Tag:Derrick Mason
Posted on: January 9, 2012 6:41 pm
 

'Healthy' Derrick Mason retires

MasonBy Josh Katzowitz

After a season in which Derrick Mason supposedly took part in a mutiny attempt against Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, got traded to the Texans for a low-round draft pick, and watched as Houston released him after an ineffective stint, Mason has decided he’s had enough.

"I'm done," Mason told Scout.com. "I won't be playing football. I only knew one play to play football, going all-out and having fun out there."

Sounds like 2011 wasn’t such a blast for Mason, who recorded only 19 catches for 170 yards in the 15th year of his two-time Pro Bowl career.

Though it ended quietly -- he was released by the Ravens in the preseason before he was traded and then waived -- Mason can take solace in his more-than-solid career: he finished with 943 receptions, 11th-best all-time, and 17,150 all-purpose yards (14th-best).

As such, he’s got no regrets about leaving the game.

"That's one thing, I leave it healthy and able to run and walk and not take a half-hour or 45 minutes to get out of bed," Mason said. "I can jump right out of the bed and go. I don't have lingering pains as of now. Me leaving now, even though it didn't happen the way I wanted it to happen, I had a good run. It was fun while it lasted."

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Posted on: October 21, 2011 3:15 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 3:32 pm
 

Players think NFL should fine Harbaugh, Schwartz

In the eyes of the NFL, close-talking is not a crime. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The NFL seems uninterested in dispelling the perception that there are two sets of rules -- one for the players and one for everyone else associated with the league. The latest instance came after Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz reenacted the "Wait, what did he just do to me?!" scene that has played out at every pro wrestling match ever staged.


On merit alone the incident isn't worth a fine (and none was levied); the sheer embarrassment of being a part of such a spectacle is punishment enough. But this is the NFL, where no transgression is deemed too small (see, for example) … except when it doesn't involve players.

Remember when the Colts announced before the season that they had hired former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel as a game-day consultant? Instead of meting out the punishment, the league seemed happy to let Indianapolis handle it, but only after the story went public. That would've never happened had Tressel been a player (like, say, Terrelle Pryor).

Understandably, these inconsistencies irk players, and two of them spoke out about it Thursday during an appearance on NFL Network's Total Access. Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey and Texans wideout Derrick Mason, who have 28 years of NFL experience between them, were amazed Harbaugh and Schwartz escaped punishment.

(For what it's worth -- and we imagine not much -- NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said this on Monday: "Fortunately, there was no fighting and thus no basis for a fine. … However, both coaches told [VP of football operations] Ray Anderson today that their post-game conduct was wrong and will not happen again. ... We believe their response is the correct one and that their post-game conduct going forward will be more appropriate.")

“What if that was a player? How would (the NFL) react to that?,” Bailey asked. “These are supposed to be the leaders of our team(s), and you let them get away with it, so to speak, and now how do you think the players will start acting? I like it personally, but I just know how the NFL operates today, it’s amazing to me they let this slide.”

Mason agreed.

“I think they should have (been fined), because these are the leaders of your team,” he said. “I think the NFL should have slapped them with some type of fine, $5,000 or $10,000 here or there, to at least show them they have to be responsible for what they do on the field.”

We love that Mason has no idea how much the coaches should've been fined, no doubt because the league has a history of arbitrarily handing out punishments.

It's one thing to be strict -- we get that. There's a plan, and even if most people don't agree with it, they know the rules going in. But when the judge, jury and executioner is a paranoid schizophrenic you're going to have issues like this crop up several times a season.

(By the way, Yahoo.com's Doug Farrar notes that "it could certainly be argued that both [Schwartz and Harbaugh] stepped on the wrong side of this one," and then points to the NFL's fine schedule which plainly states that "Sportsmanship: Excessive Profanity; other Unsportsmanlike Conduct (e.g., toward opponent(s), game personnel, fans, etc.): $10,000 / $20,000.")


In a web-exclusive, the analysts answer your questions for the 7th week of the season. Get the latest from JB, Phil, Cris, and Warren.

This seems like a good place to include what some other NFL coaches had to say about The Handshake when it invariably came up at their respective weekly press conferences.

