Matchup To Watch

November 12, 2006

Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason vs. Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones

George Kokinis, the Ravens' pro personnel director, sizes up a critical matchup against the Titans:

The players

Mason signed with the Ravens as an unrestricted free agent in 2005 after eight seasons with the Titans. He is third on the team in receptions this season, making 31 for a team-high 397 yards.

After beginning his career as a special teams player, Mason has developed into one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL. He caught at least 86 passes the previous three seasons.

Jones was the sixth overall pick in the 2005 draft and the first defensive player chosen that year. In 22 games (20 starts), he has one interception and has broken up 24 passes.

Jones returns after serving a one-game suspension as punishment for his off-field troubles. He will be booked Friday for a misdemeanor charge of assault in his most recent incident, for allegedly spitting on a woman in a nightclub.

What to watch

This is an intriguing matchup because Mason and Jones share many similarities on the field. Each brings a feistiness to his position. When you talk about players battling at the point of the catch, they both battle at the finish because they are so competitive and tough. Mason gets his separation because he is so fast in and out of his cuts. One of Jones' greatest assets is the ability to come out of his break quickly.

Mason has been a consistent playmaker throughout his career. When you talk about players who are considered great, I look at those who have done it over a period of time. In terms of the receiver position, Mason has been one of the steadiest players out there.

The Ravens did have a "feel" for Jones coming out of college. He brought a Ravens-type mentality. On film, you could see his aggressiveness and savvy, attributes the Ravens like in their defenders.

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