TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles put it bluntly this week after watching Baker Mayfield play Sunday in their win over the Vikings.
“Baker is tough,” Bowles said. “He’s a quarterback with an offensive lineman’s mentality. You don’t want your quarterback doing it too much, but he’ll make the yards when he has to make the yards.”
Mayfield got off to a slow start going 3 for 11 passing but ended up 21 of 34 for 173 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. It was the little things that got his team fired up, like when he stiff-armed Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy Jr and it got Mayfield NFL Network’s top play in their Angry Runs segment.
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“I think I won it because I was the new guy in the conversation,” Mayfield said. “I had some family members send me the clip. I’ll take it.”
It’s a double edged sword playing quarterback in the NFL. Teams appreciate their quarterbacks toughness and willing to try and get that extra yards but teams also don’t want to lose their signal caller to injury. Mayfield understands that.
“Oh, absolutely,” Mayfield said. “I think there was a run earlier, just kind of a scramble on third down (that was) not necessary – just run out of bounds. But when it comes down to the third and shorts and things like that when the game is on the line, it’s a different story.”
Mayfield is playing on a one year deal and wants to turn that into a longer contract to stay with the Bucs but it’s way too early to start figuring out his future. For now he says this offense under first year offensive coordinator Dave Canales will only get better and some of his teammates like wide receiver Chris Godwin are loving Mayfield’s toughness and swagger that he’s brought to the club.
“Like I was saying before, he (Mayfield) turns nothing into something, like that was a big third down play,” Godwin said. “He’s stiff arming DB’s and getting in their face and you’re looking for that kind of competitive edge from your quarterback. I think it gets us fired up.”
The Bucs host the Chicago Bears on Sunday at 1pm and Mayfield believes he’s setting a tough mindset with this team. The Bucs are actually favored in this contest.
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