Schedule Favors Baker Mayfield Starting Week 1

August 8th, 2023

Joe has said this for months, but now the voice of NFL Network and a friend to many NFL big shots is saying the same thing.

The Buccaneers’ schedule screams Baker Mayfield starting the season as Tampa Bay’s No. 1 quarterback because it’s the logical progression to the team’s QB situation, Rich Eisen said today on his national radio/TV show.

Mayfield has experience and the Bucs have a tough opening schedule — at Minnesota, home for Chicago and the Eagles, and then off to New Orleans. That’s Mayfield territory, Eisen said, and if he doesn’t look great, then turn to Kyle Trask at the Week 5 bye.

“I think [Bucs] coaches look at it and say, ‘Alright, starting Baker, if he falters, we go Trask. And if that doesn’t work, we go Caleb Williams,'” Eisen said today on The Rich Eisen Show.

Caleb Williams is the stud University of Southern California quarterback projected as the top draft pick next April.

“Full Caleb,” Eisen continued. “That’s the way I see it. Not like, ‘Baker, you’re here; now we’re going to go with the kid, see how far we go, and then throw you in.’ This team has too many veterans, too many guys from their championship squad to go ahead and throw them in the mix with Kyle Trask to see what he can do.”

Eisen went on to say he’s confident Trask isn’t tearing up training camp, so Todd Bowles will want to go with Mayfield first because that’s the natural and logical order.

For the record, Joe will say neither Trask nor Mayfield are “tearing it up” through two weeks of camp.

Eisen makes all the sense in the world — unlesss Trask changes reality with a beastly preseason game on Friday followed by big-time success in practices against the Jets next week.

If Mayfield isn’t the guy, then he gets the hook at the bye and Trask gets to ease in with less pressure — a less daunting schedule and no Mayfield breathing down his neck.

Buccaneers schedule:

1 Sun. Sept. 10 at Minnesota 1:00 PM
2 Sun. Sept. 17 CHICAGO 1:00 PM
3 Mon. Sept. 25 PHILADELPHIA 7:15 PM
4 Sun. Oct. 1 at New Orleans 1:00 PM
5 Bye Week
6 Sun. Oct. 15 DETROIT 1:00 PM FOX
7 Sun. Oct. 22 ATLANTA 1:00 PM FOX
8 Thurs. Oct. 26 at Buffalo 8:15 PM
9 Sun. Nov. 5 at Houston 1:00 PM
10 Sun. Nov. 12 TENNESSEE 1:00 PM
11 Sun. Nov. 19 at San Francisco 4:05 PM
12 Sun. Nov. 26 at Indianapolis 1:00 PM
13 Sun. Dec. 3 CAROLINA 1:00 PM
14 Sun. Dec. 10 at Atlanta 1:00 PM
15 Sun. Dec. 17 at Green Bay 1:00 PM
16 Sun. Dec. 24 JACKSONVILLE 4:05 PM
17 Sun. Dec. 31 NEW ORLEANS 1:00 PM
18 Season finale TBD at Carolina

49 Responses to “Schedule Favors Baker Mayfield Starting Week 1”

  1. Statguy Says:

    Let’s say they are going Mayfield regardless. How short of a leash can Kyle Trask earn him?

  2. HC Grover Says:

    Loss number 1.

  3. NCBucfan Says:

    Collapseforcaleb baby!

  4. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    You are rooting for a losing season Joe. Multiple losing seasons in fact. Thanks man.

  5. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Rich Eisen BTW has been consistent in his support for Mayfield. Not an unbiased source.

    The sales job continues

  6. DBS Says:

    These people never talk about the rest of the story. So if they do have to go full blown Caleb then what? Entire coaching rebuild also? This can get ugly real fast.

  7. Elita Vita Says:

    Thinking ahead…. Caleb will have to give up his cherished #13 jersey since Evans already has it. Perhaps #18 will be available (his high school football jersey.)

  8. Steelers fan Says:

    Trask is a generational talent hes the future of the bucs. You’ll see once he gets into real game action.

