Late For Work 1/10: Mason Retiring After 15 Years

Texans unfazed by return to B-more, Suggs ‘shocked’ after watching Tebow, updated SB odds.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 at 9:12 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Mason Retiring After 15 Years

Derrick Mason is finished playing football.

After a productive 15-year career in the NFL – six with the Ravens – the two-time Pro Bowler has concluded its time to move on.

“I’m done,” Mason told Aaron Wilson of Scout.com. “I won’t be playing football. I only knew one way to play football, going all-out and having fun out there.”

Playing for the Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets and the Houston Texans throughout his career, Mason caught 943 career passes for 12,061 yards and 66 touchdowns.

He is the Ravens’ all-time leader in receptions (471) and yards (5,777).

His 2011 campaign included stints with the Jets and Texans, after being released by the Ravens in the offseason. His time in New York ended surrounded in controversy, with reports that he was traded for complaining about his offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

Now the 37 year old plans to move on to the next stage of his career, which he hopes includes working in the media.

Other than not winning a Super Bowl, Mason looks back with no regrets.

“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.”

Texans Unfazed By Return Trip To Baltimore

The last time the Texans visited M&T Bank Stadium, they lost by double digits, 29-14.

The Ravens are undefeated at home in 2011, beating four playoff teams including Houston, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and San Francisco.

But none of that fazes the Texans.

I’m ready to go to Baltimore,” said wide receiver Jacoby Jones after his team’s wild-card win over Cincinnati Saturday night.

That’s because the Texans see their return to Charm City as an opportunity to redeem a loss they felt they never should have suffered.

“We feel like that game kind of turned our season,” said Texans Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips. “We felt like we could have played a whole lot better against them than we did. So we get another opportunity to do that.”

After dropping the game to the Ravens, Houston went on a seven-game winning streak.

Part of their success may have come from learning how to close out games.

In the third quarter of the Oct. 16 matchup, the Ravens trailed Houston, 14-13. But then Baltimore scored on four of the next five possession and held the Texans without a score in the final 22 ½ minutes.

We left plays on the field last time we played them,” said safety Daniel Manning. ”They made those plays in Game 1. Hats off to them.  They wanted that game a whole lot more than we did.” 

“You watch the film the first time we played them; we were with them the whole game except a couple deep passes,” added linebacker Brian Cushing. “We’re just going to try to limit them as best we can, get after [Joe] Flacco, apply the pressure and play better defensive ball.”

The Texans now feel like they have momentum on their side after their 31-10 blowout win over AFC North rival Cincinnati.

That momentum, coupled with a familiarity with the Ravens, could be enough to overcome a boisterous and amped-up home crowd.

“It’s not going to be anything new other than being a little louder with the playoff environment,” said Cushing.

The Ravens will have to beat Houston for the third time in two years to advance to the AFC Championship Game.

At this point, the two previous wins no longer matter.

“The good thing about the playoffs is that everyone starts out at 0-0,” said running back Arian Foster. “We’re 1-0 right now, so we have a little momentum going into Baltimore, but they’re going to be well-rested and have great leadership on their defense. It’s just an honor and a privilege to play against those players with my players on this stage. This is what athletes dream of.”

Suggs’ Jaw On Floor After Watching Tebow

For those of you who have been wondering what Terrell Suggs, who has been overtly critical of Tim Tebow, thought of the Broncos’ wild-card overtime win Sunday, Yahoo! Sports’ Michael Silver got the scoop.

“I’m shocked,” Suggs texted to Silver Sunday night. “Jaw is on the floor!!!!!!! He shocked us all.”

Despite his incredulity, Suggs appears willing to give credit to the polarizing quarterback.

Last week Suggs told Silver, “To say this is a phenomenon, I think of it as an insult to the rest of the other quarterbacks.”

Baltimore’s Super Bowl Odds After Wild-Card Weekend

With the first week of the playoffs in the books, oddsmakers are still saying the Packers have the best chance of winning the Super Bowl.

But the Ravens’ odds are slightly changed, going from 15/2 to 7/1, says Bovada.net (via USA Today).

Baltimore’s chances to win the AFC Championship remain at 2/1.

Here the breakdown.

Odds of winning the AFC championship:

  • Patriots 5/8
  • Ravens 2/1
  • Texans 9/1
  • Broncos 18/1

Odds of winning Super Bowl XLVI:

  • Packers 9/5
  • Patriots 11/4
  • Saints 7/2
  • Ravens 7/1
  • 49ers 14/1
  • Giants 14/1
  • Texans 28/1
  • Broncos 40/1

Quick Hits

  • James Walker says there is a huge gap between Tom Brady and the other remaining quarterbacks in the AFC playoffs, including Flacco, Tebow and T.J. Yates. Walker ranks Flacco as the second best of the bunch and believes this is Flacco’s chance to buck a trend of not playing well in the playoffs. [ESPN]
  • That said, Edward Lee says that Flacco isn’t thinking about proving himself. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Many thought Hines Ward would be joining Mason in announcing his retirement this offseason – including his teammates. But Ward said via Facebook that he has no plans of doing so. [CBSSports.com]
  • Texans fans “are ticked” about the timing of their defensive coordinator, Phillips, interviewing with the Tampa Bay Bucs for a chance to become their head coach. [Houston Chronicle]
  • Foster or Ray Rice? Who will have a bigger game? [NFL.com]

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