“I Think This Football Team Is Way Better Than I Thought”

September 22nd, 2023

Colin Cowherd reacts.

Long-time and noted Baker Mayfield critic Colin Cowherd is on the verge of saying, “I was wrong, Baker.”

The popular sports radio and TV personality went on his hollering show this week, “The Herd,” seen on FS1, and confessed Mayfield is playing the best ball of his career.

Further, Cowherd is pretty convinced Bucs fans are seeing another Geno Smith Story develop before our very eyes. Smith last year led the NFL in completion percentage, leading a Seattle team with zero expectations to the playoffs — one year after losing their franchise quarterback, Russell Wilson.

Smith was largely thought of as a bust and basically unwanted. But his career was saved in Seattle (where he had a position coach by the name of Dave Canales).

Cowherd thinks the same thing is playing out in Tampa with Mayfield.

“Could this be, for the next two or three years, the Geno Smith Story?” Cowherd asked. “Now you say to yourself, ‘Come on!'”

Cowherd then noted similarities between Mayfield and Smith, and he doesn’t think the comparison is nuts.

“Then you go to a place with some star receivers and low expectations,” Cowherd said. “Geographically far northwest [Seattle] and down in Tampa [the Bucs]. … And they’re pretty good. Why couldn’t it be that?”

Mayfield was a better quarterback in Cleveland than Smith was with the Jets, where Smith was a second-round pick in 2013, Cowherd said.

“I think Baker throws a better football than Geno Smith,” Cowherd added. “Believe it or not, this makes me happy. I think, absolutely, with this [Bucs] roster, you can have a Geno Smith story. In that division, you tell me they can’t sneak into the playoffs?

“[Mayfield was] humbled like Geno Smith. Matured like Geno Smith. Why not?”

And yes, Cowherd admits he too was wrong about the Bucs.

“I think this football team is way better than I thought,” Cowherd said.

Joe wishes he had a $5 bill from everyone this week saying how they misjudged the Bucs. There is a lot of soul-searching going on.

61 Responses to ““I Think This Football Team Is Way Better Than I Thought””

  1. Smoothbayrider Says:

    Bucs 38 – Eagles 17

  2. Smoothbayrider Says:

    Chaad White -154 yards and two tuddies

  3. Guzzie55 Says:

    Let’s relax the better than we thought train, Vikings and Bears aren’t very good, and we didn’t dominate either team, but if we play a competitive game against the Eagles then we can toot their horns until then it’s just noise

  4. PewterStiffArm Says:

    Give it some time and this offense will mature in front of us. I hope the better part starts this Monday night in front of a national television audience that really hasn’t picked up on how good we are. Now if we get blown up by the reigning NFC Champs, then I digress.

  5. BakerFan Says:

    There is not 1 Buc in the locker room who is thinking or saying “if we can play them close, it will be good” They have a point to make that they are more than a declining skilled QB that pouted on the sideline and a team willing to tank this season. Mayfield has helped change the attitude of this team and is worth every cent they are paying him. Buc fans enjoy.

  6. Casual Observer Says:

    The Bucs have a bunch of rookies. Bound to get better with each game; right?
    That’s my take anyway. Barring major injuries look out for this team.

  7. HC Grover Says:

    Bucs win on long field goal in 4th qtr

  8. PSL Bob Says:

    If the Bucs beat the Eagles Monday night, they won’t be sneaking into the playoffs. They’ll be a freight train picking up steam as it heads directly for the station, demolishing anything in its path. A little hyperbole, maybe?

  9. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Mayfield certainly has game. That’s for sure. We’re fixin to find out exactly how much game come Monday. That dude’s a lot closer to ‘farve’ in his playing acumen than ole ‘crab legs’ jameiss imo.

  10. Fansince76 Says:

    Yup, and could you imagine what kind of hype train would get going if we beat the eagles!!
    GO BUCS!!

  11. EternalSon Says:

    Bucs beating Eagles is a tradition around here.

    Bucs 24
    Eagles 20

    Go BUCS!!!

