“We’ve Got To Know Who’s Calling Plays”

February 2nd, 2024

Waiting on new OC.

The Bucs and Baker Mayfield’s camp have been in discussions on a potential new contract, Mayfield told NFL Network yesterday. But unforeseen circumstances have put the talks on hold.

And there could be a chance those talks go sideways.

No one saw when the Bucs were still alive in the playoffs that offensive coordinator Dave Canales, who is largely responsible for saving Mayfield’s career and guiding him to a career year in 2023, would up and bolt the team for a division rival.

Now, not knowing who the Bucs playcaller for 2024 will be, Mayfield and the Bucs have hit the pause button. If the play button is pressed again largely depends on who Todd Bowles hires to replace Canales.

Mayfield discussed this issue with NFL Network’s Cam Wolfe, who spoke with Mayfield at the Pro Bowl Games in Orlando yesterday.

“My agent and them, I think they engaged a little bit,” Mayfield said of negotiations. “But obviously when Canales left — and happy for him, as well, getting a head coaching job, he deserves that — but when they started the OC search, I think they know that we’ve got to know who’s calling plays before anything’s done.”

As Joe wrote yesterday, it would be stupid of the Bucs, if they value retaining Mayfield, not to consult with him when choosing the next offensive coordinator.

It seems that may be happening.

“We’re gonna get some pieces back,” he said. “Everything that we did in the back half of the year, to build on culture-wise, it was a great locker room. So you get a lot of those pieces back and the culture’s the most important thing.

“I know we had a little bit of a lull there halfway through the season, but we stuck through it. I know they hung with us the whole time, but hang in there again.”

It is pretty clear Mayfield wants to return but of course, the offensive coordinator hire will play a significant part. And at least before Wednesday night, Mike Evans repeatedly said he wanted to return to the Bucs.

So yeah, you could say Bowles’ next offensive coordinator hire may be more important than his first one last February.

59 Responses to ““We’ve Got To Know Who’s Calling Plays””

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Hopefully accepts a deal they offer eventually or its Franchise Tag time.

    Simple really 1+1=2 Baker is the starting QB next season in Tampa

  2. JimBobBuc Says:

    I don’t want an OC that’s going to stick with first down runs by White making 2 yards, and Baker probably doesn’t want that either. What about Bowels?

    Baker won’t be the decision maker but it doesn’t hurt to ask him and Evans for their opinions and get some ownership of the process by them. Don’t forget that Evans and Baker text and will probably discuss OC candidates.

  3. heyjude Says:

    I hope that Baker stays. I would love to see Mike Evans stay too, but the feeling is he will go to Houston or somewhere else.

    The Bucs should allow Baker to be part of the discussion of who they are thinking about for the OC. In many places, you are part of the interview committees. However, in the end it is a management decision.

    Baker won the Precision Passing victory at the Pro Bowl skills games last night! Other teams are watching him. Bucs need to keep him.

  4. BUC CHEEKS Says:

    Well it definitely won’t be Van Pelt. Just saw that he signed with the Patriots

  5. Maddog Says:

    Keep Mayfield for 2 years, sign Evans, Wirfs and Winfield. Find a trade partner for Godwin and pick up some picks. Us those picks to trade up and get Pennix and start adding pieces to the line around him. Cut Davis and Barrett and pick up some free agents. Continue to slap the hell out of the Saints at all cost!

  6. BakerFan Says:

    I really can’t see a compelling reason why he should stay especially if Evans is not resigned. If a better contract is offered with an oc and hc he feels comfortable with he should go with that. Why should he train the next guy in line as some are suggesting

  7. #99 the big fella Says:

    Bakerfan is definitely no Bucs fan.
    You remind me of Ne fan he only cared about Brady , didn’t care about the team whatsoever..

  8. FortMyersDave Says:

    Several candidates the Bucs targeted for OC are now with other teams Dorsey In Cleveland, AVP in New England, Zac Robinson in the ATL……. Other clubs have made hires as well, Waldron to the Bears, even Arthur Smith got a new gig in Pittsburgh. I believe the Bucs, Saints, Vegas, Washington, Chargers, Titans and Seattle are still looking so anyone the Bucs have short listed could still be poached as many of the places are starting with new head coaches, so you would guess the HC there could have more job security than New Orleans or Tampa where Allen and Bowels are still on the hot seat, especially if they cannot win at least 10 games next season.. I think us fans in general would just hope that Licht gets someone on board sooner rather than later and get something done concerning Mayfield, Evans, L David, the kicker and of course Winfield.

  9. FortMyersDave Says:

    Oh just saw that Vegas has hired Kingsbury as their OC.

  10. Viktor Vaughn Says:

    Why are we not interviewing Eric Bienemy!?!?!?!?!

  11. Allbuccedup Says:

    I don’t think Eric (sleeping with) Bienemy has been released from Washington that would be a lateral move he will probably stay in Washington because Quinn is a defensive coach. Washington probably hasn’t gave him permission to interview elsewhere. Van Pelt signing with the Pats versus a playoff team either is he would rather develop a young QB than work with Baker or if the Bucs offense gets worse he will get fired again and with the Pats the offense could not get much worse. I tend to believe the latter.

