Mason’s Reunion At M&T ‘Bittersweet’

Terrell Suggs, Jarret Johnson and Ray Lewis hugged Rex Ryan after the game.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Monday, October 3rd, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink, Week 4 vs Jets

Derrick Mason was back at M&T Bank Stadium, back jawing at the opponents and running crisp routes.

Only this time, the former Ravens receiver was in white and green instead of purple and black, the uniform he donned for six years in becoming the franchise’s all-time receiving leader.

It was a family affair Sunday night, and by the end of the Ravens’ 34-17 victory, there was mixed feelings about how the homecoming went.

“I have guys over there that I consider family,” said Mason, who recorded two catches for a team-high 37 yards.

“It’s kind of bittersweet to come back. You kind of miss the place, but you have a job to do. For us, we didn’t get the job done today.”

Mason chatted with Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson before Sunday’s game kicked off. By the time the second half rolled around and the Ravens had a 17-point lead, he was showing his trademark fire.

The loquacious wide receiver first got into a small scuffle with cornerback Cary Williams. Not long after, he and linebacker Paul Kruger mixed it up.

“I wish I had the opportunity to talk to him afterwards and ask him why he [Kruger] did that,” Mason said. “I am only 150 pounds, and he is about 300, and he pushed me at the end.

“But, it’s football, and I like it that way. He is a good guy, and I have known him for the six years that I was around. I don’t take it personally. What happens between the lines, stays between the lines. When it is over with, they are back to being buddies again.”

The Jets sent all former Ravens out to midfield as their pre-game captains: Mason, linebacker Bart Scott and safety Jim Leonhard.

“There’s a lot of great memories from the year that I was here,” said Leonhard, who was the starting strong safety for the 2008 team that went to the AFC Championship.

“You want to come in and perform well, you’re playing all of your old friends, but you want to go out there and win and we didn’t get it done today.”

It was a more enjoyable reunion for the Ravens’ defenders. After the game, linebackers Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis and Jarret Johnson all gave their former defensive coordinator turned Jets head coach, Rex Ryan, a hug at midfield.

“I got my punch in the gut and we got to talk to him a little bit,” Johnson said with a chuckle. “Obviously, he’s upset. Rex is a super-competitive guy so when he loses a game like that, he’s going to be upset, but it was great to see an old friend, and it was great to compete against him. … He created us, now he had to deal with us. It was fun.”

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