  9. Bee Says:

    If Kyle outplays half baked and Bowles doesn’t start him then the tank job is on. My question is this, how can Kyle get experience against a “tough schedule” without playing the tough schedule? Bakers experience is being a turnover machine but somehow this will lead to winning football? It’s time to see what Kyle can do, isn’t that why he was drafted?

  10. All_da_way Says:

    I do not think it matters which QB starts. What matters is the ground game HAS to look NFL average and the defense has to generate turnovers and flip field position.

  11. Elita Vita Says:

    But how could the Bucs tank? Bowles’ HC career is on the line? What about the players as well? If the players don’t ball out they need to think about their own careers?

  12. firethecannons Says:

    Maximum 5 wins this season–is that enough to win the overall pick #1 of the draft? doubt it cardinals will get #1

  13. JayBuc Says:

    Playing mayfield against tougher competition seems kinda backwards

  14. KC Buc Says:

    So Trask would get Detroit, Atlanta, and at Buffalo…I feel like that’s not much easier tbh lol but the progression from Baker to Trask makes sense unless Trask starts seriously dealing out there

  15. Buccos Says:

    Whoever plays the best in preseason and earns the start

  16. Buc4evr Says:

    If they really wanted to win they would have signed Matt Ryan. Even an old Ryan is better than younger Mayfield. I’m afraid this is going to be a long season as I don’t see a lot of difference between Mayfield and Trask at this point.

  17. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Elita Vita Says:
    August 8th, 2023 at 7:30 pm
    Thinking ahead…. Caleb will have to give up his cherished #13 jersey since Evans already has it. Perhaps #18 will be available (his high school football jersey.)

    If we’re really “tanking” at that point then you……. OMG…..crazy talk……trade Mike Evans.

  18. JD Still Says:

    Prognosticators , LOL! Have they been right about anything so far this year ? Why start believing them now?

  19. Richard Says:

    I keep hearing that Mayfield has experience, So does Carson Wentz. I’m not confident that Mayfield will be successful, his track record is sketchy at best. I’m in favor of rolling with Trask, as an FSU guy, I appreciate what Trask was about at U of F. I believe he gives us the potential of upside, with Mayfield we’ve seen that movie.

  20. ScottyMack Says:

    Sorry, but the way I look at it, the Bucs schedule is harder after the bye week than it is in the first 4 games.

    Sure, they aren’t going to beat Philly and the Saints look better on paper but the Bears and Vikings will be in the bottom half of the league.

    The second half of the season is marginally easier but by no great degree.

  21. ScottyMack Says:

    Oops, I meant to say that the second half of the season has more tough teams than the first 4 games and IF there is a difference between all of those games and the first four, it is marginal.

    The Bucs have an incredibly easy schedule this year, considering they are playing a first place schedule.

  22. ScottyMack Says:

    The last three games of the season for the Bucs is their toughest stretch unless you skip the bye and string weeks 3,4 and 6 together.

  23. Pewter Power Says:

    please just do what it takes to draft I’m the top 5 next year. I don’t want Kyle trask being that mike glennon bridge to Winston. Short of a deep playoff run pick one next year should be a quarterback.

  24. steele Says:

    I agree with Buc4evr. Neither QB has impressed. The occasional good practice play doesn’t mean much. By top NFL standards, the ones that count, the answer so far is none of the above. Mr. Rah Rah QB Whisperer has not created any magic so far with either guy. Realistically, gentlemen, this is… Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask….leading a Todd Bowles team. A good to time maintain perspective in this dead zone of a season.

  25. Craig Says:

    It depends on these first two preseason games. The games themselves are pretty worthless, usually, but it give Bucs fans a reason to watch.

    Even I want to see Baker in one and Trask in the other for contrast.

    If either completely blows it, the other starts. If they both blow it, Baker starts.

  26. AnonymousBuc76 Says:

    This is driving me crazy…

    “Oh let’s start a veteran, he gives us the best chance to win”…”Todd Bowles should start the veteran if he wants to save his job”…Well, what if the veteran leads the league in turnovers since being drafted, and is on his 4th team in 5 years…Not to mention “the veteran” has has horrible training camp…

    Someone help me make sense of this, because it makes no sense to be right now…Start Kyle and live with it, at least he has room for growth and more upside at this point than “the veteran”…Baker Mayfield plateaued college and has already proved at multiple stops that he’s garbage…

  27. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Last time the Bucs tanked for a No. 1 QB it didn’t turn out so well. Eisen is right. Start Mayfield and then Trask after the bye. Give the kid a chance at least. The problem won’t be the QB, it’s the HC.

