Home NFL SR’s Fab 5: Baker Mayfield Is Bucs QB1

SR’s Fab 5: Baker Mayfield Is Bucs QB1

SR’s Fab 5: Baker Mayfield Is Bucs QB1


Welcome to SR’s Fab 5 – my weekly insider column on the Bucs that options 5 issues which are on my thoughts. SR’s Fab 5 is now a shorter, faster learn, however nonetheless packs a punch. Take pleasure in!

FAB 1. Baker Mayfield Is Bucs QB1 – For Now

Baker Mayfield is the chief within the clubhouse at quarterback in Tampa Bay heading into coaching camp. That’s not an official proclamation from the crew, neither is it simply an opinion from yours really and the Pewter Report employees.

As an alternative, it’s a very educated remark given the proof we’ve been subjected to this summer time.

Bucs Qb Baker Mayfield

Bucs QB Baker Mayfield – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Whereas the crew has alternated begins between Mayfield and Kyle Trask every week, it hasn’t been a real rotation. Mayfield, a veteran getting into his sixth season, has began on Tuesdays and Thursdays, whereas the unproven Trask, getting into his third season, solely began on Wednesdays.

It solely is sensible that Mayfield can be main the QB competitors proper now. That is very large season for each Todd Bowles and first-time offensive coordinator Dave Canales. If the Bucs have one other dropping season, then Bowles may very well be out as head coach. And if that occurs, Canales won’t get one other shot at being a play-caller within the NFL anytime quickly.

So with a lot on the road, why would Bowles and Canales depart their fates to Trask, who has thrown simply 9 passes in his NFL profession? It doesn’t make sense – until Trask actually outperforms Mayfield.

However that hasn’t occurred but.

And if this QB battle, which is anticipated to enter the third preseason recreation, is shut, then Mayfield will get the good thing about the doubt primarily based on his expertise.

As I’ve stated repeatedly – and I’m simply reiterating what Canales has stated – the Bucs beginning quarterback would be the one who turns the ball over the least in coaching camp and within the preseason video games.

From the open practices we’ve watched this offseason, Mayfield has carried out a greater job of defending the ball. Maybe that’s a byproduct of him receiving higher safety from the beginning offensive line and throwing to the crew’s beginning receivers extra usually.

Mayfield and Trask could have much more alternatives to toss touchdowns and avoid interceptions in near-daily coaching camp practices than throughout offseason OTAs and the mini-camp, which have been simply three days every week.

So this battle is much from over.

FAB 2. Baker Mayfield Is Turning into Bucs’ Chief On Offense

Other than Baker Mayfield’s expertise, the best way others discuss him makes it clear he’s the one to beat at quarterback later this summer time. It’s not that the Bucs gamers don’t like Kyle Trask, they do. It’s simply that they appear to like Mayfield.

“He’s wanting to study,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles stated of Mayfield. “He’s obtained a bunch of vitality day-after-day. Guys gravitate in direction of him.”

Bucs Wrs Chris Godwin And Mike Evans, Qb Baker Mayfield And Oc Dave Canales

Bucs WRs Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, QB Baker Mayfield and OC Dave Canales – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

That’s obvious on the observe area, and it undoubtedly continues within the locker room, the assembly rooms and elsewhere within the AdventHealth Coaching Heart.

“I believe he’s confirmed that he is usually a profitable quarterback and play at a extremely excessive stage. so simply the arrogance that he has, [he’s] giving it to the opposite guys and myself included,” Otton stated.

However Mayfield’s management and talent to develop chemistry and camaraderie extends previous the crew’s facilty. Mayfield golfed on the Bruce Arians Household Basis occasion and attended the Mike Evans Household Basis gala, the place his excessive bid received a summer time boat journey that he intends to make use of as a bonding afternoon with the Bucs offensive line.

Mayfield additionally attended a Lightning playoff recreation with Trask and a few Bucs teammates within the spring, and joined left deal with Tristan Wirfs and tight finish Ko Kieft at a Rays recreation this summer time.

“The best factor I’ve seen is de facto exterior of soccer,” Bucs working again Rachaad White stated of Mayfield. “Simply being a pacesetter, simply having enjoyable. Very passionate, very fired up, superb at getting guys going. Baker’s vitality has been nice, actually. That’s been the largest factor. He simply is available in and you’ll inform he’s obtained a chip on his shoulder. He’s very relaxed. He’s simply very comfy at simply doing what he does. That’s what I like about him.”

The previous No. 1 general choose has actually made a concerted effort to ingratiate himself into the locker room and forge relationships.

“To me, that’s the perfect half about soccer – it’s the best crew sport on earth,” Mayfield stated. “It really takes 11 guys doing their job, and trusting everyone else to do their job, to have success. It’s important to get to know everyone – the little intricacies and the issues that wire them, that make them go and make them tick. That’s my favourite half about it, however to me, that stuff comes pure. You’ve obtained to get to know your teammates after which when you’re on the market, then you definately get to have enjoyable. I’m really having fun with that course of proper now.”

