Flacco, Mason address sideline spat, deny it was anything serious

  • Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron gets a huge from his son, Danny, 14, while son Chris, 12, looks on.
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron gets a huge from his son,… (Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth…)
November 24, 2010|By Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun

Ray Lewis is never shy when it comes to offering his opinion. But he joked that he had no plans to serve as the mediator between Joe Flacco and Derrick Mason, even though the two Ravens were involved in a heated confrontation on the sidelines this past week.

"If you heard about a husband and wife fighting, would you say something to them?" Lewis said. "Sometimes whatever happens, man, it happens. You move on and keep going. It don't define nothing. It's just emotion. People go through things in the heat of battle. That's the thing about this game. On game day, that there is just a different level of intensity."

For the most part, Flacco and Mason struck a similar tone Wednesday. Playful, non-confrontational, and somewhat dismissive. No one in the organization bothered to deny that something occurred between Flacco and Mason in the Ravens 37-13 win over the Carolina Panthers, especially since the altercation that was witnessed by thousands of Ravens fans who traveled to Charlotte for the game.

But if a rift exists between the third-year quarterback and veteran wide receiver, both did their best to deny it Wednesday.

"It was Sunday," Flacco said, as if to imply the day of the week was all the explanation necessary. "We were in a good battle [with Carolina]. Things happen on the sidelines. I was laughing 10 seconds after it was over."

Mason, perhaps taking his cues from professional wrestling magnate Vince McMahon, talked about the incident in generalities while in the locker room, but vowed he would only share the details of what really went down with those who tuned in to his weekly radio show on WBAL at 6.

"If you had a radio show, wouldn't you want people to tune in and listen?" Mason said. "That's just a little teaser. I'll tell you whether I apologized to Joe or he apologized to me or if we went out to dinner last night or the movies last night."

On his show, Mason said that, for the most part, he was frustrated that an offense with as much talent as the one the Ravens have continues to stall.

"We are too good of an offense to be playing the way we're playing," Mason said. "We are too good of an offense to be averaging less than 20 points a game. If you want to criticize me for getting upset because of that, then do it. But as one of the leaders on this team, you have to demand more from yourself and from your teammates."

During the game, Mason said he was frustrated the plays weren't coming in faster and he wanted to get in and out of the huddle quicker.

"I thought that we should hurry up," Mason said. "But they got another plan going. I'll say this, I wasn't the only person out there saying let's go, let's go."

On the play that led the blow-up — a third-down pass right before Billy Cundiff's 49-yard field goal — Mason felt he came open early in the play and Flacco didn't see him.

"I saw something pop open, and Joe didn't quite see it the way I saw it," Mason said. "I came back to the sidelines and I asked Joe what was he was looking at. I probably used a bit of a stern tone. We both kind of went back at each other. Then after it was all said and done, we cleared it up."

Mason wouldn't say whether or not he grabbed Flacco's facemask, but he did concede that the two had to be separated.

"When you have two guys verbally going at each other, you don't want anything to escalate," Mason said. "So that's why you come between your guys. But it happened. We've moved on."

Earlier in the day, Mason was asked if he had any regrets, or anything he'd do differently. He said he did not.

"Joe and I, that's still my guy," Mason said. "That's still my quarterback, and still one of my good friends on the team. I'll move on."

Flacco quarterbacks learn from a young age how to deal with the frustrations of skill position players, and by the time they reach the NFL, they're used to it.

"I've known how to deal with it," Flacco said. "I think you learn it in high school and college and your time in the NFL. You always have to deal with those type of situations, whether it's you that's [upset]or one of your teammates. Everybody is going to be a little heated at some point. You learn how to deal with it and get by it."

Mason said this is the first time in his career he's ever had a confrontation with another player.

"It's not like this is something that's common, like something I get into every week," Mason said. "I'm just passionate about what I do. If you don't like it, so be it. Watch somebody else play. This is the way I've been for 14 years. I'm going to continue to be passionate."

kevin.vanvavlkenburg@baltsun.com

twitter.com/KVanValkenburg

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