Flacco-Mason flare-up wasn't 'anything serious,' Ravens coach John Harbaugh said

November 22, 2010|By Ken Murray, The Baltimore Sun

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Sunday's sideline flare-up between wide receiver Derrick Mason and quarterback Joe Flacco was not "anything serious," but Harbaugh also said he had addressed the issue with both players.

"It's been addressed," Harbaugh said at his weekly news conference. "Everything gets addressed in one way or another. You don't turn a blind eye to anything as a coach in this league or a player in this league. You address everything.

"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. I talked to Joe during the game, I talked to him after the game, I talked to him today again about different things. That was just a small part of it, so I'm not too concerned about it."

Mason, a 14-year veteran, apparently was upset about a pass Flacco threw and angrily confronted the quarterback at the bench. The discussion became animated and other players had to intervene. It's not the first time Mason has had an emotional outburst along the sideline. In Week 3, he was flagged for delay of game — for throwing the ball — after a short-hop incompletion by Flacco.

Harbaugh said he spoke to Mason in the locker room after the game.

"I don't want to comment on a specific guy," Harbaugh said, "but I think there's always a fine line between focusing your passion. Derrick, over the years -- if you want to talk about him -- 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 very passionate personality, [and] he's expressed it in different ways. So everybody does it in different ways. ... You never want to let your emotions get control of 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. That's part of it."

Still searching

Even though the Ravens beat Carolina by 24 points Sunday, they had only a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter after giving up an early 88-yard touchdown pass to the Panthers' emergency quarterback, Brian St. Pierre. No one was happy with the uncomfortable position the Ravens faced. Sports talk shows in Baltimore bristled with criticism Monday.

"We care. They care," Harbaugh said of the fans' reaction. "We do the same thing. We nitpick ourselves. Players nitpick every little thing that they do well or don't do well. We do the same thing as coaches. That's fine. We're OK with it. We get a chance to watch the tape and have a good understanding of what we're trying to do. It's tough to win. You do the best you can."

Harbaugh allowed that the Ravens hoped to play a "dominant game" against the now 1-9 Panthers.

"It's no different than the week before and the week before that," he said. "We're still looking for that dominant game. I think we're all disappointed we didn't play a dominant game, but we're happy with the win. I think you take your victories where they come within the game, but by no means are we satisfied with the way we played. … We're still searching for that dominant performance."

End zone

The NFL Players Association wrote to Gov. Martin O'Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Monday warning that Baltimore could face more than $160 million in lost jobs and revenue if league owners opt to lock out players and cancel the 2011 season. NFLPA president Kevin Mawae asked O'Malley and Blake to stress to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti the need to bargain in good faith with the union. … Harbaugh said right guard Chris Chester's skin infection may take "a week or two" to clear up, which likely means Chester will miss Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.

ken.murray@baltsun.com

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