Bill Belichick: "[The post-game handshake] is so heavily scrutinized by the media that it’s an event bigger than the game itself, which is so absurd. Like a lot of things, it takes any personalization out of the game and makes it a public topic of discussion. I think it’s pretty ridiculous that the media focuses on it the way it does.

“I’d like to think that the reason that the people are there is to see the game and to see the competition. But they seem to want to talk about everything but the game. That’s not uncommon. That’s the media’s job, so that’s what they do. It certainly takes away from, as a coach, the things that you would say, so you find other times to do it outside of that. Maybe before the game, or a phone call to the coach after the game, that kind of thing.”


Mike Tomlin: "I really have no thoughts [on the handshake]. I think it is the same sometimes, when we pay attention to things that are meaningless, insignificant. The story of the NFL should be on the game itself. That was a hard-fought game played by two really good football teams, two exciting teams on the rise. I think that should be the story, not some unfortunate incident that happened after the game. I think that is silly."

When asked what does into a handshake, Tomlin was frank.

"I don't practice it. I don't think about it. I am just going to be cordial, be respectful and wish them well moving forward. I don't know about the norms, OK. I don't get into that. If I spend too much time thinking about the handshake, then I am not doing my job."

John Harbaugh: "I can just tell you this: I think I know who was right. But whoever was right or wrong, I know whose side I’m on. I’m definitely taking sides. [It’s] the same side I’ve always taken. … You know what? Everybody’s got a lot to learn. So I guess right now, [Jim's] 5-1. If the biggest lesson he has right now is how to shake hands postgame, after a victory, he’s doing OK.”

Fair point. But as one NFL coach told CBSSports.com's Clark Judge, Harbaugh and Scwhartz "are going to regret it in the morning. They just bought a film clip for life."

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Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:23 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 12:39 pm
 

Mason's trade value tied to reception total?

Posted by Will Brinson

The New York Jets, rife with locker-room problems, recently dealt veteran wideout Derrick Mason to Houston. Houston didn't have to pay much at all for Mason (CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman originally reported it was a "low-round pick"), who quickly wore out his welcome in the Big Apple.

Turns out, the Texans might not have to pay anything for Mason's services the rest of the year. That's because, as Charley Casserly reported on The NFL Today, Mason's trade value is reportedly tied to his reception total while in Houston.

If Mason catches 33 or more passes, the Jets receive a seventh-round pick in exchange for the veteran wideout. If Mason catches 32 or less passes while with Houston this season, the Jets will receive nothing in return.

Casserly also reported that the Mason deal wasn't tied to -- ahem -- personnel issues but instead Mason's production.

"It was a football decision," Casserly said Sunday.

When Mason originally inked with the Jets this offseason, Rex Ryan said that Mason would catch 80 or 90 balls this year. Whoops -- Mason has 13 catches through five weeks of play, putting him on pace for 41.6 catches this year.

Houston possesses a more prolific offense than the Jets, and Andre Johnson's hamstring injury could really give Mason a shot at becoming a productive receiver again (Jacoby Jones got 11 targets in Week 5 against Oakland, though he only caught one pass).

And since he only needs three catches a game (Mason averages 5.56 for his career), it's entirely possible that Mason forces the Texans to ship a seventh-rounder to the Jets. Although based on what he was able to (not?) do in New York, it's doubtful that the Jets front office is too concerned.

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Posted on: October 14, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Holmes points out offensive problems again

HolmesPosted by Josh Katzowitz

With the Jets reeling at 2-3, with an offense that can’t seem to get on track, with a defense that appears to have been overrated, it’s a good thing we can always count on receiver Santonio Holmes to simmer everybody down and keep his team on an even keel.

Oh wait, Holmes has done the exact opposite of that for at least the second time in three weeks. And now he's gotten into trouble with at least one of his teammates.

After calling out quarterback Mark Sanchez following the team’s Week 4 loss to the Ravens -- and then apparently going to Rex Ryan with Plaxico Burress and the recently-departed Derrick Mason to complain about offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer -- Holmes came out firing Thursday on his team’s offensive line.

"I may be criticized again for saying it, but it starts up front," Holmes said, via ESPN New York. "The big guys know it. If they give Mark enough time to sit in the pocket and complete passes, I think everything changes."

He’s right about the offensive line failing to protect Sanchez, especially in that Ravens contest when Baltimore’s defense did whatever it wanted in rushing the quarterback and rattling Sanchez. That led to, as ESPN New York points out, a stripped-down Jets offense that went more conservative in last week’s loss to the Patriots in which Sanchez didn’t attempt a pass longer than 22 yards.

