Liam Coen is now officially the Bucs’ new OC, and he made it known Mayfield would be a pleasure to coach again.
"He's an igniter," Coen said during his Tuesday introductory news conference. "And that's the type of guy you want to be around."
The 38-year-old Coen is back in the NFL following a return to the college ranks with a second stint as Kentucky's offensive coordinator/quarterbacks in 2023. The year prior, he was the Los Angeles Rams OC when Mayfield played the final five game of the season for an injury-plagued 5-12 squad.
"He came into our organization at a really difficult time, a time that we weren't having a lot of fun," Coen said. "And he came in and made football fun for a lot of people at that time, he came in and made football competitive again at practice."
Mayfield is coming off the best season of his career so far, one in which he earned his first Pro Bowl selection. At Thursday's Pro Bowl Games skills competitions, Mayfield told NFL Network's Cam Wolfe that a return to Tampa "kind of depends" on who the Bucs' new OC would be after Dave Canales left to become the Carolina Panthers head coach. Now, that new OC has been named and Coen brought up Mayfield without being asked on Tuesday.
"This was a no-brainer for me," Coen said of taking the job. "I mean obviously the opportunity to work with Baker, to get back with him potentially, John Wolford's in the room that I coached with the Rams for multiple years."
Mayfield established new career highs with 4,044 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and a 64.3 completion percentage this past season. However, Mayfield has lauded Canales' personality and optimistic approach as much as anything related to his scheme.
In turn, Coen glowed about what Mayfield brings to a team from a personality and intangible standpoint.
"(At Rams practice), he's jawing at Jalen Ramsey, and they're going at it, and that was something that we hadn't felt in a little while, right, it was a tough year," Coen said. "And the opportunity to be around him, potentially, every day, to coach a guy that's competitive as he is, that has that moxie, that's fun. I mean you can't coach that. And when a guy has that ability, and the ability to communicate with others, that's something that I really wanted to be around, and was very intriguing for us."
Mayfield was a phenomenal fit with Tampa in 2023. Whether the impending free agent believes he, Coen and the Bucs will be a good fit in 2024 will be a storyline to watch.