Baker Mayfield: “It’s The Whole Reason I’m Here In Tampa”

October 4th, 2023

General manager Jason Licht and head coach Todd Bowles are crafty, intelligent men prone to painting pictures of Buccaneers reality that don’t include every color, shade and nuance.

That’s Joe’s way of saying the whole truth isn’t always delivered from the Bucs heiracrhy. And that’s no knock.

It’s not in the job description of Licht and Bowles to be candid with fans. Heck, Team Glazer has a long track record of preferring clandestine operations to accessibility and public communication. And, as the old business saying goes, it always starts at the top.

So what was Tampa Bay’s quarterback and coordinator plan after Tom Brady retired?

What’s been shared publicly is that Todd Bowles interviewed more than a dozen offensive coordinator candidates and Dave Canales, the guy he hired, is the one who was interviewed last.

Then the Bucs signed Baker Mayfield on the cheap in March free agency to compete with Kyle Trask (allegedly).

On the Conversations With Coach podcast released today, Mayfield is a guest with Bob Stoops, the former University of Oklahoma head coach and Mayfield’s college coach with the Sooners.

Mayfield talked about getting claimed off waivers in December by the Rams, who told him it was a five-game marriage and he and head coach Sean McVay would make the best of it.

“The opportunity that gave me, it’s the whole reason I’m here in Tampa. Because they run a similar system and that’s why I’m here,” Mayfield said of his month with the Rams.

“It was great to get to learn [the system] from a guy who knows it (laughs) extremely well. And then now my offensive coordinator, Dave Canales, he’s running the same system based on somebody that worked with McVay that was in Seattle with him.”

Joe was very intrigued by the emphasis Mayfield put on his time with the Rams being “the whole reason I’m here” in Tampa. And that he said it twice.

Considering Trask didn’t know the McVay offense, did he ever really have a shot to win the starting job? Especially factoring in the pressure Bowles was under for a fast start to this season?

Joe is starting to wonder whether Canales and Mayfield were the Bucs’ target hires as soon as the 2023 season ended, and the Bucs simply played their public interest very cool — too keep negotiating power on each guy.

When Mayfield was signed, Bowles called him “a natural born leader” and lauded his moxie (Joe hates that word) and their time together prior to the 2018 NFL Draft, but Bowles wasn’t out there barking about system fit.

Now Mayfield is telling the world he landed in Tampa solely because he knew the offense.

Joe really enjoys the mysterious ways of the NFL.

50 Responses to “Baker Mayfield: “It’s The Whole Reason I’m Here In Tampa””

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    They would have hired Monken I believe if he wanted the gig

  2. Cobraboy Says:

    I truly hope he works out long-term for the Bucs.

    That makes future drafts far more productive.

  3. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Carolina @ Detroit is a game to watch this week.
    I’d hate for the Bucs to face a Lions’ team that just lost to Panthers and the 0-4 Panthers will fight desperately for a win this week.

  4. dbbuc711 Says:

    Yesterday I saw a headline that Bears need to fire their HC and hire Canales. I thought oh hell no, he’s too smart to take that job. Should be a fast no.

  5. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I hope Licht writes a book about his tenure at one point and all the real people behind every decision at every point. I’d love to know lol

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Looks like a bunch of smoke to me. Bucs announced the hiring of Dave Canales on 17 Feb 2023. In announcing his choice, Todd Bowles said …

    “The more we talked, the more it became apparent that we are very similar in how we approach the game, and I am confident that he will find a way to maximize our strengths on offense.”

    Sounds to me like it wasn’t until that last interview with Canales that Bowles found precisely what he was looking for … in a guy who’d never called plays before.

    Baker Mayfield signed 1 month later on 17 Mar 2023 and his signing was announced by Jason Licht. Here’s what JL had to say about Baker that day …

    “Baker is a tough competitor who plays with the kind of passion and confidence that you look for in a quarterback. He’s a young veteran with good upside who should thrive in our new offensive system with receivers like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage. He had an impressive 2020 season when he led the Browns to their playoff appearance and did some good things during his brief stint with the Rams at the end of last season. I know from speaking with him that he is excited to come in and COMPETE FOR THE STARTING JOB.”