Holmes wasn’t criticizing the gameplan against the Patriots, because it was obvious playing ball-control against Tom Brady gave the Jets the best chance of winning. Still, he wants more passes thrown down the field.

"The numbers speak for themselves," Holmes said. "If you were in my shoes, what would you think?"

Whether he’s right or wrong, Holmes missed the point of an offensive players-only meeting that was called the first time Holmes spoke out against his team. In that meeting, it was agreed that the team would keep all criticisms in-house. That message apparently did not stay in Holmes' mind.

It certainly disappointed right guard Brandon Moore.

"I've never had a teammate do that that I can recall," Moore said, via the Newark Star Ledger. "It's not really being a captain, a leader. It fragments. It’s not productive. ... Obviously, he’s got the green light to do that from somebody up top, the people that run the team or whatever. He’s got the 'C' on his chest, and he can do that."

You’ll notice that Mason, another receiver that could be an outspoken critic, is no longer around. Holmes probably won’t be sanctioned, but at some point, you’d think that Holmes’ constant bad-mouthing eventually will become a problem for him.

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Posted on: October 11, 2011 10:19 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 10:22 pm
 

Jets trade Derrick Mason to Texans

MasonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Derrick Mason was one of the three Jets offensive players who supposedly went to Rex Ryan recently to voice his dissatisfaction with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Though the Jets put out a statement before their game Sunday that said the New York Daily News report was incorrect, Mason only played sparingly vs. the Patriots.

Ryan said Mason’s playing time had nothing to do with the alleged report, but that the two had a private conversation about another matter. Either, Ryan was dissatisfied with Mason about something else, the Jets were trying to trade him away, or maybe both of the above.

Either way, Mason is now gone from New York. As the Houston Chronicle reports, Mason has been traded to the Texans for a conditional draft pick. CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman reports the compensation for the Jets will be a low-round draft pick.

Without him, the Jets lose a receiver who had 13 catches for 115 yards and no touchdowns this season and a 37-year-old who also might have been a locker room distraction.

And now for the second time since last season, Mason is on the move. Which is too bad, considering he said, when he signed with New York, that the Jets gave him a greater chance to get to the Super Bowl. Looks like he might have been wrong on two counts with that prediction.

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Posted on: October 9, 2011 10:37 am
Edited on: October 9, 2011 3:05 pm
 

Mangold in; Jets dealing with WR mutiny on OC

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE (2:30 p.m. ET): The Jets issued a statement specifically denying the "mutiny" report mentioned below. This only gets spicier if the Jets can't beat the Patriots Sunday.

"The New York Jets deny a report this morning that wide receivers Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes and Derrick Mason have gone to Head Coach Rex Ryan individually in the past few weeks to question offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s system," the Jets said in a statement.

-----
Things aren't going the way you'd expect them to for the New York Jets -- two-straight losses, and the team's been unable to move the ball or rush the passer. So, it's probably really exciting for Jets fans that there's a semi-mutiny taking place with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

Reportedly anyway -- Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News cited sources on Sunday that said all three of Santonio Holmes, Derrick Mason and Plaxico Burress "have individually gone to Rex Ryan in the past few weeks to question" Schottenheimer's system.

This is a bit odd, because the Jets have thrown the ball 62 percent of the time to start the season, a rarity for a Rex Ryan-run team. And they're not necessarily in the bottom of any statistical passing categories, ranking somewhere in the middle for passing attempts, passing yards and yards per game.

Whatever, counting stats might not matter here. As Mehta notes, the combines statistics of the three-best wideouts for the Jets (above, natch) add up to 35 catches for 432 yards, which is less than the 40 catches and 616 yards that the Patriots Wes Welker has recorded this season by himself.



Then there's the matter of third-down conversion and success early in drives -- the rushing "attack" is anemic this season, and the Jets are converting just 34.5 percent of their third downs.

"Underwhelming," a source told Mehta.

The Jets will need to be more than just "underwhelming" on offense Sunday if they expect to compete against their arch-rival Patriots.

New England leads the league in total offense (second in points, first in yards per game for what it's worth) and are apparently getting some free chalkboard material from New York cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who foolishly feels the need to taunt reigning MVP Tom Brady.

