TAMPA, Fla. – On the heels of one 20:17 victory over that Minnesota Vikings Where Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield As he caught the Vikings’ hand signals, Mayfield turned a suggestion that he consider working in government intelligence into a joke Houston Astros‘ Expense.
“Listen, I know I’m in Tampa, but I’m a Texas Rangers Fan, no Houston Astros Fan, so we’re not going to go into that,” Mayfield said Wednesday, referring to the The Astros’ sign-stealing incident in 2017.
A Major League Baseball investigation found that the Astros illegally used a video camera in center field to steal signs from opposing teams in 2017 and 2018. This resulted in the harshest penalties ever imposed on an MLB team, including the suspension of Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch for the 2020 season, a $5 million fine for the team, and forfeiture their first and second round draft picks for 2020 and 2021.
Bucs running back Rachaad White said on the Buccaneers Radio Network on Monday that Mayfield entered the locker room at halftime and said, “‘I got it. We received all of these signals.’ We in there talk as an insult. He says: “I know all these signals. When they do that, they go to Cover 2, they do this, they go to Cover 3. Every time I alert that, they drop down and when they give that signal, they drop it back to that.’ And I think, ‘Wow, that’s great.’ I mean, I know certain coverages, but I don’t know a lot of them.”
While sign stealing itself is not illegal in either the MLB or NFL, using electronic devices to steal signs is. Mayfield didn’t break any rules when he picked up the Vikings’ signs.
Mayfield said it helped the offense in its first year under offensive coordinator Dave Canales and seeing new Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores for the first time.
“When it comes down to it, you always try to find tendencies in the defense. Just those adjustments in the game where you try to find those tendencies, sometimes it’s a little different than others,” Mayfield said. “It was a chess game there in the first half. There were a few standoffs. They did a very, very good job. I can’t praise Brian Flores enough for the way they plotted against us. It took us a while. You have to adapt a little bit, but you try to find every advantage possible to win.”
When asked about it on Wednesday, White said he had never seen anything like it.
“The way he came in and was non-stop,” White said. “He was just into it. … It was just great to see him come in confidently and say, ‘I got it. I figured it out.’”