Bucs Qb Baker Mayfield And Rb Rachaad White

Bucs QB Baker Mayfield and RB Rachaad White – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bowles was requested in the course of the mini-camp what he’s on the lookout for in a quarterback.

“It’s a bit of totally different since you don’t hit the quarterbacks in OTAs, nor do you hit them in mini-camps and even coaching camp till they play recreation,” Bowles stated. “So you actually don’t know who’s what below stress. From an analyzing standpoint, once more it’s the grasp of the offense, it’s the studying of the protection – it’s not essentially making the large play however the fitting play.

“Then it comes right down to moxie, it comes right down to intelligence – in-game intelligence and changes and matches and movie work. You possibly can see who the crew galvanizes round and who’s able to play the primary recreation and you decide from there. It’s fixed analyzation, whether or not it’s small or whether or not it’s large – it’s fixed evaluation from now up till we title a starter.”

Mayfield’s moxie, management qualities and lack of interceptions have him main the best way at quarterback in Tampa Bay.

For now.

FAB 3. Dave Canales Has The Traits To Develop into A Particular Coordinator

New Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales is 42 years outdated. However along with his athletic construct and the best way his races across the area with unbridled enthusiasm, Canales may simply cross for being 32.

Former Bucs Head Coach Jon Gruden And Owner Malcom Glazer

Former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden and proprietor Malcom Glazer – Photograph by: USA In the present day

The issues that Canales does are usually not regular, and actually, they remind me of Jon Gruden when he arrived in Tampa Bay as the pinnacle coach and offensive play-caller in 2002 on the age of 39. Gruden would race across the area and play defensive again towards the receivers in particular person drills. He can be very hands-on with the quarterbacks. And within the Tremendous Bowl prep towards the Raiders in San Diego, Gruden even performed the function of Wealthy Gannon in observe towards the protection as a result of he knew the Raiders quarterback so intimately.

Throughout particular person intervals with the quarterbacks, it’s Canales, a former QBs coach in Seattle, main the drills – not Bucs QBs coach Thad Lewis. And it’s Canales establishing drills himself – as an alternative of a training assistant or an intern – by transferring throwing nets or cones.

Have you ever heard the time period “working supervisor” earlier than?

It’s when a supervisor at a restaurant, for instance, sees that the place is packed, and she or he is concerned in internet hosting when the hostess is seating different company. The working supervisor is bussing tables when all the opposite bussers are busy. She or he is aiding the cooks and cooks in meals prep within the kitchen on a busy evening, or serving to carry meals out to the desk whereas the opposite servers are busy doing the identical.

“Working managers” don’t sit again of their workplace and simply delegate and let the staff do all of the work. “Working managers” lead by instance and so they aren’t afraid of diving in and doing the soiled work themselves. It’s not beneath them.

Dave Canales is the epitome of a “working supervisor,” and it’s refreshing to see. The Bucs gamers are positively taking discover, too.

Security Ryan Neal got here from Seattle, the place he noticed Canales’ hands-on strategy for years.

Bucs Oc Dave Canales

Bucs OC Dave Canales – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

“Power – vitality and pleasure,” Neal stated. “That’s the method we had the place we got here from [in Seattle] and that’s what he brings. That’s one thing that’s going to be actual prevalent on this offense.

“You’re going to see them celebrating much more once they make performs. You’re going to see them having enjoyable. You’re going to see them being enthusiastic. You’re going to see some downfield performs. You’re going to see all of it as a result of that’s the type of system he runs. It’s actual balanced.”

Bucs working again Rachaad White has seen a night-and-day distinction, not solely within the offense itself by way of scheme, however the vitality that Canales has dropped at Tampa Bay, too.

“I imply simply the totally different appears that we give the protection – simply the totally different alternatives … the vitality has been nice,” White stated. “Clearly, we’re all completely happy about it. Just like the pocket motion – simply get the protection working side-to-side. It’s only a well-balanced offense to me.

“After which the pictures and the performs, and also you simply see guys like Chris [Godwin] and Mike [Evans] and the way they’re open. Mike involves the sideline saying, ‘Man, I ain’t actually been this open like this in a minute!’ It feels good. It’s been nice – simply happiness. It’s been enjoyable.”

White loves how Canales’ youthful exuberance makes observe enjoyable and helps set the tone.

“It units the tone quite a bit, to be sincere,” White stated. “Nice vitality – he simply feeds off on everyone else. That issues quite a bit. To have a coach working round, and issues like that, you possibly can inform how a lot they care – their ardour.

