Mason returns, Gurode mixes it up

Derrick Mason was back at M&T Bank Stadium as a visitor.


Traded from the Jets to the Texans last week, Mason got a chance to return to Baltimore for a second time in three weeks. He posted a similar stat line to the one he put up with New York two Sundays ago, making three grabs for 27 yards.

Mason didn’t get into any scuffles with his former Ravens teammates this time around, but he was booed by some of the 71,154 in attendance, as he was when he took to the field wearing Jets colors in his first trip back to Baltimore.

After the game, Mason talked about today’s game, his new situation with the Texans and his short and not-so-sweet sting with the Jets.

“Today was very different from two weeks ago,” Mason said after the game. “I’m in a much happier place and on a team that wants me to play. It was great today, I talked to some of the guys and everything was very heartfelt. You never want to lose, but today was enjoyable. I am so far removed from my previous situation. I’m with a good group of guys now. I am glad to be with the Texans and excited to be here.”

Interestingly enough, Mason never once referred to the Jets by name when talking with reporters, merely calling them “the other team.” That other team traded him for a conditional seventh-round draft pick following a rocky start to the season which saw Mason make just 13 catches and get benched for reportedly complaining about his role in the offense.

“As soon as they traded me, I moved on,” he said. “I have no ill will towards the other team - that only hurts me. They can say what they want, I know I was truthful, and I walked out of there with my head held high. I played for two other teams - I played in Tennessee and Baltimore - (and) that’s all I care about. Those organizations respected me as a player and as a person.”

While Mason didn’t mix it up with any Ravens this time around, one of Baltimore’s offensive linemen did get into a bit of a skirmish with an opponent.

Left guard Andre Gurode got involved with Texans defense end Antonio Smith on a couple occasions in the first quarter, and Smith ended up getting flagged for unnecessary roughness twice in the span of three plays. The second penalty turned what would have been a third-and-goal from the one-yard line into a first-and-goal, and quarterback Joe Flacco took it in himself on the next play.

“He pushed me and I was blocking on the play and he threw a couple of punches at me,” Gurode said of the incidents. “I was about to retaliate, but the referee broke us up. I was going to get him, but it’s good.”

Not surprisingly, Smith had a different take on what went down, although he did admit that his actions cost his team.

“What happened with that is that I just have to find the player that I am and harness it and control it,” Smith said. “I feel like he tried to finish me off with a foul. The play was over; the running back was down. Even if just falling to the ground is all right, he tried to finish it off a little bit, and I just flipped him off. Then it got out of hand after that. The second play was a double team. He knocked me off the ball, and with that added on from the play before, he started walking up to me, bouncing his head, and by the time he got close to me bouncing, it, I kind of head-butted him - like, ‘Get away from me, back up off me.’ It wasn’t a punch or anything.

“But as a captain, you have to conquer and master the things that bring weaknesses and bring back things to the team. That’s unacceptable for me to lose it like that.”

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