Dave Canales On Meeting, Working With Baker Mayfield

June 29th, 2024

Former Bucs OC Dave Canales talks Baker Mayfield winning QB competition with Kyle Trask last summer.

Last year Baker Mayfield came to town and the Bucs claimed there was a quarterback competition. Sure there was.

Look, Joe’s not saying Mayfield shouldn’t start or shouldn’t have been the starter. He’s the reigning Pro Bowl MVP for crying out loud. He led the Bucs to a couple of plays from the NFC title game.

Evidence and common sense suggested the job was Mayfield’s the second he put pen to paper to sign his contract unless he was horrible beyond words. Todd Bowles pushed Bucs management hard to go get Mayfield, as did Bucco Bruce Arians.

Then there was the matter of Bowles’ job security. Last year at this time, Bowles’ gig was anything but safe. Under his guidance in 2022, the Bucs offense went to total hell. Tom Brady had the lone losing season of his career and the Bucs were embarrassed in the playoffs on “Monday Night Football” by the Cowboys.

The only way Kyle Trask was going to start for the Bucs was if Mayfield got hurt or Trask played so dominantly in August that the Bucs wouldn’t be able to pull him off the field. Trask didn’t do that.

There was simply no way Bowles was going to risk his career with a quarterback who only had a handful of snaps to his name. Anyone thinking Trask would start under any other circumstances also believes in the Easter Bunny.

But boy, folks tied to the Bucs at that time sure stuck to their script.

Former Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales hopped on the “The Season with Peter Schrager” podcast this week. The current head coach of the Stinking Panthers still pushed the notion that Mayfield and Trask were competing for the starting gig.

“Two years in a row it was a full-on quarterback competition,” Canales said referencing the Geno Smith-mentally damaged fool who dumped Gracie Hunt-Drew Lock battle and then last year, Mayfield-Trask.

“I knew it would be so important for Baker to win that job, to earn that job.”

Canales said he had never met Mayfield before the Bucs signed him. Canales was like most people. He watched Mayfield at Oklahoma and saw his commercials and his sparring with Cleveland reporters from afar.

So that’s who Canales thought he was getting. What Canales found was Mayfield was nothing like his image.

“The first thing I noticed about him was his humility,” Canales said. “I didn’t know him. I never met him.”

Canales said in his first conversation with Mayfield, the former Heisman Trophy winner basically told Canales whatever he wants from him, that’s what he will give.

“‘I will do whatever I need to do, I will learn whatever I need to learn to earn this opportunity,'” Mayfield told Canales. “And I’m like, ‘Me too.’ Let’s have a blast doing it.”

While speaking on another subject, Canales indirectly referenced the Bucs’ offensive coordinator job as “challenging,” “scary” and “difficult.” He didn’t elaborate other than lauding Mayfield for not letting the pressure get to him.

“We lost six out of seven games right in the middle of the season,” Canales explained. “For him to show up and be the same guy every day” meant a lot to Canales and the Bucs because Mayfield didn’t panic.

As for Canales’ Bucs success that afforded him the opportunity to take the Stinking Panthers’ gig, Canales said with the Bucs he just used his simple personal philosophy.

“Work hard and treat people well and the right outcome will happen.”

34 Responses to “Dave Canales On Meeting, Working With Baker Mayfield”

  1. BillyBucco Says:

    Canalysis to the rescue.
    With the Panthers he will be the gift that keeps on giving.

  2. Hodad Says:

    Last year at this time I was hoping Trask would win the QB job. Baker won me over during the season, and I’m fully behind him as Buc QB, I think the best is still yet to come, and I’m expecting a big season from Baker.

  3. Lt. Dan Says:

    …three worthless preseason games. Oh my goodness!

  4. Fred McNeil Says:

    Baker will prove to be. Fine investment.

  5. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    I like Canales and believe he has the potential to be a good HC. He’ll may be on an awfully short leash there in Carolina and may quickly get canceled if he has a slow start.

    I don’t blame him for taking the job it will be great experience. But taking a head coaching job before one is really ready is risky. He can ask Raheem Morris about that. 😉

  6. heyjude Says:

    Strong and sincere words from Canales. We are so lucky to have Baker.

  7. Joe in Michigan Says:

    So Canales said Mayfield won the starting QB job fair and square? That SHOULD, once and for all, put the Traskies hurt feelings to bed.

  8. StormyInFl Says:

    “Joe in Michigan Says:
    June 29th, 2024 at 9:32 am
    So Canales said Mayfield won the starting QB job fair and square? That SHOULD, once and for all, put the Traskies hurt feelings to bed.”

    No, it won’t.

  9. John Sinclear Says:

    Good grief people – Mayfield’s the QB, like it or not, so live with it. Whether he won it or was given it, it is his job.

  10. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Hahahahahahahaha, okay…How many games would’ve the Bucs won if they were starting Mr. Backup, even from his high school days? Please do tell.

  11. Joe in Michigan Says:

    The Bucs were an OVER .500 in 2023, by the way, quit making things up.

  12. Buccaneer rick Says:

    Canales said “I knew it would be so important for Baker to win that job, to earn that job.” he had to retract that statement I like baker I wish he would be a lil safer with his body just slide and come back safe …… but I also think trask should get a fair shake

  13. Joe in Michigan Says:

    The most likely scenarios, IMHO, of what would’ve happened if Trask started last season as the starting QB:

    1) He’d gotten benched in favor of Mayfield after a few games

    2) Trask starts and plays, the Bucs win 3 or 4 games, draft Trask’s replacement in the 1st Round with a top 5 pick

    The way I see it, in either scenario the Traskies are back to square one, with Trask being a backup.

