Derrick Mason Interview Transcript 8/7/11


On Sunday the newest member of the Jets, Derrick Mason, addressed the media.  Here is the transcript courtesy of the Jets.

On what transpired the past few days…

I had to keep (Rex Ryan) on his toes (joking). This is an opportunity. I’m coming to the end of my career, and I could still play a lot of good football, but I wanted to take every opportunity to try and win the Super Bowl, and for me, this was the best place to try and do that. I’m familiar with Rex. I’m familiar with a few of these players around here, I’ve played with them, and I’m familiar with this team, playing against them. So, why not join a team that has been to the AFC Championship game the last two years? After a while, it became just a no-brainer.

On whether he had bigger offers from other teams…

There were offers. I’ve been in this game going on 15 years now, and the funds weren’t necessarily number one on my list. Number one on my list was to win, and win quickly. There were other offers at other places, but like I said, this was the best fit for me.

On how much he agonized over his decision…

My daughter and my son are still upset somewhat, because they got used to me being at home, and for a minute there, I kind of got used to it, as well. Going to my son’s football practice, and being with my daughter, I kind of got used to it, too. It was still hard for them to see me walk out of the door. That’s going to continue to weigh on me a little bit, as I continue to go. I know deep down, they’re very supportive of what I’m trying to accomplish, and like I said, the only thing I want to accomplish now is to win the Super Bowl.

On whether he was hurt by being released by the Ravens…

It’s business. It’s the business of football, and I understand it. Was I blindsided? Yeah, I was, and when you’re blindsided, yeah, you’re upset about it. It can be with any job. If you felt that you were going into a situation where you were on the cusp of something special, and you never thought that you would be released, or fired, or what not, you would be a little bit upset, but I had my moment. After that, I understood it’s the business of football. It happened to me before, and it happened to me again. It happens to everybody in this business, whether you’re great at your position or not. You’re going to get released. You just have to be able to deal with it as quickly as possible.

On whether being blindsided by the Ravens was a factor in not choosing to go back to Baltimore…

No, it wasn’t. I believed both teams are very good. I just felt that this was the place I needed to be when it was all said and done. I hold no grudges towards Baltimore. That city, those fans embraced me six years ago, embraced my family. Forever I will be appreciative of that. So I have nothing against Baltimore. It was just that this was the right place for me.

On what Rex Ryan’s sales pitch was…

I felt like I was in college again (laughing). When you have someone sitting across from you that understands and knows your work, and knows that you can play this game, and still play it at a high level, and respects that, that means a lot. That’s what Coach Rex basically echoed to me. “You still can play this game. I’ve seen tape of you last year. You still can play this game at a high level and you can help us.” That’s all it took, was someone else believing that you could still play this game. So, like I said, why not come down here with the big fella and try to win a championship?

On how long it will take all the receivers to get on the same page as Mark Sanchez…

(Santonio Holmes) has a rapport with Sanchez already. Now it’s up to (Plaxico Burress), myself and Sanchez to get that going. I think as long as we have one common goal, it’ll get done quickly. No one is out there for any selfish reasons. We all want to win a championship, so that process will be sped up. We will mesh and mesh quickly. Not to say that we’re going to be perfect every time, but we’re going to go out there and pick up right where I left off last year and I’m pretty sure (Plaxico) will pick up right where he left off a couple years ago.

On if Coach Ryan said what his playing time will look like…

He said we’re all going to play, we’re all going to make plays and we’re all going to be happy. I understand coming into the situation (Santonio) is the guy. I understand that. He’s a phenomenal athlete (and) a great receiver. I’ve watched him throughout his career. I’ve seen what (Plaxico) has done over his career. So I’m coming into a situation that is tailor made for me. I have a guy that is going to demand a double team, I have another 6’5” guy that I don’t think anybody matches up with height-wise and I have a tight end who is damn good (and) a quarterback who is continuing to grow each of the last couple of years. So it is tailor made for me.

On how soon he will be on the practice field…

ASAP. Had I not taken two flights in the last four days, I probably could have been out there today, but I will be out there tomorrow. I plan on being out there. Now how much I’ll do? I don’t know because even though I’m familiar with a lot of things play-wise, I still have to get myself refreshed.

On how similar the Ravens and Jets offenses are…

It has its similarities. I’ve prided myself on being able to pick up an offense very quickly. With the help of coach Ellard, Coach (Schottenheimer), Sanchez, (Santonio) and (Plaxico), I’ll pick this up very quickly.

On meeting the guys out on the practice field today…

It was great. I was back on a football field. I got tired of being off the football field and it was good to be back on it. It was good to be around the fellas again. So it’ll feel even better tomorrow once I’m out there practicing.

On if the current Jets receivers are an upgrade from last season’s…

I am not going to say it’s an upgrade. I think the experience is an upgrade, obviously. I have been at 15, Plax has been at it I think over 10, close to 10, if not over 10 and Tone has been at it a very long time as well so I think the experience part is but to sit here and say talent wise we are better is degrading to the guys that were here. I watched Braylon (Edwards) last year. He had a great season. He overcame a lot of things. I watched (Jerricho) Cotchery. He did a great job at what they asked him to do. So for me to come in here and say this is an upgrade that would be unfair to those guys. Upgrade as far as experience, yeah. But those guys were great with what they did last year. They made it to the AFC Championship last year. This year we are just trying to win two more games, the AFC Championship game and the Super Bowl. That’s all.

On how he is able to play at such a high level at 37…

I have been blessed, truly. When I say that I mean it because I haven’t had any injuries to my lower extremities, knees or anything and I think that’s what curtails a lot of receivers longevity, especially the very good ones. They get hurt and they are not the same once they come back off that injury. I have been fortunate enough and blessed enough to not have those injuries, and the way I work in offseason, I just try to do as much as I can, as hard as a I can, so when I do come into the season, I do come into, it’s not two-a-days anymore, when I come into practice during the pre-season, I try to make sure that’s easy for me because I have worked enough and I have worked hard enough during the offseason, that it will take me a few days to get under me but after that, it will be easy.

On if he signed a two-year deal…

Yes. I just want to win a championship this year. I’m not looking past this year. I’ll let tomorrow worry about itself and next year worry about itself. I’m worried about today and what we can accomplish this year.


Comments on this entry are closed.