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Mason, Ngata Grin and Bear It

Two smiles from Sunday’s loss to the Steelers were heavily scrutinized.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

Ravens wideout Derrick Mason and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata were both the source of much consternation from fans after two infamous smiles in last weekend’s 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

When an easy and wide-open touchdown pass glanced off Mason’s facemask in the end zone when the score was knotted at 20, TV cameras caught the ever-passionate receiver chuckling as he trotted back to the huddle.

To make matters worse, the Ravens were subsequently pushed out of field goal range by two consecutive penalties.

Mason, Baltimore’s leading wideout with 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns on 72 receptions, said he put the play behind him quickly.  And, he said it very animatedly.

“That s—’s over with,” he stated on Wednesday. “I don’t care about a drop, man. Move on. That’s the game of football. I’m going to laugh, I’m going to laugh and I’m going to laugh. If I drop one or I drop two, I’m going to laugh. I’ve done it for 13 years. So I don’t give a hell about whatever people say. That’s basically where it is.

“I’ve had my share of drops, but I’ve also had my share of big catches. I smile on the big catches. I smile on the drops. That’s the way it is; it’s not going to change.”

Ngata, who was named to his first Pro Bowl this week, also grimaced after drawing a flag for a personal foul in the second half when he hit a Steeler out of bounds after the whistle was blown on a punt return.  Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that Ngata was “hurting” after his mistake, which Ngata corroborated.

“With mine, it was just a stupid penalty,” Ngata said.  “I could have just let up, but with me, I’m not really in punt return too often, so I just didn’t really see where Chris Carr was and I just kept on going. Depending on what penalty it is; if it’s a holding penalty, [that's] definitely a technique thing, and you’ve just got to work on that. But you’ve just go to work your technique, keep your mind clear and move on.”

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