Baker Mayfield Smarter Than Todd Bowles Thought

September 14th, 2023


Joe thought it was pretty cool when Bucs running back Rachaad White let the cat out of the bag that Baker Mayfield had the Vikings defense all figured out.

White said Mayfield cracked the Vikings’ defensive codes, which is one reason the Bucs offense played better from late in the first half last Sunday through the end of the game.

Yesterday, Bucs coach Todd Bowles tried to downplay this, saying the Bucs’ offense picking up on Vikings signals was “exaggerated.” (Mayfield detailed why is wasn’t exaggerated on The QB Room podcast.)

It takes smarts to figure out signals without any banging on a trash can; Mayfield made sure yesterday to distance himself from the Houston Astros stealing signs.

Bowles was asked yesterday what has surprised him about Mayfield since the two first met before the 2018 NFL Draft was how sharp Mayfield is.

“He’s very smart,” Bowles said. “I didn’t know he was as smart because I never coached him that much, but just getting us in and out of plays and understanding that situations – he’s been great.”

And that right there, boys and girls, is one reason why Joe noted earlier in this week that Mayfield is starting over Kyle Trask.

Joe isn’t remotely suggesting Trask isn’t smart. But you cannot just buy experience off the Walmart rack.

A coach on a hot seat isn’t going to trust his career to a guy who never started a game unless he was so good the coach couldn’t pull the guy off the field without sparking a player uprising.

26 Responses to “Baker Mayfield Smarter Than Todd Bowles Thought”

  1. FloridaGirl Says:

    What would be smart is telling ‘RB1’ to not talk about how the QB is doing his job. RB1 clearly needs to focus on his own position.

  2. Charles Says:

    And Bowles is the ultimate arbiter of smart!

  3. PassingThru Says:

    But is Mayfield is smarter than the average Bear?

  4. Charles Says:

    Joe seems to be constantly looking to justify why Mayfield was chosen to be the starter. We all know why. 😉

  5. stpetebucfan Says:

    EXPERIENCE!!! OK I’m the old dude here and biased but EXPERIENCE is hard to replace or replicate.

    Trask fans who are true Buc’s fans should rejoice. Trask isn’t going anywhere and sooner or later he will get his chance.

    In fact Traskers I support you’re guy enough to suggest that Baker should continue to let his “dawg” out and do whatever HE feels necessary to get the job done. I remember that play in preseason when Trask actually let his inner “dawg” out with an impressive power run…it clearly fired him and the team up!

    Why not have two solid QB’s? I’m a fan of both!

  6. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - Founder of Says:

    Joe thought it was pretty cool that R White spilled the beans about Mayfield picking up the Vikings’ signals?

    That’s a pretty dumb way to feel about that, Joe.

    We will guaranteed win less games this year because White did that, and because of the resulting national media blitz on the story.

    SMH. It’s a Buc’s Life. Lol, where’s the gamesmanship, people?!??

    Rashaad ‘Dum Dum’ White is his new nickname.

  7. SB~LV Says:

    Good then for Trask !
    Getting to learn from two clever veterans

  8. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Offenses have been trying to figure out defenses since the game was invented. Learning the signals is done by just about everyone at some point. Just because JW was not capable does not mean much. There’s really nothing to see here.

  9. K2 Says:

    Great comment Passing Thru..”.Mayfield is smarter than the average Bear?”

  10. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    I love the phrasing of this article – implies Bowles thought he was not quite so smart before!

  11. ModHairKen Says:

    A lot of negativity on this comment thread. Can you people just try and enjoy the win? Or go cheer for the Jets or Saints.

  12. Hodad Says:

    It’s okay Joe, you can talk about Baker without having to mention why he’s starting over Trask. If fans don’t get it by now you’ll never convince them. Nothing was rigged, or stolen, Mayfield won!

  13. Boss Says:

    lets not annoint this guy yet. The offense was horrible and he was not much better.

    One good drive and a stiff arm and now he is Drew Brees?

    C’Mon man.

    Nice work by BM, I could care less who gets the start, but I would like to see Trask on the field at some point……but not in lieu of winning.

  14. A Bucs Fan Says:

    A lot OU fans thought he had a photographic memory. He also learned enough of McVay’s offense in two days to help the team win a game which is a testament to him and his ability to learn.

    I’m happy for the win and his success but I don’t think it’s meant to last. He has a charismatic and fiery personality but lacks the physical skills and is too injury prone to last long. His ceiling is average game manager that might get you to the play offs if the team around him is good enough ( Bucs are). He’s no QB of the future.

  15. rickym Says:

    Agreed and great post. If evidence of how important it is to have two good QB’s is needed, look no farther than the mess that the Jets are in today. I am happy that Mayfield is the starter and happy to have Trask as our number 2. lots of big name 1st round QB’s have played for the Bucs but Brad Johnson one our 1st superbowl. Plenty of super bowl winning QB’s have been late round picks or did not win on the team that drafted them. Dilfer, Warner, Johnson, Brees etc…

    Why not Mayfield,

  16. stpetebucfan Says:

    “We will guaranteed win less games this year because White did that, and because of the resulting national media blitz on the story.”