  28. Smashsquatch Says:

    It’s a no brainer, start with Baker.

  29. BFFL Says:

    You start who looks best in preseason and practice. Pretty simple concept.

  30. ATLBuc Says:

    Trask will shine in preseason games and Baker will do what Baker does; turn the ball over.

  31. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    I grew up a USC fan, from the days of Charles White. But for the life of me, I can’t think of a USC quarterback picked in the 1st round that did anything exceptional in the NFL, other than maybe Carson Palmer.

    Matt Cassel?
    Rodney Peete?
    Matt Leniart?
    Mark Sanchez?
    Rob Johnson?

    I remember all the hype around these guys, so excuse me for not being hot in the pants on Caleb.

    Plus, looking at the schedule, I could see a QB change after the Thurs Game vs Buffalo. Give the next one up 10 days to prepare for Houston.

    Hopefully, this all hyperbole and we keep a starter thru the season. That means we are winning.

  32. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Really dont understand why even the Trask stans want Trask thrown into the fire the first 4 games….liek Eisen said, whoever starts is going to be on a short lease till the bye so if Bakers not the guy then Trask can come in and develop with less pressure and more margin for error.

    If Trask starts and is benched for Mayfield right away his Bucs career will be over before it started.

  33. Wild Bill Says:

    Baker, too short, throws way too many interceptions, bounced from team to team because nobody wanted to keep him. Those are his major negatives. I would include his major positives but ????? WTF are they?

  34. BucsFan81 Says:

    Kinda sucks cause I feel like this team still has a lot of talent. Just No QB which is how I felt when Winston was here. Same with the head coach good DC but not head coach. This team is a head coach and a QB away from at least making the playoffs every year. Ownership and the GM probably should have done more to make that happen this year but I think they know their hands were tied with the cap space. If the team starts out bad it will be interesting to see what happens during the trade deadline and if a new coaching staff is brought in next year.

  35. Rod Munch Says:

    If they play that game, then they’ll stick with Mayfield through the Bills game.

    Don’t play that game, just start Trask, and see what happens. We already know what happens if Mayfield is in there, and it’s not good.

  36. R0n@Tampa Says:

    I see a 13-4 season. The philly game is a coin flip. I would say possibly 14 if we win that game.

  37. Mike S Says:

    You want perspective?

    Here’s perspective…

    Baker Mayfield has played in 69 games

    Trask has played in 2 series of downs.

    So far Trask has the edge on him.

    What do you think Trask is going to look like after 69 games?

    You think Baker would have a snowball’s chance in hell of beating him if they had the same NFL game experience?

    The Bucs are blowing this. They are making a seismic franchise wrecking mistake.

  38. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “Kinda sucks cause I feel like this team still has a lot of talent. Just No QB which is how I felt when Winston was here”

    HA! Outside of 2016, the Bucs defensive was trash throughout Winstons tenure.

  39. Jp09 Says:

    33-39, Mayfields career record. Based on his win/loss record both Bowles and Licht will be fired if they go with Mayfield.

    If Trask wins the job you release mayfield. Why would Trask only get a 4 game audition if he outplayed Mayfield in the preseason. If Trask truly wins the competition this whole season should be his audition.

  40. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Wild Bill he got arrested while at OU and the video was… Well it was something.

  41. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Tbbucs3 they refuse to develop young QBs – or fail miserably at it.

    They try to grab a veteran QB off the free agent market generally who’s only other options are backup jobs – Tom Brady being the only exception.

    It’s how this team operates.

  42. garro Says:

    “Eisen went on to say he’s confident Trask isn’t tearing up training camp, so Todd Bowles will want to go with Mayfield first because that’s the natural and logical order.”

    Someone please explain natural and logical order to me.
    Normally Eisen is someone I respect but handing it over to Trask after you are 1-4 is like handing a starving man a 2 week old sandwich. uhh Thanks but I think I’ll pass.