  12. Beeej Says:

    Because he’s already an OC?

  13. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Could that mean he’ll follow Dave to the stinking panthers?

  14. adam from ny Says:

    note to the glazers:

    if you really want to shock the world and own the nfl – become the new america’s team again…

    circle back to the one and only tommy b…

    and make him the new OC

    sounds unrealistic and crazy…

    but how wild would it be to get TB12 roaming the sidelines with a waffle house menu and a headset


  15. adam from ny Says:

    and if baker goes down for a few games,,,,,,,

    tommy b leapfrogs all the other qb’s and holds the ship down as the qb until baker is back up and running…

    yes this is insane talk – but not out of the realm 🙂

  16. adam from ny Says:

    or you know what……………!!!

    just make tommy b the HC…

    trust……….he will put the sickest staff together too!

    imagine watching a bucs game on tv…they’d barely show the game – most shots would be of TB12 working the sidelines – with the occasional camera on the game…lol

  17. SB~LV Says:

    lol… I had to stop in panic and fear when I got to “it would be stupid for the Bucs”
    Isn’t that how we got here?

  18. Bucfan Says:

    Bottom line- Bowels will have final say on what plays are called. As long as he is H/C what we have seen the past few seasons will be what you get.

  19. Bucfan Says:

    KEEP your fingers crossed. Since the team has not yet hired a o/c perhaps the Glazers are waiting for the SB to be played and will them make a move to hire one of their coaches as H/C yipee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Bucs Guy Says:

    AW Jr
    Bucs need to re-sign them all. All of the talk has been about ME13 and Baker, but I hope they are talking to the other 3 also behind the scenes.

  21. D-Rome Says:

    Mayfield was far more candid with his discussion on a contract entering an off season than I have seen from any player in recent memory.

  22. Artie Says:

    Baker is a career loser. We should have played Trask who beat out Baker in training camp. At least now we would know what Trask can cook in the kitchen with the starters, and we would know our needs in the draft. Anyone notice we’re in the same spot as before last year’s draft? One quarterback signed – no idea what he can cook. And, a loser quarterback trying to sign with us. Great management, boys!

  23. SB~LV Says:

    Hey folks wake up?
    We were in the same situation last year and lucked into a blossoming OC
    There is a reason no one wants to come to Tampa and it’s Chauncey Gardener at HC

  24. BucsBeast Says:

    Breaking Liam Coen OC
    Who the hell us he?

  25. BucsBeast Says:

    Liam Coen is the new OC.
    Dude has bounced all over the last 6 years.
    Offense gonna be trash

  26. adam from ny Says:


    is this fake news or real news ?
    saw nothing on the internet

  27. adam from ny Says:

    oh sheet…seems legit…

    garafolo is reporting it about 20 minutes ago…

    looks like we have our new OC…

    so disregard all the madness i wrote above ^^^


  28. adam from ny Says:

    the only question is:

    is he related to liam neeson or the coen brothers

  29. dbbuc711 Says:

    Think he could turn out to be a pretty good hire. Worked with Baker at Rams and also called plays at the college level.

  30. BuxfaninTX Says:

    Liam Coen is new OC

  31. StormyInfl Says:

    Liam Coen seems like the right choice – not only from the McVay tree, but has experience with Mayfield (in LA) and has called plays.

  32. Murph Says:

    Looks like Coach Bowles got his man. Experienced play caller who has worked with Baker. Seems like quality candidates interested in the job. Goes against pessimistic narrative of many on this site. Looks like quality candidates did want to work with Coach Bowles.

  33. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Ah the Kentucky guy. OK. Interesting…

  34. Conner50 Says:

    Liam Coen is the new OC and I think he will be better than Canales imo. Good hire by Tampa once again

  35. StormyInFl Says:

    Liam Coen.

    Very good choice for continuity with Baker. Definitely a better option than Brian Johnson or Bienemy. Thad Lewis would have been interesting, but it seems like Bowles doesn’t think he’s quite ready yet. Coen is thought to be on a fast track for a HC gig so may not be here very long. At that point, maybe Lewis is ready.

    Guys coming from different systems entirely, like Brian Johnson or Eric Bienemy would have been a colossal mistake.

  36. BakerFan Says:

    #99 the big fella Says:
    February 2nd, 2024 at 5:55 am
    Bakerfan is definitely no Bucs fan.
    You remind me of Ne fan he only cared about Brady , didn’t care about the team whatsoever..
    If Liam is new OC then step 1 in reason to return, now other things can happen to make it more compelling. Guaranteed Money contract going to be most compelling along with players like Evans resigning. Wouldn’t you agree.

  37. Conner50 Says:

    Just because he has bounced around don’t mean he will be trash, he’s actually pretty good at his job just watch. If he has Evans this year than our offense will be just fine

  38. catcard202 Says:

    Liam Coen is a great hire…Wide zone / inside zone mix run scheme & tons of play action in bunch sets. Will fit extremely well with current team makeup.