Good news for the Jets offense, though: Nick Mangold will start this week after missing just two games with a high ankle sprain, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network.

That's huge for Mark Sanchez and Co., who struggled mightily with Mangold out last week against the Ravens. With Vince Wilfork prepared to wreck havoc on the defensive line, Mangold returning to the lineup is crucial.

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Posted on: September 28, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 11:49 am
 

Film Room: Ravens vs. Jets preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



Ever since Rex Ryan left Baltimore to become New York’s head coach, we’ve viewed these two teams as mirror images of one another – and understandably so. Both have young quarterbacks. Both have running backs entering their primes who are backed up by a sage veteran. Both feature an aggressive and deceptive 3-4 defensive scheme. And both talk abundant trash even though their respective rivals – the Patriots and Steelers – have all the rings.

Let’s take a closer look at these teams’ similarities.

1. Young quarterbacks
Something that stood out in Week 3 was how the Ravens and Jets heavily utilized play-action early on, but for different reasons.

The Ravens referred to it to allow time for downfield routes to unfold. They wanted to take advantage of a depleted Rams secondary that was starting undrafted second-year nobody Darian Stewart at safety and disintegrating Al Harris at nickel corner outside. (They succeeded, by the way).

The Jets referred to play action because they wanted to prolong the time that Raiders’ defensive backs had to hold up in man coverage. They also wanted to coax the Raider linebackers into running out of position. (They succeeded, but only in the first half.)

Same offensive tactic, but with vastly different inspirations. The Ravens were trying to showcase their young quarterback, while the Jets were trying to simply make life easier for theirs (nothing wrong with that). This makes sense. Flacco has been around a year longer than Sanchez and is clearly a year ahead of him development-wise. He has a stronger arm and, as of late, more refined tools. He has really improved his pocket movement, becoming more consistent in resetting his feet before he throws.

The Jets are working with Sanchez in this realm. Entering this season, the USC star had a habit of bringing the ball down while eluding rushers in the pocket. This compelled him to reset both his feet AND throwing mechanics, which is too slow of a motion for the NFL.

For what it’s worth, don’t expect such a heavy dose of play-action in this game. Both defenses have savvy linebackers and are too likely to blitz. Instead, the key will be which young quarterback does the best job at diagnosing coverages and pass-rushing attacks prior to the snap.


2. The running backs
Let’s get one thing clear: Ray Rice is a better football player than Shonn Greene. It’s not even close. If Rice were a Friday night, Greene would be, at best, a Wednesday afternoon. Rice runs with superb balance and strength, and his lateral agility is second to none (especially when he gets to the second level). What’s more, he’s a demon in the passing game, both as a receiver and blocker.

Greene, on the other hand, has been somewhat disappointing. He sits out most passing downs and has 1,440 yards rushing…in 32 career games. One issue is Greene’s more of a momentum runner than explosive runner. He excels on sweeps because those runs naturally allow him to hit the line of scrimmage going downhill. But sweeps don’t work against elite outside linebackers (like, say, Terrell Suggs).

Between the tackles, Greene’s vision and timing are very average. That’s why the Jets made LaDainian Tomlinson a prominent part of their offense last season. Tomlinson is off to a fantastic start as a receiving back this season (12 catches for 196 yards and a touchdown), but that’s in part because he knows how to outwit pass defending linebackers. On film, it’s clear L.T. has lost a lot of his speed and quickness. If the Jets are to go anywhere in 2011, they’ll have to ride Greene.

Same goes for the Ravens and Rice. Rice’s production is not a problem, though the Ravens were wise to bring in a supporting No. 2 back like Ricky Williams.

3. The receivers
Derrick Mason is the X-factor. He was Baltimore’s possession target last year and is now filling that role from the slot in New York. The crafty 15-year veteran is one of the few players in the league who does not need to get separation in order to be open.

Plaxico Burress is another one of those players. He’s been, for the most part, his same old self this season (which is remarkable when you really think about it). His matchup Sunday night against Carry Williams will be worth watching. If you asked God to make a cornerback specifically for defending Burress, you might get Williams. He’s only 6’1”, 185, but long and upright, he plays much bigger than that. He has an intriguing combination of physicality and change-of-direction ability, and if asked to play man coverage, he won’t be shy about using trail position technique (which will compel Burress to use his “speed” more than his strength).

