Leave it to Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield to be Captain Obvious in his first presser on his new team.
Baker Mayfield is not Tom Brady, and he cleared that up pretty well in his first press conference with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In case anybody was wondering.
Last week, Mayfield and the Bucs agreed to a one-year contract worth up to $8.5 million, giving the NFC South heavyweight a successor to the now-retired Tom Brady.
The Bucs brass showered Mayfield with kind words like “tough competitor” and “good upside” trying to hide the ugly truth that in his entire five-year career, the former first-round pick has been unbelievably average.
He has one winning season with the Browns under his belt, and he wears it proudly. As long as he knows who he is — an average quarterback — he shouldn’t face too many problems in Tampa. Everybody’s expectations are at a minimum, especially after Mayfield’s scoff-inducing comments in a Monday presser.
With a stern face, Mayfield leaned into the microphone and said eight words that the rest of the league already knew: “Listen, I’m never going to be Tom Brady.”
New Bucs QB Baker Mayfield doesn’t want anybody to confuse him with Tom Brady
“There’s a reason why he’s won so many Super Bowls. He’s the greatest of all time — there’s no doubt about that. I’m not going to try to be Tom. I’m going to be me. That’s what’s gotten me to this point. We’re going to do it differently.”
Nothing like a little self-deprecation to start your first press conference on your new team.
Brady thrived in an offensive scheme with Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and others to win the Bucs a Super Bowl in his very first year, and then he took the team to the playoffs two more times.
With a less reliable passer like Mayfield under center, it’s very possible Tampa could regress to its Jameis Winston era, bumble toward a last-place finish, and miss the postseason altogether.
Mayfield put together a few nice highlight reels last season on the Los Angeles Rams, but in the wake of his signing, Kyle Trask has to feel pretty good about his chances of beating the veteran quarterback for a starting role in 2023.
What everyone knows for a fact is this: The Buccaneers’ second act that is Baker Mayfield will never be able to follow the first act that was Tom Brady. They’re two totally different plays altogether. Brady’s act ended with a standing ovation and desperate pleas of “Encore! Encore!” It’ll be interesting to see how Mayfield’s act ends.