Baker Mayfield Gives Honest Assessment at Buccaneers’ First OTA Practice

Baker Mayfield

Getty Baker Mayfield doesn't believe the outside noise about the Bucs.

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield expects no nonsense this year.

“This is a great group that seems like a no-B.S. squad that’s all about winning,” Mayfield told reporters on Tuesday, May 23.

Tampa Bay won a Super Bowl and two NFC South division titles during the past three seasons with Tom Brady at quarterback. However, the Bucs finished below .500 during that last division title run in 2022 before Brady’s retirement in February.

Mayfield signed with the Bucs in March for $4 million to help alleviate Brady’s departure. The former No. 1 pick in 2018 will compete against Kyle Trask for the starting job.

“This is a place that’s been very welcoming, and I’m excited. Obviously, it’s a one-year deal, and I’m just trying to make the most of it one day at a time,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield also showed confidence that the Bucs could out-perform what the national prognosticators project. The Bucs are generally expected to sink in 2023 despite returning numerous key players from the Brady era.

“I played in this division last year, and I’m pretty sure the Bucs won it,” Mayfield said. “So, I don’t really care what the people in Vegas are putting odds on it — because it’s May. We haven’t played a real snap of football. There’s a long way to go before that.”

Baker Mayfield Likes Bucs’ Targets

If he wins the starting job, Mayfield inherits an offense with Pro Bowl-caliber wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Russell Gage and David Moore have been viable third receivers before in their careers.

“Obviously we’ve got two great veterans, and obviously Russell had a little bit of an injury last week, but he was doing really well before that,” Mayfield said. “We have a ton of speed. A lot of young speed.”

The Bucs notably drafted speedy wide receiver Trey Palmer from Nebraska. Second-year receivers Deven Thompkins and Kaylon Geiger likewise have quality speed.

“It’s just trying to get these guys to find their roles and find their place in the system because when we talk about the speed that we have, our tight ends can roll as well,” Mayfield added.

Second-year tight ends Cade Otton and Ko Kieft look to take steps forward as the most experienced veterans of their position group. Rookie Payne Durham, who wears Rob Gronkowski‘s old No. 87, will look to carve out a significant role.

“I know what I am; I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not,” Durham said in a May 12 press conference. “If you put me in a phone booth, I’ve got to be able to get open so that’s something I’ve always prided myself in being able to do.”

Kyle Trask Shows Conviction Amid QB Battle

Otton, who spoke to the media on Tuesday, explained how Trask could still be the guy throwing passes on Sundays this fall instead of Mayfield. Trask, a 2021 second-round pick, sat behind Brady and backup Blaine Gabbert for two seasons.

“I think I’ve seen him take a step forward in terms of leadership and confidence,” Otton told reporters. “I think it shows on and off the field.”

“You hear about pitchers talk about conviction when they throw the ball, and I feel like I see that in Kyle a little bit more now,” Otton added. “Just conviction, throwing the ball into spots where he thinks guys are going to be, and I’m really excited to see how he progresses.”

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