It will be interesting to see what the Jets do with Darrelle Revis. The likely assignment will be Anquan Boldin, though last week, rookie Torrey Smith turned in a jaw-dropping three-touchdown first quarter that had the Rams redirecting their safety help concepts. Smith gets faster at the end of his routes, which is something all great deep threats do. Antonio Cromartie has the speed to run with him, so expect the Jets to trust that matchup. But expect the Ravens to readily go after it.

The weak link of both cornerbacking groups happens to be an ex-Boise State Bronco: Chris Carr for the Ravens and Kyle Wilson for the Jets. If it comes down to these ancillary matchups, the Jets have the overall advantage. Mason, their No. 3, is as reliable as they come. For the Ravens, newcomer Lee Evans (who now figures to be the No. 3 receiver) has not established any sort of a rhythm with Flacco.

4. The defensive lines
The Jets have a unique run-stopping approach with their three-man defensive line. Instead of asking their downlinemen to occupy blockers and fill two gaps, the Jets ask them to focus on physically manhandling the guy in front of them. The idea is this creates congestion through penetration and also defines the inside linebackers’ path to the ball (David Harris and Bart Scott are tasked with reading the defensive linemen’s action and attacking in the opposite direction that it’s drifting. More on that in the next section.)

The Jets are the only 3-4 team in the NFL that plays the run this way.

This unique approach is why general manager Mike Tannenbaum drafted a fist-fighter like Muhammad Wilkerson in the first round. Tannenbaum would probably give his right eye for a chance to have a guy like Haloti Ngata. The Ravens 335-pound defensive end/nose tackle is the most destructive front line force in the NFL today.

Ngata has the power of a tug boat and mobility of a clipper. Truly, he moves like a linebacker. Expect him to spend most of his time at defensive end this season, as last year’s second-round pick, Terrence Cody, has looked great at nose tackle.



5. The inside linebackers
These are the entertainers – the guys NBC cameras will fixate on Sunday night. The sagacious Ray Lewis and loquacious Bart Scott. Both back up their personas. Lewis no longer has elite sideline-to-sideline speed, but he compensates with instincts, ferocity and fundamentals.

He was a demon attacking Rams lead-blockers last week. The Ravens’ defensive style will always allow Lewis to be productive, as so much of their run approach is predicated on his teammates occupying blockers.

Scott, who is as aggressive downhill as any linebacker in the league, has both an easier and tougher job than Lewis. It’s easier in that he has a stellar running mate in David Harris. It’s tougher in that, as mentioned earlier, he must read the defensive linemen’s battles in front of him and pursue the ball accordingly.

The reason other 3-4 defenses don’t take this type of approach is it requires great intelligence and pursuit skills from both inside linebackers. Most defenses don’t have an inside combination like Scott and Harris.

So who will win? Check our expert picks for all Week 4 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: September 16, 2011 11:18 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 11:20 pm
 

Mason tweets about talking trash with Belichick

The latest in the Jets-Pats saga: Derrick Mason vs. Bill Belichick (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson


A Football Life: Bill Belichick premiered on NFL Network Thursday night and it offered a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the New England Patriots and the man behind all the success this century: Bill Belichick.

Blog partner Josh Katzowitz hit the highlights from documentary, and perhaps no moment was more candid -- or hilarious -- than Belichick kindly telling then-Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason what he could do to himself before reminding him that the Pats were, you know, winning the game.

In case you missed it:


On Friday, Mason, now with the Jets, tweeted about the exchange (here, here, here and here).


Mason insists that he's not upset (he used "LOL" three times in four tweets!), although he seemed to take pleasure in calling Belichick "the messiah" (we thought he was "the emperor"). That said, suggesting that “Had I said that to him, everyone would have been in a uproar! I have to much respect for the game to speck to a coach in that manner!” sorta misses the point since Mason initiated the trash talking.

As for the note that "even PFT hating on me," Mason was referring to this post from friend of the blog, Michael David Smith, who later added this update: "Mason clarified on Twitter that he’s not upset with Belichick — but he is upset with me."

And Tedy Bruschi thinks Chad Ochocinco spends too much time on his Twitter machine.

In case you're wondering, the Patriots host the Jets on October 9.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com