“You see him chasing down guys on something – if fumbles occur. We attempt to joke with him and inform him watch out. ‘We don’t need you to tug nothing, though you’re younger – however you’re getting up there [in age]!’ We similar to to fiddle with him.”

Bucs Oc Dave Canales

Bucs OC Dave Canales – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Godwin has been round a number of play-callers in Tampa Bay from Dirk Koetter to Todd Monken to Byron Leftwich to Canales. He’s already been received over by Canales’ strategy on the sector and within the conferences.

“I like him, I actually do,” Godwin stated. “I believe the very first thing that actually involves thoughts is he’s a really sensible man. You possibly can inform that he, one, actually loves ball, however he actually is aware of what he desires to do by way of putting in the offense and attacking defenses. I believe that that actually comes off in conferences, it comes off in how he delivers the messaging to guys within the assembly room and on the sector.

“I believe the blokes actually reply effectively to that. He’s probably not a yeller. He’s not making an attempt to cuss guys out, he’s not making an attempt to berate guys. He’s a trainer and he desires to successfully talk that. … Guys are flying round – the depth is excessive.”

FAB 4. Todd Bowles Is Serving to Speed up Dave Canales’ Studying Curve

Regardless of having 19 years price of expertise teaching soccer from highschool to school to the NFL, together with the final 13 years in Seattle, Dave Canales’ play-calling expertise is in its infancy.

Todd Bowles took an enormous gamble hiring an unproven offensive coordinator this offseason, particularly with Bowles needing an enormous season to remain employed as Tampa Bay’s head coach after going 8-9 in his debut in 2023. Bowles is a really hands-off coach in relation to the Bucs offense. Very like offensive-minded head coach Jon Gruden was, permitting defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin to have autonomy over his facet of the ball.

Bucs Oc Dave Canales

Bucs OC Dave Canales – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

However Bowles is making an attempt to fast-track Canales’ studying curve in relation to play-calling. Within the OTAs and mini-camp, Bowles didn’t run scripted intervals the place the offensive and defensive coaches obtained collectively to work on particular issues, such because the offense engaged on slant passes and the protection engaged on defending the slant.

As an alternative, he had “name it” intervals throughout 11-on-11s, the place Bowles and Canales had no concept what was coming by way of one another’s play-calling. Identical to an precise recreation, which is a genius transfer by Bowles to assist put together him for play-calling duties this fall.

Each quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask, understand what Bowles has carried out for Canales and applaud it.

“I’ve the entire confidence on the earth [in Canales], however like we talked about earlier, I believe we’re each getting thrown within the fireplace going towards a Todd Bowles protection for the primary time working this method, and the primary time he’s calling it,” Mayfield stated. “I believe that is nice work. We’re doing lots of ‘name it’ intervals the place it’s unscripted, and he’s having to speak about formations, personnel and various things like that. It’s nice for everyone to get a really feel for a way he desires to name it. Then there may be additionally the educational curve and that’s what this time of 12 months is all about. I’ve the utmost confidence in him.”

Trask concurred.

“I believe Coach Bowles is doing lots of issues in observe to place us in lots of game-like conditions, so we’re getting a ton of reps taking a look at what the method goes to be like calling from the sideline and listening to it from the headset,” Trask stated. “Simply getting that muscle reminiscence for us on the market on the sector. Not every little thing is simply going to be scripted for the offense and protection the place you simply obtained on the market [on game days]. Put the ball down and run performs. [Scripting plays] is just not actually the way you get higher ultimately. That’s good if you wish to get stuff on tape, however we’re doing lots of issues that actually translate to actual soccer – getting the play from the sideline, calling it within the huddle and simply going by way of the whole course of.”

Pewter Report has discovered that the “name it” intervals will proceed in coaching camp, which is an excellent signal.

FAB 5. Bucs Have Mined Senior Bowl For Tons Of Expertise

The Senior Bowl tweeted out a tremendous stat this week about what number of inside linebackers and out of doors linebackers the Bucs have drafted from the premier faculty all-star recreation through the years. Tampa Bay has drafted inside linebackers Lavonte David (2012), KJ Britt (2021) and SirVocea Dennis (2023), who have been Senior Bowl members, along with exterior linebackers Anthony Nelson (2019) and YaYa Diaby (2023).

The Bucs have mined the Senior Bowl for a bunch of expertise through the years on the offensive facet of the ball with former left deal with Donovan Smith (2015) and former guards Ali Marpet (2015) and Alex Cappa (2018), in addition to middle Robert Hainsey (2021). Tampa Bay went again to the Senior Bowl for extra offensive line assist this 12 months in guard Cody Mauch, a second-round choose. Former first-round tight finish O.J. Howard additionally starred on the Senior Bowl.

However because the Senior Bowl tweet illustrates, Tampa Bay has additionally quietly stockpiled some expertise on the defensive facet of the ball, too.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here