  14. Joe Says:

    The most likely scenarios, IMHO, of what would’ve happened if Trask started last season as the starting QB:

    1. Bucs would have missed the playoffs.

    2. The Bucs would have a new coach.

    3. Lavonte David would be retired. (Who knows where Mike Evans would be.)

    4. The Bucs may be breaking in J.J. McCarthy or Bo Nix at quarterback this offseason.

  15. Dave Pear Says:

    PinellasParkPud — please provide your conspiracy evidence. It’s total genius to give the inferior QB the starting job when your job and the jobs of your staff and players are all on the line. Yeah. Right. As you maintain, that’s what happened. Do you have secret emails? A wiretap? Recordings?

    Your boy processes game action at the speed of smell and has ghost vision, seeing pass rushers who aren’t there. You must have loved Mike Glennon’s work at QB.

    Try locking yourself in a closet with some bacon fat and your autographed Kyle poster and stay there.

  16. Trask To The Future Says:

    LOL @ all you FSU-loving-Trask haters.

    Trask set records at UF, much of his production against the SECs top corners and defenders now playing in the NFL.

    No one knows how Trask would have done without being given a chance to play several full games with the starters.

    So lame how people talk crap about a guy that hasn’t even been given a chance since they signed a high profile free agent that as the article states, and everyone knew, was going to be the starter.

  17. Stanglassman Says:

    Bucsfan96-Canalas got a six-year guaranteed contract. It can’t be that short of a leash. I would think they’d let him go 2-3 years with a losing record if they showed some progress. If he looks in over his head or he loses the team’s confidence all bets are off. But I don’t see that happening.

  18. Stanglassman Says:

    The Trask fans can’t accept the Fact that Mayfield won the job. Trask looked better the first half of camp and Mayfield was better the 2nd half. That was the reporting. None of us saw it all including the media. That’s what we were told and it seemed to be the case in the sample size we got to see. We knew going in Bowles was likely to pick the veteran’s #1 overall pick if it was close. His job is on the line and doing something that irresponsible had it not worked out would probably end his coaching career completely. Trask got better. Displayed his skills and gave the team confidence that all would not be lost if Baker went down. Sometimes your guy ( or team) doesn’t win and that’s okay.

  19. GoneGator Says:

    I have no issues with Trask. Wish him well and hope he gets his shot and succeeds.
    But he won’t be replacing Baker unless Baker gets hurt.

    Does anyone REALLY think we would have had a more successful season last year, or be in as good a position to improve on last years results with a different QB ? Really ?

    Apparently the front office, coach’s, players (on both sides of the ball), and a majority of fans think he’s “the man” and are of the opinion he can lead us back to the promised land.
    I’m in agreement. Go Bucs!

  20. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I agree with your scenarios, Joe.

  21. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Credit to the few Trask fan boys who are still lingering around this site….refusing to officially go out of business just like Sears and Blockbuster

  22. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Trask To The Future: I’m talking crap about the Traskies more than I am about Trask. I’d talk the same crap to anyone that said, for instance, that they thought Sean Tucker was somehow screwed out of playing time. He’s a backup, they’re both backups.

  23. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Good one, Tbbucs3! 😂

  24. Joe Says:

    refusing to officially go out of business just like Sears and Blockbuster


  25. Capt. Hal Huggins Says:

    Gotta laugh at Joe and others telling us how Kyle Trask would have fared had he started. These are the same guys who told us Jameis Winston was a terrific draft pick.

  26. Larrd Says:

    Trask was great in preseason last year. I am glad he is the backup and won’t panic if Baker gets hurt.

  27. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Capt. Hal: Does that mean you think Trask would’ve done great?

  28. Bucswin! Says:

    I can see into the future. Canales gets hired as offensive coordinator for……. The only question is. How many years away it is. Just saying. I liked the guy. But there was some head scratching, frustrating to watch, football last year. Really excited for this season. The sky is the limit. Go BUCS!

  29. SenileSenior Says:

    I am neither pro nor anti Trask. The competition last year was legit. Mayfield prevailed. Should he go down with an injury Trask will be more than adequate.

    Go Bucs!

  30. Babygrace Says:

    “…three worthless preseason games. Oh my goodness!”

    I’m not sure if you are anti preseason games or not. However; preseason games are great for seeing how your draft pics, free agents and pickups can play under real game game fire. How else can really determine who can play and who can’t?

  31. Gerald Says:

    Kyle Trask = Brock Oswieler

  32. Oz Len Says:

    Trask would never have been able to handle the chaos of last years offensive line. He would have been the real creamcicle in RJ Stadium. An orange spot on a green rug.

  33. Crickett Baker Says:

    I listened to Canals entire interview, and he scares me. Carolina was pretty darn good against us last year. Now they have this seemingly so positive vibe just like he was, with us. He seems to make players believe in themselves. Mighty devils can perform miracles, too.

  34. Oneilbuc Says:

    We don’t what would have happened if Trask was the starter last year. You can’t make garuteen with a player that haven’t played. But what we do know is he was better than Baker in training camp last year.