  12. StormyInFl Says:

    “Guzzie55 Says:
    September 22nd, 2023 at 8:11 am
    Let’s relax the better than we thought train, Vikings and Bears aren’t very good”

    I’ll give you the Bears (that organization as a whole is a giant dumpster fire right now), but the Vikings gave the Eagles all they could handle, in Philly. I wouldn’t write them off as a bad team quite yet.

  13. Duane Says:

    Baker Mayfield isn’t Geno Smith. Baker Mayfield is Baker Mayfield. These incessant player comparisons disrespect both players involved in them.

    Baker is playing good ball now, at least three halves so far. It is guaranteed that he will stumble in some games this season. After all, even the GOAT stumbled in some games with the Bucs, even in the Super Bowl winning season where he didn’t look all that great in the early going, and the Bucs were only 7-5 after 12 games – sort of a “sneak into the playoffs” team. But then the Bucs went undefeated after that, tearing their way through the rest of the regular season and the playoffs.

    So any judgments now, after just two games played, are useless. Let’s see where the Bucs are in November and December, then we can start making useful judgments.

  14. stpetebucfan Says:

    Baker had a couple of strikes against him and I get that. He came out of Okla a cocky arsehole who rubbed folks the wrong way.

    But the reality is he’s always been an excellent player whose “cockiness” got in the way. He threw far too many ints and played like a riverboat gambler who had never heard the Kenny Roger’s classic. “You gotta know when to hold em and know when to fold me”.

    Why is it so hard for people to not discern the difference between the player’s head and his skill set.

    Mayfield is Jameis Winston 2.0. And indeed as long as JW does it in the AFC I hope he too has learned from his experiences in Tampa and N.O. and perhaps also learned when to fold em. I think both QB’s have talent.

    One has found maturity…for JW”s sake I hope he finds his in the AFC somewhere because if he ever got his head straight JW would be a force in the NFL.

  15. orlbucfan Says:

    HC Grover Says:
    September 22nd, 2023 at 8:27 am
    Bucs win on long field goal in 4th qtr
    Yeah, 60-yarder in the final seconds. Cardiac Bucs win!! I would love it!! Go Bucs!!

  16. stpetebucfan Says:


    “These incessant player comparisons disrespect both players involved in them.”

    Agree 100% Duane. It is disrespectful and also futile in terms of gleaning any useful information about either player.

    And I’m as guilty as anyone here of going back in history to derive some conclusions. I think I grew frustrated by the total lack of perspective and history revisionism of some posters.

    As an old dude I’ve grown to answer the question…”what time is it?’ with RIGHT NOW! Van Halen’s classic hit is on my MP3 player while I swim reminding me over and over…”Right now is your tomorrow”.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    More like a 59 yarder….but you’re close.

  18. MadMax Says:

    Two dynamics at play here….That Bowles D and that Canales O….wait till they see us beat the iggles!!

  19. Beej Says:

    Pretty much hinges on our O line not being run over by their D line

  20. Smoothbayrider Says:

    ST Pete bucsfan. Mayfield is far from Winston 2.0. Coming out of college, scouts said he was the most accurate QB they had ever seen. His brain is far superior to Jameis’ and his arm talent is superior. Comparing the two QBs, is blasphemous.

  21. Smoothbayrider Says:

    The Browns were 1-31 when Mayfield arrived. He QB’d them to an 11-5 record and the playoffs (went in to Pittsburgh and won on the road) in his 3rd year. Got hurt early in year 4 and then jettisoned for a raper. Baker is an all world player.

  22. Smoothbayrider Says:

    “Hey look, the cockroach over here havin a baby. No they matin. No look she havin a baby for real. The cockroach havin a baby.”

    Yeah, never compare Mayfield to Jameis ever again.”

  23. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    I listened to him on Monday and he was still backhanding us. Wonder what changed since then.

  24. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    Soft schedule, and the Bucs took advantage, but real games will show what the Bucs are.

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    spbf: No, Mayfield is NOT ATM 2.0.

    ATM is an idiot on and off the field. His saving grace is a sterling arm, but his idiocy gets in his way.

    Mayfield has ALWAYS been underestimated. And he is much smarter than ATM. Just listen to them talk!

