Late For Work 3/7: Mason Not Planning on Retiring

Plus, Boldin explains why the offense wasn’t explosive and maybe Ngata should box too.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 9:29 am | Categories: Sarah Ellison

Mason Not Planning on Retiring

Ravens receiver Derrick Mason considered retirement about this time last year. So one wonders if he has contemplated the same decision a year later and a year older.

On top of evaluating his own physical abilities and desire to play again, the 37-year-old’s decision is more complex this offseason because he faces the prospect of being locked out of team facilities for an indefinite period of time if a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t reached by Friday.

So has Mason thought about retirement in the event of a lockout?

No. Not really,” Mason told WBAL Radio on Saturday. “I haven’t really given that much thought because I’m very optimistic that something will get done.”

Instead, the 15-year veteran is continuing his offseason workout schedule as he would any other year.

“[B]usiness as usual,” Mason said. “Nothing’s no different for me, I’m going to continue to work out and continue to do the things I’ve been doing for the last 15 years – being back in Nashville, working out, being with the family – that’s what I’m going to do.”

In 2010, Mason was once again one of quarterback Joe Flacco’s favorite targets, notching 61 receptions for 802 yards and seven touchdowns, only trailing Anquan Boldin (64 catches).

Considering Boldin’s evaluation on the Ravens’ offense last season, getting Mason back for one more year could mean a more explosive offense in 2011…

Boldin: Offense Needs More Time Together To Be Explosive

Believing the Ravens had the personnel and weapons built to win a championship last season, Boldin admitted on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” that he had a “very bitter taste” in his mouth when the Ravens were knocked out of the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But even with big names and dangerous weapons on the roster, the offense wasn’t as explosive as many expected.

With a significant amount of turnover at the receiver position – adding Boldin, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth – Boldin said the nucleus of the offense didn’t have enough time to gel.

“I think in this league, the people that you see have success are the people that have been together for a while, teams that have been together for two or three years,” Boldin said on the ESPN‘s [add] “First Take” set at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla.

“I think for us, it was a situation where we had new parts trying to fit in. … When you have that much of your nucleus being new, it’s kind of difficult to get a feel right off the bat, especially with quarterbacks and receivers because that takes a little time to gel.”

Check out the rest of Boldin’s interview from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Zibby Thinks Ngata Should Box

While Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski is getting back into the boxing ring, he believes a certain 350-pound teammate could do the same and see major success.

A Pro Bowl defensive tackle, Haloti Ngata is widely considered one of the best all-around athletes in the Ravens’ locker room and Zibby thinks he could effectively compete at the heavyweight level.

If you let me train Haloti Ngata, he’d do some damage,” Zbikowski told National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson. “He’s seriously the most gifted athlete I’ve ever been around and he’s 330 pounds. There’s no one who would be able to compete with him physically. He’s just a bear.”

Zbikowski, who is scheduled to fight March 12 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, said he believes there could be more potentially great heavyweight boxers in America, but many athletes have instead chosen to pursue football and the NFL.

“I think a lot of the American heavyweights right now are playing football. … Right now you’re seeing the top athletes go to college to get an education. I think if you have boxing back at the collegiate level you might have some more American heavyweights but right now they’re seeing that as the best path to go.”

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