    My expectations for Bucs to win the South have dramatically increased with this news!!!

  39. adam from ny Says:

    i’m feeling this hire…

    mgmt knows what they’re doing…


  40. Since76 Says:

    So he won’t sign if the coach isn’t good for him. Remember when the bucs had Dilfer and a great team around him. That’s what I see with Baker. I just don’t wish to be on that pirate ship again. It’s a bucs life….

  41. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Murph if you read around other Bucs media were reporting that the Bucs were being turned down so there was reason for it.

    Liam Coen. Don’t know a thing about him. Hope it works out.

  42. Stanglassman Says:

    2022 Rams OC. Went back to Ky bc he missed calling plays. Worked with Baker during his stint with the Rams. Baker obviously okay this move. Good news in resigning him.

  43. RiggedNFL Says:

    No one except for Bowles is clamoring for Mayfield.

    You can play hard ball with this guy’s agent.

    We could easily bring in a rookie to get 8 to 9 wins.

    Spend on the pieces around a young QB and defense.

    Trask can step in for a year if needed.

    I say let Mayfield kick rocks.

  44. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Liam Coen has at least called plays at the college level and spent a few years working with McVay. I think he could get a faster start than Canales, similar systems

  45. Stanglassman Says:

    Stanglassman Says:
    February 1st, 2024 at 10:59 pm
    This is probably why they interviewed Kentucky OC and former ‘22 RAMs OC Liam Coen. He didn’t call plays in LA so that’s why he left to go back to OC at KY. He was once thought to be on the fast track to becoming a NFL HC. If Baker really likes thus guy he maybe a good choice.

    I nailed it. ^^^

  46. ScottyMack Says:

    Tired of reading conjecture that Canales was responsible for resurrecting Mayfield’s career. Who really knows if it wasn’t the other way around?

  47. pmarcello Says:

    Hey Joe, It is time to cut all that fake media jive about Canales saving Baker’s career.Hell , it was Baker that saved him and made his career advance. Baker doesn’t need Canales. He needs better players around him and an OC who will let him rip it. All Canales did was hold him back two plays out of three and leave Baker to use his skills to bail them out on 3rd down and still avoid ints. Even handy capped like that he still led the team to a div title and made it to the div round with a chance to w2in it.

    Everything your trolls on this site said he isn’t he in fact really is and every time he proves it with great plays they still deny.

    Baker is every bit the young strong cerebral franchise QB with a bazooka arm and a nasty attitude that a team needs. If he stays Tampa will win championships and claim a rightful place among the NFLs elite teams.

  48. Tony Marks Says:

    Can’ argue with Coen. Mcvay guy , experience with Baker and I think less likely to be in Bowles pocket with runs up the guts that are not working..

  49. Stanglassman Says:

    Bucs wanted to get someone from the Mcvay coaching tree because they won’t need to completely retool the offense and Baker excels in the system. Liam delt with a lot of injury issues the year as the rams oc but he was expected to be on the fast track, soon to be NFL head coach material going into ‘22.

  50. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Our new OC has a particular set of skills, he will find you in the event our offense goes missing.

  51. zzbucs Says:

    @ScottyMack…You are exactlky right my friend!!!!!

  52. Popcorn Mike Says:

    Bucs HAVE NOT hired a OC yet. I still don’t understand what’s going on in Tampa. I understand they’re trying to get it right at OC but , what’s the problem? 8 candidates interviewed and no hire. Are they turning the Bucs down, are they worried about Bowles job security , is it Bowles stubborn ways? Someone please enlighten me

  53. FortMyersDave Says:

    Spot on ScottyMack, Baker got Canales that HC job. Coen looks like a solid hire. now time to get the free agents re-signed!

  54. Stanglassman Says:

    Popcorn. You don’t get better sources. You are correct he hasn’t signed yet but it’s all but done. Barring a Marvin Lewis event. 🫣

    NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo report Tampa Bay is working on a deal to hire Liam Coen as their new OC, per sources informed of the situation.

  55. Stanglassman Says:

    People need to realize that the Bucs were the 16th team to need a OC. 15 other teams either had or scheduled their OC interviews before Dave C. quit in us. I get that it was a long 7 1/2 days but the Bucs did a solid job all things considered. I do hope it didn’t screw up senior bowl scouting & evaluations too much.

  56. T. McGee Says:

    Why is Baker making demands. What a joke.

  57. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Baker learned his lesson with the Panthers last year. McAdoo’s dinosaur scheme made him look horrible. Goes to the Rams and is damn near perfect on Christmas Day Bronco destruction. He ain’t gonna stay with someone who looks bad. I wouldn’t either. The guy who looked pretty damn good with Stefanski in 2020 and 2021 (before his shoulder got destroyed) and McVay in 2022, looked like total dog$hit in a dinosaur offense. Dont blame him a bit

  58. vadertime Says:

    Keep Baker. Hire an OC who can use Baker’s talents. Bring Evans back. Fire Bowles.

  59. White Tiger Says:

    I noticed Baker said “WE” a lot in that interview copy… psychologically committed already!