    Winston leads his team with his mouth, eating W’s and all that. Mayfield leads through actions, and cockiness is part of that.

    We lived through 5 seasons of Winston craziness, brilliance springing with a heavy dose of dumba$$. He was given every opportunity to be what he thought he was and failed. 30/30 is nothing to be proud of.

    Mayfield has been with teams in turmoil except for one brief stint last season, and the Rams wanted him back.

    I don’t know what we have in Mayfield, but so far, he has shown nothing but positives in every area. If he continues, he could be the story of the NFL in 2023. If he goes off the rails, the team is back at square one, and the dismantling and rebuilding begins in earnest.

    I like the odds, and the team apparently loves the guy. I never got the impression ATM’s teammates would run into a wall for him.

    Besides, you gotta love a guy who lives in stadiums.

  26. Yucs2BucsBack2 Yucs Says:

    It’s been a pleasant surprise and I would be shocked if they beat the Eagles and if they do then this team is for real. Still shocked Lance and Akers were out there and the Bucs stood firm. Cam especially!!!!

  27. Jeff Says:

    Reality check time this Monday, Bucs fans. Eagles 30 Bucs 13.

  28. Yucs2BucsLife Says:


  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Beej … ‘Pretty much hinges on our O line not being run over by their D line’.

    I agree Beej, but there’s a 2nd part of that equation that’s just as important IMO …

    Also hinges on our DLine not being run over by their OLine.

  30. Mike C Says:

    Dan…. that was alot of words to say I am a stupid troll, save yourself some time next time.

  31. Craig Says:

    At the moment this team is defense driven. Also, at this moment, that defense is kind of damaged.

    That will make the Eagles look more potent, maybe. The best thing about our defense is the rise of the back up and part time players, such as Nelson, Diaby, and Greene. They are almost as well done as the starters and will slow Hurts.

    The offense got better from week 1 to week 2, but has a way to go. There are too many flat spots where the ball doesn’t move, and a steady diet of 3rd and long will lead to indigestion.

    By mid season the current offense will look archaic, ancient, maybe even just plain bad.

    Eagles game is still going to be about stopping them, not a shoot-out

  32. Patrickbucs Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    September 22nd, 2023 at 9:00 am
    More like a 59 yarder….but you’re close.

    Pretty sure it was a 62 yarder if I recall correctly, I was there although a bit buzzed at that point:)

  33. adam from ny Says:

    they’re all flipping on their original buc’s prognostications…

    it’s kinda funny to see and hear, but the more you mull over the bucs the more you recognize that the team seems pretty darn good…

    also i was watching some film study on cody mauch, and i thought he was playing decent, but the due is playing really well…like a seasoned vet…the film study showed how terrific he is playing and picking up all the stunts and stuff being thrown his way…i was very impressed…he’s a real keeper…

    the reason we are 2-0 is because both our lines are playing really well…

    yeah we def gotta pick it up in the run game, but the o-line is rocking out in pass pro…

    i’m guessing a lot of these pundits are starting to possibly sniff out an upset and a bucs victory monday night…

    get ready peoples…come tuesday morning we have a legit shot at being the talk of the league

  34. adam from ny Says:

    we gotta maybe do a wild play or two this monday…

    vita at rb…
    mauch receiver eligible…
    camarda fake a move…


    we might need to find a “mystery touchdown” or trick play…it could just be the extra 7 points we need to bump us up from say, 20 to 27 points, and win the game…

    eagles are tough…a nifty play or two can really help in score separation

  35. Buddha Says:

    Philadelphia is a hard ask for the Buccaneers. I think it will be a three or four point game. The line has moved from 6.5 to 4.5. A two point swing is significant. The pros definitely are in the Buccaneers. The. Eagles were lucky to beat the Vikings. They recovered 5 fumbles and the probability of that is ridiculously low. The two teams they beat also are 0-2. Also their record last year was earned against the easiest schedule in the NFL. The
    Also they lost both coordinators. There is nothing in Baker’s play this year that suggests his play is a fluke. The Buccaneers defense played a better game against the Vikings on the road than did the Eagles at home

  36. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dan: What was your name on here before you changed it, like a coward? I remember somebody spewing this same gibberish, I just don’t remember your former name.