    So on 17 Feb Todd Bowles took a chance on Dave Canales as his OC, and 1 month later Baker Mayfield also took a chance on Dave Canales. He’d never played for him, and Canales had never called plays for Seattle. The only real ‘relationship’ was that both Mayfield & Canales briefly knew Sean McVey or someone who’d worked for Sean McVey.

    Wow, sure seems like a stretch on Baker’s part to justify coming here to capitalize on an opportunity to COMPETE against a 2-year QB who’d never started an NFL game before. It’s OK Baker to say ‘I can’t believe how blessed I was to have the perfect situation fall into my lap’.

  7. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Panthers are going to get destroyed hopefully. I picked up Lions D & Kicker in like every fantasy league where I needed a D and they were available

  8. Cobraboy Says:

    DR: while not directly connected on the same team, Canales & Stiff Arm are, indeed, connected via a “coaching tree” with congruent terminology, scheme, and philosophy.

    I wouldn’t call this matchup a “blind date.”


    Maybe its time for Mayfield extension

  10. HC Grover Says:

    Good.. Now beat the Lions

  11. Noseguard Says:

    October 4th, 2023 at 3:30 pm
    Maybe it’s time for Mayfield extension.

    “Sooner” than later if he continues to play well. Most especially if something happens to Matt Stafford which forces him to retire (he’s had some significant injuries). Don’t think for a second that McVay wouldn’t love to get him back.

  12. Citrus County Says:

    Joe really enjoys the mysterious ways of the NFL.

    I would not be surprised or shocked by any mysteries that will likely never come to light regarding the last few years of this organization.

  13. SlyPirate Says:

    CONSPIRACY THEORY (or maybe foreshadowing IDK)

    We all saw the article of Canales to the Bears. There’s absolutely nothing to it, but …

    If you’re the Bears, do you hire Canales as your head coach AND sign Baker AND sign Evans? It’s instant offense. It would be an awesome organizational move by the Bears.

    Food for thought.

  14. Citrus County Says:

    The NFL is ” One big club and you ain’t in it.”

  15. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Jose, I think you misunderstand the point of the competition. It was to motivate Trask to work as hard as he could because we know that competition. It was for Trask to work hard to improve himself and push Mayfield. If Mayfield was simply announced as starter then Trask, and Mayfield, would likely have derived less benefit from the preseason practices. You yourself noted Trask’s rapid improvement. The team is better off because of it and to think otherwise is ignorant. There was absolutely no loss to the team for having, and prolonging, a competition. “Reps with the first team” can be manufactured at any time.

  16. Duane in Sanford Says:

    The stars had to align for Baker to end up here. Not much cap space to fit him in. He bet on himself which is not surprising, and he put in the work. Gotta give Licht and Bowles credit for the moves they didnt make. When we talk about people fixing to get a pay raise, I would argue that Canales should be at the top of it. He has Baker rolling, and has more time to work with Trask.

  17. Citrus County Says:

    SlyPirate Says: Food for thought.

    Dave Canales is no fool. I’m sure he learned many lessons from Pete Carrol. I’m trusting that he has a good plan with good options and good mentors for his career.

    The question for me is; How do the Glazers play this ? If they get it right their NFL asset will increase in value enormously and the fans will be happy for years to come. Merchandise will fly off the shelves and they may even get a new stadium. If they screw it up then round and round and round we go. Let’s here it for mediocrity on three. 1,2,3 MEDIOCRITY.

    They finally have the GM and front office, coaching staff, and players to succeed beyond many of their long time fans wildest imaginations. It would be nice to have the eyes of the nation focusing on the TampaBay Buccaneers and not TB12.

  18. BakerFan Says:

    at the end of this season either Baker is gone and Trask takes over or Trask is gone the following year. I agree with another comment that if Tampa does not sign Baker, LA will come knocking if Stafford is done. BTW Trask cannot do what Mayfield does and a few tweaks to this roster and Tampa can compete for the NFC conference title but not until they get a running game.

  19. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Baker Mayfield is best thing that happened, since 4 wheel drive.

    His statue is already being designed, to put in Chucky’s place.

  20. Citrus County Says:

    The Beer Whisperer Says:Baker Mayfield is best thing that happened, since 4 wheel drive.

    His statue is already being designed, to put in Chucky’s place.

    Very witty Mr. Beer. I’m still chuckling over that one.

  21. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    If Baker is not in Bucs ring of honor by halftime next home game, I’d be surprised.

