August 1, 2009

Derrick Mason Retuns to Ravens

Thank God the Ravens didn't do anything stupid when Derrick Mason announced his "retirement" a month ago. Many suspected Mason's decision had a lot to do with the murder of friend Steve McNair and unhappiness over his unresolved contract situation. The team allowed Ray Lewis to serve as the point of contact with Mason and both sides did well to not escalate any verbal exchanges.

Fans reacted with calls to trade for Brandon Marshall. The team conservatively signed Drew Bennett, who quickly retired himself, but made no drastic moves.

Now Mason appears to be entirely back within the fold. His 80 catches and 1,037 yards last year would have been impossible to replace. More importantly, he and then-rookie QB Joe Flacco had developed a rapport. Now Flacco can relax and run the same offense he had last year, with the continued development of Ray Rice and LeRon McClain in the backfield.

All in all, a great day for Ravens fans. The only thing that could make it better is if the Skins sign Vick.

Speaking of the Skins, this was in the Sun's training camp notes: Al Saunders, a former San Diego Chargers head coach and recently a high-priced offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins, has been sitting in Ravens team meetings. It's not official that he has been hired, but he is expected to be added to the staff soon. He could serve as an offensive consultant.

Ok, but leave the playbook tome home.