  37. Dwayne Cone Says:

    When I was a kid Steve Spurrier replaced my Favorite John Brodie at S.F. and was a .500 QB. Followed him over to Tampa where he then went 0-12 his first year and I was over that one. Seeing a team that had things a lot worse than myself I stuck with the Bus win or lose..

    Then came Testaverde a .500 QB from the Jets and lost twice as many games as he won. He then moved on to my Favorite in the AFC, the Browns, and was a .500 QB again.

    Along came Baker and for whatever the reasons was a .500 QB that left the Browns, went to 2 other teams, lost 3 times as many games as he won, and ended up in Tampa.

    He’s here and is certainly not going 0-12. Based on that fact alone it can be considered an upgrade. Although .500 is still a possibility.

    He’ll have to go 17-0 for the next 12 seasons straight to get close to the wins of the guy he replaced.

    Don’t think that is possible and I wouldn’t want to compare him to Brady although some might.

    Perhaps he can go 8 straight seasons undefeated and match up to the wins of Drew Breese whom I am certain I have seen him compared to here. 2 down 15 to go this season. Be legitimate HOF talk then.

    Like I said before it’s an upgrade based on a lot of Buccaneer History so in the Spirit of Piracy I will keep my ‘Powder Dry’ .

  38. D-Rok Says:

    @ Beej and DR,

    Precisely. Not only will this game be a barometer for mostly our O-line, we shall see just how good our D-line is against arguably one of the best O-lines in the Eagles.

    If our lines play well and are competitive, my optimism meter for this season will be trending up.

    As for the game, have no clue who will win. Edge goes to the Eagles, but 2 weeks ago, this game was penciled in as a sure-fire loss.

    The Bucs have been a pleasant surprise last 2 games; now the question is: Can they maintain this level of play? I hope so!

  39. Steven007 Says:

    Joe in Michigan, some posters seem to think his former moniker was one of the Trask stans. Don’t recall which one exactly. Would make sense based on his Baker hating vitriol. Obviously not a fan and frankly not a good troll either.

  40. Steven007 Says:

    So “Dan”… Why exactly are you here? Seriously. Wasting time posting on a team blog. Trying to troll, doing it poorly, what’s the point? Serious question.

  41. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dan: Who are you a fan of? You obviously hate the Bucs, this is a Bucs fan website (read the name), so yes, it is gibberish.

  42. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Cowturd was like a lot of the talking heads, they all forgot about the killer D and guys like Evans and Godwin catching the rock. Average play at QB is really all thats required with studs like that

  43. Joe in Michigan Says:

    It’s amazing, the Negative Nancy’s like Dan that scoff at the Bucs being 2-0 because “beat bad teams”. I bet the same Debbie Downer’s predicted the Bucs would’ve lost at least one of those games, if not both. Is that the case, Dan? Be honest for once.

  44. Joe in Michigan Says:

    *they beat

  45. Smoothbayrider Says:

    I want to fight Dan.

  46. Smoothbayrider Says:

    Also Dan, learn how to use their/there. It’s almost as bad of a look as your Fandom.

  47. redBUC7 Says:

    Nobody outside of the Tampa market wanted to hear about the Bucs being better that what was said by the national media. Pretty much was only Buc fans and Buc media that was saying the Bucs would be better than was broadcast nationally. And if any Buc fans or media said anything about it then we’re just homers.

  48. zzbucs Says:


    Never forget that we have two SuperBowls, you pathetic crap, and your NO Aints only 1

  49. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Bucs have beaten Iggles the last 4 times they played. I listened to some Philly sports radio Monday to see what they had to say-and they said the Bucs are not very good and are no real test. Eagles will be over confident and Bucs will play like it is the playoffs. Bucs win 27-21 and the Eagles turn it over 3 times. Bucs were the longest shot to win the division at bet 100 to win 800 , that looks really nice right now.

  50. DBS Says:

    This guy is not who you think he is. Joe named this guy Son of Trask when Trask was drafted and this guy caused these problems back then over Trask. Now he is pissed again Trask was not named the starter. He gives himself away easy. He has been under several names. You can’t write them they have been banned. One was a town first exit south of Gainesville. He is trying to make you think he is from another team but yesterday say “Our running back “.