    Really Erik? Guaranteed. Sorry to disagree but that story will be last weeks news this time next week. NOBODY will care.

    As for anybody learning anything from his disclosure? Again really? As you suggested it’s just part of the game. Will the Vikes D coaches scout their own D for tips of how they’re giving it away…probably but we do not play them again this season…for a long time anyway..playoffs hopefully.

    Every team in the league tries to figure out what’s going on. Have you ever wondered why the coaches cover their mouths before calling the play to the QB.
    Stealing signals…figuring out the other team’s strategy are as old as football and baseball. If it’s done honestly and not using some home team technical advantage it’s no big deal.

  17. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Why did White just throw away a potential advantage that wouldve helped the Bucs offense throughout the year? Defenses are undoubtedly hiding their signals from Mayfield now.

  18. Charles Says:

    Hodad Says: “Nothing was rigged, or stolen, Mayfield won!”


  19. Mike Says:

    I’ve never seen a group of negative people in my life like this until I started reading the comments on this blog lol I can tell every last one of you are just old miserable men that were fans from the start and have been traumatized by the early days of the bucs to the point y’all can’t stop being negative about EVERYTHING.

  20. MNfrostbite Says:

    To those of you who are absolutely, positively,
    COMPLETELY certain that Baker’s ceiling is mid game manager … just put your crystal balls away. Unless you’re psychic, that kind of judgmental pronouncement only tells me you haven’t followed nor taken into account the circumstances surrounding Baker’s NFL career to this point. You’ve gotten off cheap and lazy looking at surface stats. That means you haven’t researched the organizations, the coaching staffs, teammates, injuries, who was or wasn’t playing in any given game, etc. Thing is … if you had done the research on your QB1 … you’d know that he hasn’t hit his ceiling yet. His circumstances have been prohibitive. So please, PLEASE keep your narrow minded pronouncements to yourself and take the trouble to learn your quarterback before opening your yap. Peace. 🏈

  21. Fred McNeil Says:

    It’s been one game. Baker was meh. His receivers were meh. A little stickum might have helped. Let’s see if we play a bit better at home. Minnesota was loud as heck.
    A chance to scout Philly tonight. They get 4 extra days to rest.

  22. Mike Johnson Says:

    Baker won’t be smart for long if he does not learn how get down after a run. He will run into the wrong Defensive player and suffer an injury if he is not careful. He’s gutsy. But Defenses could care less. They will physically hurt him if he does not play smart.

  23. BakerFan Says:

    I like how the keyboard warriors know more than the coaches that live and breathe what the team personnel’s abilities are each hour of the waking day. I think so many on this board are not Buc fans at all. They would be happy to lose and say I told you so rather than win and look at all their foolish comments.

  24. garro Says:

    If we really did know all of the Vikings defensive siganals we would have won by 2 TDs. Not a field goal.

    Come on folks…recognizing a defense and how a team lines up happens in every game. Especially experienced QBs. They regularly see a matchup that they like and exploit it. Brady was a master.

    I played the game and even as an offensive lineman, by halftime you pretty much new what you were gonna see. What the backers were doing etc. These guys are much better at it. If you listen to Tiki or some of the ex players announcing sometimes they will call it before the snap.

    Go Bucs!

    Go Bucs!

  25. garro Says:

    It is laughable! LOL We are gonna have a losing season because Whiite said something that was utter nonsense and Baker said yeah I knew everthing they were gonna do. Also BS. He knows it and I think he might be playing around with the media and trying to get in Chicago’s head a little bit.

    Go Bucs!

  26. Zoocomics Says:

    Wow… I actually love a lot of the comments on this thread.
    @A Bucs Fan…it’s kind of how I’ve always felt about Baker.
    @MNFrostbite…it’s kind of how I’ve been looking and preaching regarding a silver lining for Baker.

    Could I also add a little more “context” to MNFrostbite’s point that goes completely unnoticed regarding the conditions that Baker grew up in his first few years in the league.
    OBS1. This kid is drafted number 1 overall, which to everyone that wants us to tank for Caleb, #1 picks don’t work out…why? Because there’s more going on with a team picking at #1 than just QB, more the likely the team has many holes to fill and not enough weapons.
    OBS2. He’s then drafted by what I would call a starving cursed franchise, and as #1 pick he’s the face of the franchise who the entire city of Cleveland is relying on to make the Browns relevant.
    OBS3. He’s drafted into a division in what has to be one of the most consistent divisions in the NFL when it comes to coaching and “punch you in your face defenses”, the AFC North. You play Ravens and Steelers twice a year. Bengals are the worst team during most of his career there, yet Joe Burrow arrives towards the end.
    OBS4. Winters suck in that division
    OBS5. Injuries

    My overall point to whoever cares to read this, is that if Baker ends up bouncing back here in Tampa, I won’t be surprised, considering everything I just mentioned as a potential reason of why he struggled during his first few years in the league.
    Fans, let’s just take one game at a time, lets beat these Bears and start off 2-0
    Go Bucs!