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    Joe is starting to wonder whether Canales and Mayfield were the Bucs’ target hires as soon as the 2023 season ended, and the Bucs simply played their public interest very cool — too keep negotiating power on each guy.


    Wait…so the Bucs interviewed 10 other OC candidates first to throw people off the trail? And the connection is, he knows a guy who knows a guy?

    Not everyone can bat 1.000%, not even myself.

  23. Bucs 95 Says:

    Our games with lions shoulda been flexed too sunday fight football instead

  24. Citrus County Says:

    Another suggestion to the Glazers; Don’t ask the Kangol Hat for his advice.

  25. Oz Len Says:

    One other thing, Mayfield was always considered in play to go to Seattle when he got traded by the Browns, but Seattle always said they were going to play the guy they got from Denver or Geno Smith. Mayfield himself mentioned Seattle multiple times for a trade from Cleveland. Obviously, that didn’t work out but a reasonable person could assume that Seattle and by extension, Canales were scouting him and had a box of film and reports on his desk concerning Mayfield. Couple this with Mayfield to the Rams, which seemed planned, considering Mayfield bought a plane ticket to LA before he was claimed by the Rams, it’s not hard to connect a few dots through Sean McVay, Canales, Mayfield, and Tampa Bay.

  26. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Mayfiels took this job because:

    It was offered
    It was a chance to start
    Evans, Godwin and Gage

    Looked like the right choice for the Bucs & Baker so far

  27. Crickett Baker Says:

    Dewey is right. They for sure offered Monken (and who knows how many others) the OC job and got turned down. So far it seems that was all good. It also is a wonder how many interviews Canales went on with no bites. So far it seems we are all happy. 🙂

  28. Bucs13 Says:

    Sports Illustrated posted the quotes from Jason Licht on Baker. Guess who liked the post…Mr. Tom Brady. I know the Joes are old, but we live in a digital technology where likes are used to display satisfaction and adoration. Tom’s social media activity shows that he still has much love for the Bucs. Matter of fact, he’s more active on the Bucs page than the Patriots. Lol. He loved his time with the team. And he loves Licht and the Glazers.

  29. m milligan Says:

    Interesting takes, Carolina will get thrashed by lions, I think we will compete just fine especially at home. Not suprising they beat KC after watching jets game.
    Bucs go 4-1, need this W.
    Interesting comments about Stafford, don’t know if McVey will still be there next yr.

  30. m milligan Says:

    Is that the real Dewey Selmon?

  31. Citrus County Says:

    Must have touched a nerve.

  32. JD Still Says:

    But the quarterback “ competition” was fair , yeah, the one with the fewest turnovers will win! Er, no, wait , the one with the most completions will win!er, no, actually , it’s the one with ,………….the most moxie, yeah ! That’s it ! The most moxie! What’s moxie? Well,……….it’s hard to describe, but we’ll know it when we see Baker, er, I mean the winning quarterback has it!Fair and square , yeah.

  33. David Says:

    Thanks Joe for clarifying that.
    That is why I called Todd Bowles as Toilet Bowl scamming the fans as there was a real competition between Trask and Mayfield. Bucs just trying to delay the inevitable as usual. Mayfield is the past and Trask is the future. Bucs are gambling the Baker could be another Tom B. to win the Super Bowl for them. Wrong. Baker is garbage and no one was interested in him but wishful Bucs.

  34. Citrus County Says:

    So much for free speech. If my post couldn’t pass moderation then it must have been just outside the agenda window. Hateful remarks directed at players and commenters are tolerated but criticism of ownership, well that is a touchy subject.

  35. Citrus County Says:

    Adios JBF. I’ll go ahead and ban myself

  36. Bucs Guy Says:

    Very interested in the next game. We know we aren’t elite (see Philly game). We know we can beat bad and average teams (see other 3 games).

    Are we a very good team? I think the Lions game may help us begin to answer that question.

  37. Eric Says:

    that lions game will be a throwback to the old black and blue division. Remember when Sanders used to come in here vs Sapp and company.

    Baker is bit of a throwback QB.

    Glad to have him.

  38. orlbucfan Says:

    So, the Motown kittehs play Carolina Sunday? I’ll figure out a way to listen to it. Do NOT underestimate the Panthers. Yeah, they’re in our longtime position but they are still a NFL team. Lions are IDIOTS if they overlook that fact. @Citrus County, quit being a wuss!

