick. Would pale in comparison to Browns /Watson stupidity.

  25. First Name Greatest Says:

    I’ll never understand the loser mentality of tanking for a player who may or may not be great

    Be better Joe

  26. Fred McNeil Says:

    If all the faltering teams thought like that the NFL would be impossible to watch. Lovie Smith tanked that last game so he could draft Jaymiss. I suppose he was entertaining, but he wasn’t worth deliberately losing for. Neither was Mariota. Like Bugs Bunny once sang: “Carrots wait for no one, so I will pick them now.”

  27. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    How does ANYONE think it is a good idea to tank to get a specific player (Caleb or anybody else)? If you are one of those guys, do you really think the Bucs will have the worse record in the whole NFL? If not, then we have zero assurance that “our” player will be available. If we do have the 1st pick, then we likely will bungle the pick anyway. (See Winston)

  28. Fred McNeil Says:

    M. Milligan: you got that right! The Browns gave up a boatload of picks and cap space for that pervert even though he was sure to spend his first year mostly on suspension. $46 million a year fully guaranteed??? Wasn’t it three first round picks?

  29. J Says:

    Talk about beating a dead horse.

  30. Fred McNeil Says:

    Bucsfaninoregon, we didn’t really bungle the Winston pick. We had to have a QB. It was him or the incredibly boring Mariota.

  31. Tye Says:

    The Bucs have already proven that tanking for a career backup like Jameis Winston is a waste of money, years, and talent of the actual good players on the roster….
    HORRIBLE business plan!

  32. Buc1987 Says:

    Bowles IS the tank!

  33. SlyPirate Says:


    Bowles and Mayfield are going to work hard to win. If they do produce 10-11 wins, great! The Bucs are ahead of schedule with a lot of collateral to grow.

    If they lose 4-5 wins, great! We get a new coach and new QB. This was supposed to be a rebuild year.

    THE ONLY BAD OUTCOME … 9-8 … Mediocrity and missing the playoffs
    If the Bucs are mediocre, the decision become mirky and the assets less valuable.

  34. garro Says:

    What a shame!
    Used to have a lot of respect for Eisen.
    No more.

    Go Bucs!

  35. TF Says:

    I agree we have a ton of talented players but they are basically concentrated in one area on each side of the ball, WR and LB. Thus the weak position areas (OL, QB, RB, Depth) are such weak chain links, we are one injury away from snapping. As galactically inconsistent and putrid our defense (offense too) was last year, with arguably more talent, it will make it a stretch that our ALL-PROS can “carry” this team. We are against a sneaky tough schedule in a vastly improved division. 7-10 would be very IMPRESSIVE. And that’s not being the voice of doom, but objective. The year before our 2-14 Jameis draft year we were 4-12 and 7-9 the year before that. That being said 5-12 is realistic for this year and that likely falls short of being in a position to draft one of the TOP 2 QBs.