  51. SlyPirate Says:

    Fansince76 Says:
    Imagine what kind of hype train would get going if we beat the eagles!!


    IDK. I think people will be talking about “what’s wrong with the Eagles” more than the greatness of the Bucs. Experts aren’t ready to accept the Bucs as a legitimate team. And that’s fine.

  52. DBS Says:

    The difference is he was attacking Joe and he is not now. So here he nis.

  53. Mike Johnson Says:

    Not over-hyped but..It sure would be Jim dandy to witness our Bucs whip them Eagles on National TV come Monday night.

  54. Orlando Buc Says:

    I feel bad for @Dan. He’s on here trying his hardest to make friends, because even his fellow Eagles fans don’t like him, and everyone is just hating on him. Let’s at least give him an 8th place ribbon for trying 🙂

  55. Orlando Buc Says:

    The defense is playing well enough to make a game of it with the Eagles and our WR’s are great. We need to see our run game take a step forward.

  56. JaxRam Says:

    One game does not make a season and the Bucs can lose to the Eagles and still win the South. Regardless, the Eagles have not been hit in the mouth yet this season and no one really knows what kind of team they have or how they will respond to a challenge.

    The Eagles’ wins are against winless teams too. Their win against the Pats was by 5 points and Mac Jones threw a pick 6 to give the Eagles a fast start…16-0 in 1st quarter.

    The Eagles are 31st in pass defense after playing those winless teams.

    Neither Baker nor Canales came to Tampa to play for next year’s draft pick. Both have a vested interest in proving their abilities this season.

    I’ll give Philly their props if they beat the Bucs, but until they can do that it’s the NFL and the W/L records are the same.

    I’m pulling hard for the Bucs!

  57. Since76 Says:

    Vikings and bears are not good teams right now. We will see a quality team this week. Then we will get a little measurement to go by. Let’s hope it’s a good measurement.

  58. pmarcello Says:

    What kind of a name is Colin. Raises images of a most unsavory part of the human anatomy. He is still back handing Baker and the Bucs. Damning them with faint praise. Nothing more than disguised insults.8 victories if our average journeyman QB plays above his limited journeyman abilities. This guy needs an old fashioned knuckle sandwich. Here is the reality. Baker is not striving for 7 or 8 victory s. Baker is on a mission to show all the kool aid sucking hype victum know nothings what a real NFL franchise QB1 can do with a talented . Baker is way ahead of yunz team. Baker is shooting for it all. That means beat anybody and everybody. Best record,take the division and deep into January and maybe Febuary. Now hear this,the Eagles are not supermen. They are verry mortal. The Bucs can and will match them play for play,score for score and Baker i simply going to confound them and carve them up.Isaid it before. Baker is the real deal. He is going playout the Top Gun Maverick storyline infront of your eyes. The Eagles will fall.They are not the Packers or the teelers or the cowboys or the 49ers or the Pats. They are not NFL blue blods. The fake news muscle throats can tout all their phoney BS all they want. That doesn’t make it so.Baker and the Bucs will take care of Buis Monday night. The we will have to hear how the Baker and the Buc beat a faltering team with a superbowl hangover and Canales will get the credit for Bakers moves and Magic. But wewill till be 3 and 0.

  59. Pewter Power Says:

    Hate off to you Colin very few have it in them. No one is really coming on board until they see how we play against the nfc champions. Play tough play scrappy and stay in the game that will earn them a lot of respect around the league even if they lose

  60. David Says:

    2 games. Let’s relax and let it play out. The O line needs to keep improving and the D line needs to keep it up.

  61. garro Says:

    Wow I wish my life was like these guys!

    When I am wrong due to some poor ideas and actions and justify it all, bad things happen.

    These guys get glorified and followed for their poor actions and ideas. Maybe even get a raise or promotion. Then they back track and say boy was I wrong…They get the same glorification, raises, and promotions! It works out good for them both ways. No accountability at all!

    Funny old world we live in aint it?

    Go Bucs!