  39. August 1976 Buc Says:

    BLAH BLAH BLAH it still = 3-1, really the only thing that actually matters.
    Conspiracy this conspiracy that, whatever, this is a GAME played by millionaire’s that means nothing to most of the people on the planet.

    3-1 is all that really matters after 4 games

  40. Citrus County Says:

    orlbucfan; No wuss here. I made a post that I thought was well thought out and was critical of how Tom Brady was treated. I made mention that the Bucs sought him out and that he played for a significant discount and delivered a SB win. I then described what happened the next two seasons. I have made many speculations regarding the former OC and the bizarre changes and play calling that were attributed to Coach Bowles wanting to run the ball more. That led to an ugly season and made Brady look bad. I think it was unfair to him after he didn’t retire on top after the SB and committed to honor his 3 year contract. I think ownership made a bad decision by not keeping BA’s offense allowing TB a better chance to retire with a little more dignity. There was more. I believe the good Public Relations by giving Brady a chance to have a better career ending season would have benefitted both parties. Instead of letting Brady fade away why not let him go out with a little hoopla and ceremony. He was unceremoniously discarded just as he was in NE, and as was Baker Mayfield and Drew Brees and many others. But TB was regarded by all as the GOAT and just kicked to the curb. We’ll see if this gets posted.

  41. Citrus County Says:

    Joe, I ask why the above post made it but my other very similar one didn’t ?

  42. Joe Says:

    Joe, I ask why the above post made it but my other very similar one didn’t ?

    If Joe knew the answer to that, he’d write code for WordPress for a whole lot more than he makes doing this site.

  43. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Citrus County Says:
    October 4th, 2023 at 4:49 pm
    Another suggestion to the Glazers; Don’t ask the Kangol Hat for his advice.

    Thankfully they hired BA, best Coach this team has had.
    Yes keep listening to BA

  44. Citrus County Says:

    My apologies are in order and offered. I didn’t write anything that I thought would upset some algorithm. I thought I was being censored because of my criticisms of how Bardy was treated by the Glazers. My flirtation with online commentary here at JBF is my ONLY involvement with social media. I’m still green and naive. Forgive this old man for passing some time while making a recovery.

  45. unbelievable Says:

    I’m sure it wasn’t the only reason, but when they were evaluating FA quarterbacks, why would you not consider a guy who played in a very similar system / scheme? Especially when he picked it up okay after bring there for like 6 days lol?

  46. Citrus County Says:

    OK Gen. x’ers feel free to take your shots. I’m clueless with all this new fangled stuff. I miss rotary phones, cameras with film, cars and trucks with manual transmissions and log cabins with no electricity or running water. But, I’m nowhere near needing a nursing home and on most good days can still move a large refrigerator by myself

    Keep up the swimming stpetebucsfan . We aren’t done yet.

  47. Marvin Says:

    Who cares how he got here. The important this is he’s here!!

  48. Rod Munch Says:

    Citrus County – I’m not one to kick and old man when he’s down. I’m a nice guy after all.

    In any case I was going to let you know the filters here are insanely wonky. For example, you can’t say the full name of Sapp, you can say the full name of our former WR Watson who now plays for KC. You can’t say the the initials for the quarterback rating system.

    So if you figure out what is being censored, you should post it in a way that it isn’t censored. It’s always fun to find new words that get filtered out – just like it’s fun to find words that you just assume would be filtered that aren’t.

  49. Citrus County Says:

    Thanks Rod. I stumbled into this stuff quite by accident (literally). I think my schedule will be returning to normal soon so I will not be posting essays and ramblings on a frequent basis. This has been a good learning experience and a great forum for me to express 47 years of opinions and frustrations with team owners and management with a football team I adopted because they had great uniforms, were a new franchise, and in Florida while I lived at the absolute other end of the east coast.

    I will continue to have some fun here and now that all my opinions and frustrations have been vented I feel MUCH better.

  50. garro Says:

    It’s a conspiracy I tell you!

    Come on Joe… Nice theory though…LOL

    I know neither one of them come off of company secrets much but I have found Licht to be the more down to earth less mysterious of the two.

    I would do back flips if we could get a straight answer from Bowles on some of the Injuries. We may find out Mikes hammy is a broken leg for all we get from Bowles.

    Go Bucs!