    Go Bucs!

  43. garro Says:

    And tanking is for Punks!

    Do we really want to get back into the savior quarterback sweepstakes people? Please temper your criticisms of either of these guys with this thought.

    Think it through… Jameis had a cannon and promise. I/we kept thinking when he settles down and gets it…Wow! Promise was there…I promise not to turn the ball over…I promise…While eating Ws and his other antics. It got beyond old quick for me.

    If we get that high draft pick the chances are Bowles and many other coaches will be gone. As will some players…New coach new players. New OC. New DC. New schemes on both sides of the ball. Think it through!

    Doug Williams, Vinny Testaverde, Trent Dilfer, Josh Freeman, Jameis Winston. All first rounders. Doug was the only one to arguably fulfill the savior role for us. And we let him walk for pocket change.

    Please remember that this dream of a savior quarterback is a gamble that we have lost at miserably in the past.

    Go Bucs!

  44. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Negative Nancy’s

  45. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I have been saying this all along.

    I am 100% in favor of Mayfield being named the starter, and then putting in Trask at the bye week.

    Not because I favor Baker (I don’t), but because:

    • I know Baker will blow it
    • I know the offensive line will struggle at first, resulting in a lot of pressure on the QB
    • That will result in a lot of hits, a lot of scrambling, high risk of injury, and the QB being hated by fans because, well, you know. Fans.

    So waiting until the bye to put in Trask will:

    • Give the offensive line time to develop at least a little chemistry
    • The schedule WILL be easier the first few games after the bye, which will give Trask a slightly easier time of it…and enable him to adjust

    The truth is, we don’t know if Trask will be better than Mayfield…but by the time the bye comes, we’ll know he can’t be worse.

    As to tanking, I do not believe for a second that the team will intentionally tank. The players on this team will not do it.

    But…QB can make or break games. If Trask cannot gradually improve (because he almost certainly will struggle at first, because of his lack of experience), then his play will determine the chance to draft high or not, or if we even want to.

    My advice to fans?

    When Trask gets his shot, consider him a rookie. Because, essentially, he’ll have the same learning curve. Maybe a little faster, but not much.

    Think long term, not short term.

  46. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    I find the whole “collapse for Caleb is incredibly stupid. Even if Caleb is the Second Coming, there are so many ways for that idea to go wrong.

    The Bucs would have to illegally plot to throw games to insure that first pick. Do you honestly think with all the talent we have on defense, WR, etc. that we will be the worse team in the league? That is truly stupid.

    And if Caleb is another Johnny Manzel what will he have done for going 2-15?

    The whole idea is just stupid!

  47. JimBobBuc Says:

    Everyone has an opinion, some opinions are based on facts. Eisen probably has not seen a practice, or certainly very few compared to Joe. Us fans know more about Trask and Mayfield, via Joe, than Eisen. His opinion is un-informed and not worth much.

    I hope we get a definitive QB1 over the next couple weeks with the preseason games and Jets scrimmage. If the QB’s are truly close, I can see starting with Mayfield and pulling him if he’s ineffective, then ride with Trask the rest of the year. We have to decide if Trask is worth re-signing.

  48. Tony Says:

    If they go with Baker, I think it shows how week this coaching staff is to let a washed-up short man syndrome turnover machine narcissist QB come in and run everything for them. I think Colon Cowherd got it right.

  49. Infomeplease Says:

    At least one of the Joes conspiracy theories… Here’s mine. There were two practices with the Jets originally scheduled. After the first preseason game., TB decided he had seen enough. BM played exactly the way he wants the offense to be played. Scramble and get a pass off. KT not so much. He would have preferred KT, since since he chose to stay in the pocket,to just ground the ball instead of getting sacked 3 times. You know, like what TB12 did all last year. That’s how TB wants this team to play. He figures all those rookie QBs that burn his defense game after game are always mobile QBs getting out of the pocket and completing passes on the run. BM does this effectively. So that’s why BM is the QB1.

    So why cancel the second practice. TB was going to have BM and KT each have a practice day with the starters and one with the backups. Since TB has decided that BM is his guy, the second practice day is not necessary.