When (And When Not) To Be Aggressive

October 12th, 2023

Being smart.

Everyone loves to see a quarterback bust his tail and fight for a first down to keep a possession rolling and the chains moving.

Joe remembers Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield stiff-arming a Vikings defender right in front of the Bucs bench to get a first down on opening day. The bench erupted in glee. A quarterback willing to lower his shoulder and fight for extra yards gets a team so pumped up.

At the same time, it makes coaches wince. So yesterday, Bucs coach Todd Bowles was asked about maybe Mayfield taking it a bit easy with his runs to perhaps avoid an injury.

“You want him to throw from the pocket, but at times, the pass rush gets through and they’ve got to make plays,” Bowles said. “He’s just got to be smart about it… know when to get down and know – when the game is on the line – when to take that chance as a quarterback.

“He has been smart about it for the most part. One or two hits I didn’t like that he kind of took a chance on, but for the most part we trust him to make the right decision.”

It’s really a fine line Mayfield, or any quarterback, must navigate. When is the right time? Joe guesses in the fourth quarter when the game is on the line.

But if it is a tough, close game, waiting until the fourth quarter might be too late.

Joe loves Mayfield running as much as the next Bucs fan. But you know what Joe loves even more? Seeing Mayfield lead the Bucs in playoff games.

13 Responses to “When (And When Not) To Be Aggressive”

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    See AR, QB of the Colts….. Anthony Richardson on IR Baker Play smart

  2. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I agree with Bowles take. Every play has risk of some sort but we are asking Mayfield to make a split second risk assessment which for the most part has been correct. I’m assuming (maybe I shouldn’t) that if he sees a DL instead of a DB, then he does not do the stiff arm and gets down. Baker is a hardhead though.

  3. PSL Bob Says:

    I don’t have the stats to back it up, but I really don’t think he tries to run too often. My only criticism is when his receivers are covered he sometimes holds on to the ball too long rather than throwing it away. This can lead to sacks. But then that TD to Thompkins against the Saints was one of those occasions. He just doesn’t want to give up on plays,

  4. orlbucfan Says:

    With BM’s mindset, I can see why he’s super feisty. He’s thinking he has got to prove that he was worthy of being a #1 pick. Time and his chances are running out. He’s not stupid, cos the way he can figure out an opposing defense is almost amazing. That’s why his second half play really picks up, at least in these first 4 games. He’s had 2 weeks to figure out how to protect his body. The other hassle is the refs not making the calls when he gets illegally slammed. We all on here know about that one!

  5. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Dr. Stroud definitely had his story written before the press conference’s yesterday. He asked that question to 47 of the 53 and all the coaches, twice.

  6. Leighroy Says:

    The difference between AR and Baker, is that AR has way more designed runs and still has youthful naiveté (look it up) that he can take NFL defenders on. This isn’t Charleston Southern or Vanderbilt, AR.

    Baker’s aggressive runs vs the Vikings to seal the game, may have set the tone for this team in Q1 of the season. Certainly galvanized the team around him, and likely the cherry on top to him being elected a team captain. I agree less is more, but that game and those 2 moments were the perfect instances for those sell-out style runs.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Advanced Rushing stats for Baker tell an interesting story IMO. He’s rushed 23 times for 61 yards all together (doesn’t count 4 sacks that lost 24 yards, but it does count 8 kneeldowns for MINUS 8 yds). So in terms of actual rushes (broken play or not), Baker has run 15 times for 69 yards … a 4.6 YPC average (after kneeldowns taken out). Included in those 15 runs are 4 first downs.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m impressed, since Baker isn’t really known as a running QB. He’s picked up 17 yds after contact, roughly 1 yard per run. Looks to me like he’s making good decisions & it’s helping to keep the chains moving.

  8. aleyz2020 Says:

    So far it’s been great to see his ability to extend plays and make something happen instead of the previous diva QB throwing everything away in fear of getting his valuable jersey stained!

  9. J Says:

    The last time I saw Baker run THIS much was when he won the Heisman. I was a fan. Dudes hair was on fire and he was making something out of nothing. Looks to me that we have that version of Mayfield. Less energy towards all those stupid commercials is probably a good thing, too.

  10. D Cone Says:

    I get a kick out of those that want to throw shade on Brady because he towns the ball away.

    2019 Brady went 12-4 with a Patriot team that was not very good. Led the league in balls thrown away. Had 34 plays where the team lost Zero yards. Baker and Jameis had about 20. Baker with 100 less attempts and Jameis about the same as Brady.

    Brady only took 21 sacks where yards were actually lost. Jameis took 40 sacks and Backer around 35.Between throw away s and sacks Al were pretty close with the totals of both combined.

    Cannot understand for the life of me how Brady could ever be signed by the Bucs and take them to the Super Bowl with all the apparent faults that he had.

    Only thing I can think of is those that make a statement about throwaways are such simpletons as to only be able to look at one aspect at a time and not the totality of the position being played.

  11. JBBUCS_06 Says:

    Let Bake do his Shake N Bake, don’t restrict him. Ballout Bake.

  12. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    First you shake it and then you bake bake it. Shake n bake!

    If your not first your last – Trademark Ricky Bobby Inc.

  13. garro Says:

    NFL history is littered with QBs who could pull it down and take off. Eventually those guys get hit hard enough to be injured. No exceptions. As Bowles said. He needs to be smart about it. Extend the play, hell yeah, but don’t end up in Tampa General.

    Love trask, but at this point I would rather not see him unless it is mop up duty.

    Go Bucs!