The news that former teammate Derrick Mason’s short stay with the New York Jets was over – and that he would join the Houston Texans for Sunday’s game in Baltimore – was met with equal parts surprise, curiosity and even humor Wednesday by the Ravens.
“I think Derrick Mason said ‘Who are the Ravens playing next? Trade me to that team,’” said Ravens cornerback Chris Carr.
“He was pretty upset,” Carr said. “He was fighting with Paul Kruger. He was upset, fighting with Cary out there. I think he wants to get some payback. I don’t think he’s going to get it against us, though.”
When the Jets moved Jeremy Kerley past Mason as the team’s third receiver against New England on Sunday, the dominos started to fall. There already had been reports that Mason went to coach Rex Ryan complaining about offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer – which Ryan denied. Then Mason didn’t play in the first half against the Patriots and finished with only one catch for 7 yards.
Ravens running back Ray Rice said he was surprised the Jets dealt Mason to the Texans on Wednesday.
“Mase has always been a guy that’s very outspoken and sometimes probably got ridiculed for [being] outspoken,” Rice said. “I don’t know what his situation was with Rex, but he was always honest, he was always straightforward with what he had to say. I was surprised. I really thought he was going to fit in up there. But Mase is one of my buddies, so I definitely wish him success wherever he’s at. Overall, he was a guy that we looked up to, to make plays here, so you never want to see a guy in that kind of situation. But that’s just the business side of things.”
Safety Ed Reed grinned at the thought of seeing Mason for the second time in three weeks, and in back-to-back games for the Ravens.
“It’s going to be interesting, man, to see how they incorporate Mason to the offense in such a short time, such short notice,” Reed said. “We knew they needed a receiver with Andre [Johnson] being down. But Mason is a smart guy. I don’t know why it didn’t work out in New York, but Mason is a professional, and I know he’s going to be prepared if he’s put in the game.”
Reed had an interesting answer when asked if Mason could supply the Texans with much insight.
“I don’t know. How much you think he told the Jets?” Reed said. “At the end of the day, it comes down to execution. He can tell whatever he wants to tell. At the end of the day, it’s our men against their men, so we’ll see.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh also played down the idea Mason could help Houston’s preparation in regard to scheme or personnel.
“I don’t think he’ll give them much that way,” Harbaugh said. “It’s been a while. He may have something. But for all these guys, when you get away from that scheme … He may have something on the players, maybe, kind of his insights. But he’s been working on the Jets’ system and learning that system. That stuff leaves you after a while and things change.”
Asked about his brief tussle with Mason on Oct. 2, Kruger shrugged it off as typical in-game reaction.
“I yanked on him a little bit,” Kruger said. “I don’t think he liked it. He responded, and my reaction was to push him. … Nothing serious.”
Kruger said it wasn’t personal and that he had a relationship with Mason on the Ravens.
“We were teammates, we were friends,” Kruger said.