A number of fans down at yesterday’s Ravens-Panthers game noticed a sideline argument between Derrick Mason and Joe Flacco in the third quarter, in which Mason confronted his quarterback after the Ravens had hit an offensive rough patch.
The fiery veteran wide receiver apparently wasn’t happy with the timing of one of Flacco’s passes to him, according to The Sun, and he and Flacco needed to be separated by fellow players and coaches.
Today, head coach John Harbaugh downplayed the incident, saying that he has talked to both Mason and Flacco and there are no lingering issues.
“It’s been addressed,” Harbaugh said. “I talked to [Mason] about it after the game, talked to him about it in the locker room. It wasn’t anything serious that we had to work through, just make sure we’re on the same page and make sure Joe’s on the same page.
“Not too concerned about it.”
Mason has always been somewhat of a hothead in the midst of competition, but this season, there have been a couple incidents where the 14-year veteran appeared to let his emotions get the best of him.
He was flagged for delay of game earlier this season in a Week 3 win over the Browns for throwing the football high into the air after an incomplete pass. This incident with Flacco is more concerning, but Harbaugh said he doesn’t believe that there’s an issue with the way Mason expresses his emotions during the game.
“I think there’s always a fine line [with] focusing your passion,” Harbaugh said. “Derrick over the years, he does a good job of focusing his passion because it shows up in his play. He plays passionately, and he plays very well. Joe’s got a passionate personality and you see it expressed in different ways. So, everybody does it in different ways.
“You never want your emotions to control your performance, that’s the main thing, and you want to treat your teammates with respect. I don’t think that line’s been crossed. But, we’ve got competitive guys, we’ve got fighters, and guys will fight for themselves and fight for their teammates.”
Because of Flacco’s laid-back personality and the fact that he seemingly never gets emotionally rattled, it might surprise some that Flacco went back at Mason when the wide receiver confronted him yesterday. But Harbaugh says that Flacco is just as big a competitor as anyone else, and while he keeps it in most of the time, he can get emotional as well.
“Get in a pick-up basketball game with him sometime,” Harbaugh said. “Cover him one time and you’ll see. You’ll probably get an elbow in the chops. Joe is a very competitive guy, and because he’s a calm guy ... I mean, Joe Montana was a pretty calm guy, right? And who was a more fiery competitor?
“You can’t judge a book by its cover, and Joe, he’s got a fire burning inside, and you see it in the way he plays and the way he practices. I don’t mind seeing that fire, I don’t mind him showing that passion sometimes. I think it’s good for us and good for our team, and good for him. But, that’s him. You’ve got to let a guy be himself and let his personality shine.”