Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM shares how QB Baker Mayfield won over team: Buc teammates say “Baker is a DUDE”, and there’s a Big Difference in being “The DUDE”, and being ‘The DUD’

Watch: Buccaneers GM shares how QB Baker Mayfield won over team
from Tommy Fradenburg, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced there was a battle in training camp between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask to succeed Tom Brady under center, expectations around the NFL were very low.

In Fox Sports’ NFC South preseason prediction, Geoff Schwatrz said this: “Have you seen who the Bucs are planning to roll out? They need a franchise quarterback, and the 2024 NFL Draft is full of them,” while setting their over/under win total at 6.5.

On “The Season with Peter Schrager, ” Tampa general manager Jason Licht said the Bucs knew they had a “dude” in Mayfield right away.

“We told him from the beginning it was going to be a competition, because we really like Kyle Trask,” Licht said. “And he didn’t flinch. He accepted that and ran with it.”

Now Tampa Bay is 3-1 and alone at the top of the NFC South with Mayfield (on his third team since the beginning of last season) actually playing well.

He may still not be living up to the billing of a No. 1 overall draft pick, but he’s been steady for Tampa Bay. He’s in the top 10 in the NFL in completion percentage, ahead of names like Patrick Mahomes and Trevor Lawrence. He’s developed chemistry with receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, with Evans already halfway to his 2022 touchdown total with three.

Mayfield has also shown an improved ability to take care of the ball, with an interception percentage of 1.6 this season compared to his career 2.8.

Mayfield told Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel that while the Buccaneers always knew they had a strong team internally, it will take work to continue surprising the league.

“Right now, the narrative is going to flip,” he said. “We have to keep that focused mindset even more so. You can’t change whether people are patting you on the back or talking trash about you.”

The naysayers will point out that Tampa has only beaten the 1-3 Vikings, 0-4 Bears and 2-2 Saints featuring an injured Derek Carr, while losing handily to the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.

He’s already proved himself to his teammates. If Mayfield is able to lead wins over the Lions and Bills over the next three weeks, everyone else should be on board as well.